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Spec Update

I’m learning quickly…  Building a home gets expensive.  Or our builder is just taking advantage of the fact that Eric and I have no clue how to actually go about building a house.  In either case, the end result is the same, money outflow = high.

So you see, Eric and I had a budget at one time, several months ago.  Our realtor and builder were made aware of this number.  And then the floor plans were drawn up, rooms were made larger…  You get the idea.  I’ll be the first to admit I like nice things, and the thrill of designing this house was just oh so tempting on so many levels.  In my defense, which really isn’t much of a defense, but I’m going to use it anyway…  This house is really the only bright point in our move to Cedar Falls for me.  If you remember from previous posts, this move is a phenomenal experience for Eric to advance his career.  But the offerings for me are slim, in my opinion, being I won’t even probably see Eric much due to his regular and on-call time at work.  So basically we could live in luxury in the middle of nowhere (the midwest), or live off mac and cheese in a glamorous big city with many offerings, most of which we probably wouldn’t be able to afford anyway.  (I actually really like mac and cheese, so I’d be okay with this.)  And I get it, staying close to family makes sense, especially with a new baby on the way.  But there is still a part of me that yearns to live in San Diego, or New York City, or somewhere with more than 40 restaurants, all of which are chains.  I sound like a snob, don’t I?  Maybe I’m just looking for a little more excitement in my life.  Maybe once baby girl is born the draw of big city life will fade…

Where was I?  Oh yes, our budget.  Or apparent lack there of, according to our builder.  Before I go any further though, I must admit, our builder truly has been wonderful thus far.  But I suppose when you’re asking him to build a million dollar home you deserve some hand-holding and extra phone calls in return.  One such extra phone call took place yesterday afternoon, and I’m still concerned regarding the outcome.  My original purpose for the call was to discuss how to cut $100K from the total project cost.  That only sort of happened.  The builder basically said we shouldn’t cut items that can’t be changed later.  For example, we planned a ton of beautiful windows, but those certainly can’t be easily added later.  Well, not without paying more later than we’d pay now.  He also didn’t recommend downsizing the floor plans, as that would be difficult, if not impossible, to change later as well.  He said we could start cutting budgets for inside fixtures, flooring, etc., but then we run the risk of resale opportunities.  To be blunt, he said, ‘people expect granite in a million dollar home.’

So what were his recommendations to cut costs?  He suggested we wait to finish the basement until the following spring, so roughly March/April of 2016.  He also suggested we wait to do any landscaping, and even wait on the deck, patio, etc.  We are thinking the house will be finished next fall, and thus we wouldn’t necessarily need the outdoor features complete at that time anyway.

So this all sounds wonderful, right?  Until you remember that this doesn’t actually cut costs, but rather delays them.  When the house is finished, whenever that may be, the value will still be above what we had originally planned to spend.  And of course I’m okay with this 😉  It’s more Eric who is uncomfortable with the budget.  Rightfully so though, as it’s his income paying for it.

Next step is to email our realtor today and make the bank is working on the appraisal of the floor plans…  Closing on the lot and breaking ground should be soon!

(I’ll be uploading the final floor plans to the Dream Home page shortly, in case you’re curious!)

4 thoughts on “Spec Update

  1. Props to you. We were going to build but decided to buy turn key as we plan on leaving the area in 10 years once he leaves police department. Then he’s going to transfer to a federal job through forestry which means I’ll be in some God knows where place near a national park. Please let it be warm.

    1. No props to me yet, as this project is just beginning! And like all things in my life, I’ll be sure to complain along the way. I’ll pray for warmth for you near your national park!

  2. Stefanie, when your mother and I bought our home in CR, the cost was three and a half times my yearly salary at the time. The home your are planning is less than 2 years of Eric’s salary. When you consider this, your are not really overspending, despite the customary grumbling from the husband. In five years, Eric will wish he had spent more as he will discover amenities he doesn’t have that he wishes he did.

    1. Well, true, but… it’s still just a house. No one really needs such a house, and Eric hates being in debt.

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