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Building a House


fieldarchy
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Ary,

 

I'm glad to see another supportive voice too! Centex is usually pretty good as a homebuilder. It has a good reputation and Fox and Jacobs does a decent amount of work in the area as well. They also care about their product and customer because the better job they do the better their reputation will be.

 

So far everyone has been very polite and wanting to work with me. I'm checking other options on Friday to see what I can afford if I buy a pre-existing home that's only slightly used. I'm just afraid that the results aren't going to be that great. Right now building seems to be the better option. Oh and they don't come with a fridge so I can buy my own :-)

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If the home is already built, but not lived in yet, and if it has been sitting a while you might be able to get a really good deal on it. I know a couple of people in my area who went that route. We decided we wanted to pick and choose carpet, paint, and whatnot, so went with building it.

 

Now, keep in mind that in the next month employers will have 90 days to verify and correct any problems between SSA and their workers, which means if there is a mis-matched SSN with a name that the worker gave them, the employer can face stiff fines and penalties. What this means for the Texas construction work is that they might start firing workers beforehand (some already have) and I'm not certain what kind of affect this will have on building time. Centex, per contract, will have two years to finish your house. I think it's a pretty standard contract to expect from builders. They'll say they can have it done in six months, weather permitting, but if there's a worker shortage, then it might take longer. We'll have to see how these new Homeland Defense sanctions will play out in certain areas such as agriculture and construction.

 

I'm excited for you, and it's really exciting to be picking out paint chips at the local Walmart or Home Depot, then going in to choose your carpet and countertops to match what you have in mind for your paint. You'll learn a lot during the process, and you'll have a lot of fun, if you build, taking pictures and going by daily and seeing the progress on your future home. It's terrifying and exciting at the same time. I know I still have problems looking at the amount of money that is going into this house.

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FYI - We have a Centex home, so the experiences I had you can expect.

 

A lot depends on the site supervisor. You can have a great company, but a so-so site supervisor (aka site builder) and vice versa. The site supervisor is the guy/gal who will be cracking the whip day to day. My first house was a David Weekly home (one of the better ones in the Houston area for general development), but the site supervisor was pretty lazy, so we had to drive him to get stuff done to our satisfaction.

 

 

I think it's great you're looking to buy a house now, and are able to. The way I look at it is if you can do it now, don't throw your money down a black sinkhole of an apartment that earns you no equity. By investing in a house you're saving for the future, and doing it earlier is better. If I had looked into buying a house back when I originally thought about (fresh out of high school), I would have over $70,000 invested in the house, which would have probably paid for it considering house prices then were about $40K. That's how much in rent I had been paying over the past 19 or so years.

 

Remember that all of that rent doesn't necessarily translate into money that you could have put into a house. You have to take out property taxes (considerable in Texas), house insurance (more than renters), maintenance costs (which you don't normally have in apartments), possibly utilities, yard maintenance, closing costs, and mortgage interest.

 

On the bright side, the mortgage interest and property taxes can often kick you into itemized deduction land.

 

Owning a house *is* generally a very good thing, but all factors should be considered. Meg is in the best position to know what those factors are.

 

Ron

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Heis thanks for being a positive voice in all of this. Several of my good friends are the only ones being supportive about my decision to even buy a house never mind build one. My parents aren't too happy with the idea only because they worry too much.

 

Well I'm not a nay-sayer, I think it's a good idea I just wanted to know about your long term ideas with the house market being as it is.

 

M.

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I know there are horror stories out there and I know people get taken advantage of. I always do my research, ask questions and get everything in writing before I agree to any big purchase.

I'm not a nay-sayer, nor am I trying to be difficult or unsupportive. Quite the opposite, actually. I'm just trying to fulfill my mission in life, which is apparently to serve as a warning to others. My definition of 'supportive friend' includes refusing to blow smoke & sunshine, telling you how great it will be. I just want you to be aware of the issues, go into a decision with eyes wide open. That means I must say some builders lie & cheat, come up with every excuse under the sun, hide behind red tape and contracts that are not worth the paper they're written on, and the court system may not be any help. If anyone can benefit by learning from my mistakes, if it helps anyone to avoid the traps I have discovered by falling into them, so much the better. My approach may be distasteful, and apologize if I offend anyone with it, but I can live with that. I gave it my honest effort.

