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Lani's Forum Posts: 4
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By Lani in Henderson, NV on 10/8/2006


This question perhaps goes out to Lori and anyone that can help me. I live in Las Vegas and I am looking into building a home as soon as I find the right piece of land. My boyfriend thinks I can't afford to build my own house. I need info on numbers on how much it actually costs to "build a house"....before he will help me...so any help I can get would be awesome....Thanks...Lani
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By Tom in Stroudsburg, PA on 10/8/2006


I don't know that a house could be built at $50 a sq/ft anymore but your putting the cart before the horse anyway. Your best bet is to find a home design your comfortable with and get estimates from builders then you will know the high end of what your looking at. Coming down from that number depends on whether you manage your build and how much of the work you can do yourself. As you look at floor plans keep in mind that as you get away from a conventional box and standard framing for your area the cost will shoot higher quickly. Fancy roof lines, porches, breakfast nooks all add $
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By Ken in Big Bear Lake, CA on 10/8/2006


Lani, the problem is finding affordable land here in Vegas in a desirable neighborhood. I haven't seen a decent lot for under $450,000 and that's without utilities or water meters. So, in that regard, you are starting out deep in the hole if you are spending that much for a lot. With new home builders here piling on incentives like no payments for one year, free swimming pools, new cars for your garage, etc, you are going to have a tough time saving any money.
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By Lori in Reno, NV on 10/8/2006


Lani,

The real estate here in the Reno area is completely different than the Vegas area. We were lucky we bought our 11.5 acres in 2003, just before land prices went up. The same size parcels are going for $150-$200,000 depending on how far back in the valley you are, we paid $41,500,which is not included in the loan since the land was paid off.

Our projected cost to build was $262,000 for a 2508sf home with 977sf of covered porch. The approved loan amount was $302,500 and we are hovering between the two right now on the lower end (the well drill and foundation went over budget). We chose to go with a panelized package that included all the lumber, windows, doors, cabinets, drywall, insulation, roofing material, and trusses which cost $128,000.

If you can afford to buy a house you can afford to build a house, as long as you are able to find affordable land. Here in Reno that is still possible, but I am unfamiliar with the Vegas market. Hope this helps. If you have anymore questions please ask.


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By Lani in Henderson, NV on 10/12/2006


Thank you to everyone for all the information that you have put out there for me... I have done alot of research since I posted my question and I have a much clearer picture of what I am looking at...I do want to tell Ken that I have found numerous plots of land with all utilites for 100,000-150,000 in great areas and being somewhere between .21 and .30 of an acre if you even want to go as much as 250,000 you can get more than a 1/2 an acre with the right to keep a horse....so I have to say that I am not sure where you are looking or what you deam as a decent lot but unless you gotta live in seven hills...it's not as crazy as you think...no offense but I thought this was a site to help encourage and support and gain information on how to make this happen not to talk you out of it or tell you how hard it is.....I'll be happy to send anyone my real estate agent's info if you are having trouble finding land...she has found me plenty of it...and she is quite a doll...

 

THanks, Lani


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By Lani in Henderson, NV on 10/12/2006


Lori thank you so much for the info...I have found some great piece's of land and narrowing down which one...I have looked into getting a panalized home as well.....are you glad you went that route??? and who did you go through to get the panalized home? THanks Lani
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By Pat in Denver, CO on 10/25/2006


Hi Lani!

I have been watching this thread for a while and figured I would jump in now.  Everyone says panelized packages are the way to go for their efficiency and reduced labor costs - but this is only half of the story.  In truth, many contractors are unfamiliar with panelized systems, so if you decide to go this route, expect to pay for it in the labor area.  If contractors are unfamiliar with a particular building procedure, they charge more as a way of protecting themselves.  Secondly, panelized companies are very strict on their payment schedules.  Say you decide to order the panels, the company will require a large down payment.  I've seen them as high as 90% upfront.  If you are financing your project, no lender will disburse this much with no materials on site.  So, keep the deposit aspect in mind.  Also, they will not unload the panels from the truck until you hand them a check for the remaining balance.  Again, if you are financing this project, it will be hard, if not impossible, to convince a lender to disburse funds for something no on site.

I am not trying to talk you out of panels, but you should know the bad things as well as the good.  If you can find a builder familiar with installing panels and have a lender with liberal procedures, this could work well.  But unfortunately, most builders and lenders are not comfortable with panelized systems.  Compare that to traditional stick-frame and you'll be able to find plenty of framers to frame the house, and can have progress payments on the labor aspect (as opposed to a large deposit and final payment before one wall has been erected).  Hopefully this helps you in your decision.

Patrick


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By Lori in Reno, NV on 10/26/2006


Pat,

Sorry, to disagree, but I do. Have you built a home with panels???

We here at Owner Builder Book actually promote owner builders.

  1. Panels are easier for new home builders to DIY there by saving the labor costs. We stood our walls with the help of friends in 2 days.
  2. I am unsure what panelized companies you have had personal experience with, but the three companies that are currently being used, by our friends in the Reno area do not have strict payment schedules. Our personal experience is, our house was panelized before they got the check. We requested the voucher for payment a week before delivery of the panels.
  3. Our lender sends vouchers out long before the items are delivered to the property. I have never had to have the items on site before they send money.

There are lenders that specialize in panelized loan packages.

Our home was a custom plan from a Vegas company, engineered by a Utah company, and panelized by a company in California.

P.S. We unloaded the panels with their help. 

Lori


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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 3/4/2007


Panel construction can be of two different methods, one is where it is stick framing and the walls are built in a factory and shipped to your site are erection and assembly, the other is structural insulated panel where pieces of the wall are fabricated in a factory which have no lumber in them but are skins of OSB and a foam interior. Both go up very quickly.

I have built both a panelized frame house and an SIP house. Cost and time were similar. Neither needed a rocket scientist to get the framing done as I had the factory for each product do the install because conventional framers wanted to charge more for the "labor" then if they spent 4 weeks on the job site. Once you find your wall system and the manufacturer, get some recommendations for crews.

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