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No you didn't offend me. I'm just not getting the support from my parents that I thought I would be getting and then to see the negativity about building a house on here is slightly depressing. Most of my friends I've spoken with about this decision have been very supportive but you know how it goes, people say more bad than they do good.

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I have nothing but good things to say about Centex and how well they've treated us. It's the people who did the actual work who I had issues with, and the way the house itself was put together. If I could have done it with my own two hands, I would have. As a starter home, however, we're satisfied. The best part is my mom has her bedroom downstairs and we have the whole top floor to ourselves. :wacko:

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Well guys . . . I'm going today to sign the contract to build a house! I'm excited and terrified all at the same time ::): Should be good just keep your fingers crossed for the next six months that nothing bad happens!

 

YAY! I'm a grown up now . . . wait a minute . . . that's not a yay that's depressing <sarcasm>

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You're not grown up, you're getting your very own playhouse!

 

Good luck! It is exciting and nerve-wracking. It will also be tempting to go for all the bells and whistles and upgrades, but keep it real in your mind that you don't upgrade yourself out of the cost of the house.

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Yup I didn't go overboard. I made sure that I chose only what I could afford and the price tag was still within my budget . . . $127k. It's going to be a very nice playhouse! YAY! I'm so excited. It's a good location, on the bend of a cul de sac and then the house will be abutting the church's grounds. So, there will be a nice privacy fence between me and the church which I'm totally fine with! I mean of all things to be build next to . . . I think I can handle a church . . . now I hope the hand of God doesn't come down and smite me for my heatheness :devil:

 

And I've been told it WILL be done in Feb so . . . anyone who wants to stay with me for Reapercon just let me know! I'm in the housing development about two miles or so from Reaper. Nice and close

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I've read through a whole slurry of the posts here and something I've seen mentioned only a couple times is references.

 

Always get references from contractors of people they have done work for who were pleased with the work.

 

My sister now works in construction, she is an apprentice working for a guy who has built his business from the ground up over the past 20+ years. He is giving her on-the-job training in how to do plumbing, electrical, and basically anything she would ever need to know to build her own house, repair the house my Parents live in and heaven only knows what else. My sister is loving it. It's what she has always wanted to do.

 

In the past three months she has worked for this guy she has gone to numerous job sites where the guy she works for has been contracted to REDO something that some other company Fubared badly. In most cases the people never asked for references with their original contractor to see if the contractor was reputable or not. The most recent case they got called in to redo a screened in sunroom that another company had built two years ago with cheap materials. The result? A sunroom that literally had ripped away from the house, had a leaky floor and windows, and was riddled with carpenter ants that had gone after the rotting particle board the cheapskates used in the construction. My sister spent two days just doing demolition work on the thing to get it out of there so they could start fresh - only to find the twits beforehand had laid the foundation improperly.

 

Whoever you contract to do your house, make sure you get references, a lot of them. Call all of them too.

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Enchantra,

 

Centex is the builder. They are a really good company that has a national reputation to uphold. And I've not heard one bad thing about them from anyone on these boards or from my mom and dad. And well, if there was something not right then ReaperBryan would have told me as I'm moving into his neighborhood ::):

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Enchantra,

 

Centex is the builder. They are a really good company that has a national reputation to uphold. And I've not heard one bad thing about them from anyone on these boards or from my mom and dad. And well, if there was something not right then ReaperBryan would have told me as I'm moving into his neighborhood ::):

 

 

Centex? Never heard of them until you just mentioned them. They obviously don't exist up here. Good to see you did your research. Not everyone does their research before such ventures and it ends up costing them a lot more in the long run.

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It is exciting to own a house. We have now been homeowners for a whole year and it is a neat thing. We bought used though as things new here are half the size new and twice the price.

Owning this house has taught me some things though, like never buy used without a warranty included. But as you are buying new hopefully everything will function for you.

Good luck with the build, it is exciting to call a place yours.

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