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Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:13 AM

Was waiting until after the election to do some renovations

and now, going to do them.

Just got the bid back on my house.

It is a 1970's brick ranch and very dated.

I actually thought the estimate was going to be much more...but this is what we are doing.

The entire house is going to be covered in rock. White rock all around and river rock up the chimney.
Front doors are going to be replaced and an entryway taken out and opened up with pillars of river rock.
A new metal roof.
Sidewalk is going to have to be removed and there is a small dysfunctional room that is going to be removed from the front of the house.
A sliding glass door will be removed from the bathroom and a large frosted window installed.
Two smaller windows are going to be combined into one large window x2.
Solar screens installed and skylights updated.
Floors inside are going to be acid stained and stamped concrete.
Kitchen remodel with stone countertops.
Brick fireplace to be stoned in river rock.

The bid is $35k and my house is paid for.

So, basically we will be getting a brand new house for $35k.

The contractor said if I was willing to spend a full $50k that my house value will jump to $250k...but I am going to stick in my budget right now.

I was so excited because I honestly felt that the bid would be a lot higher than this!

They said it would take a month and a lot of is the demolition that will have to be done.

I hate starting the project going into the holidays but I guess if we have to do it that way, we will.

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Reply Was waiting until after the election to do some renovations (Original post)
Horse with no Name Nov 2012 OP
Sedona Nov 2012 #1
Horse with no Name Nov 2012 #2
Laurian Nov 2012 #3
Warpy Nov 2012 #4
Horse with no Name Nov 2012 #5
Warpy Nov 2012 #6
roody Nov 2012 #7
sinkingfeeling Nov 2012 #8

Response to Horse with no Name (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:24 AM

1. Get a highly reputable unbiased Realtor

who's been in the area a long time to get an accurate reading of what the value of your improvements will be. The contractor has a dog in the fight. Web sites like Zillow and Trulia can not be trusted. They are simply algorithmic and do not consider things such as condition or views. Just FYI.

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Response to Sedona (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:45 AM

2. I agree with his assessment

This is a very unique house with a lot of unique features and there isn't another house around like it. When I spoke to the bank president about the home improvement loan, he knew the house personally and was more than willing to loan the money. My advantage is that the house is 100% paid for.

It's value is already double what the rest of the neighborhood is, as it sits and the insured value is triple what the investment will be...as it sits without improvements.

I have no plans to relocate right now and seriously probably never. But if the time comes that I do, I will have some serious equity for whatever I need it for. I am looking forward to having a rock house--it is something I have always wanted...but without doing anything, I still can get my money back easily.

I appreciate your advice though, and understand where you are coming from since my Mom is from Arizona and has gone through this tough housing market as well out there. Thankfully we never had a real estate bubble out here.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 12:17 PM

3. I think that's a fantastic deal!

I would have expected that much work to cost much more. A kitchen renovation alone can often hit that mark. Have fun and enjoy your renovated home!

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Response to Horse with no Name (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 04:03 PM

4. Sounds low maintenance and very nice

This dump needs massive updating but the thought of spending 6-8 months with noise, dust and workmen clomping through has been daunting. Moving most of my stuff into one room and myself and the cat into temporary digs might be the answer.

I, too, was waiting to see whether the country had gone stupid again.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 06:50 PM

5. I am really impressed with this guys work

He is really excited to get to do this house. I have a feeling it will be on their brochures and that could be why the price is so good. The funny thing is, the things that everyone loves about this house are the things that make it unlivable.
We were really reluctant to change some of the architectural details--which are very beautiful but not very functional-- of the house because when the neighbors got wind we were thinking about making those changes, they let their displeasure be known,lol.
A couple of weeks ago, we removed all of the bushes and shrubs around the house--took 3 men and 2 tractors and 3 dump truck loads and 10 hours. There were some nice bushes and stuff but the problem was, the drought got some of them and it was more of a mess to fix than it was just to start over and honestly, will make it a lot easier for the stone masons to have them gone. It was pretty intimidating though to watch the neighbors sit on their porches and watch the plant demolition,lol. But, it ended up looking so much better and even the Mailman stopped me and told me how nice it looked. Of course we are in the planning stages of the landscaping, which will be completely different than what we had and much more low maintenance.
All of the other bids on my roof have been over $12k for a composite roof. I didn't want to spend that much and really was considering a metal roof--and when he priced it at less than $4k, I was all over that.
With the stone, we are opting to go with just an industrial grade aluminum roof--not using a color is saving us $2k which puts enough money back in the budget to change out the skylights.
It will also save us money on our insurance.
I feel really lucky to be able to do this. I didn't want the debt but I feel that now is a really good time to do it since I have been pretty sick and may end up not being able to work in the next few years. Kind of like, now or never.




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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:42 PM

6. I had my place restuccoed soon after I moved in

and as luck would have it, I was making a deal with a little guy who showed up with a chainsaw an hour before the stucco crew did to take out the overgrown shrubs around the house. I know how much getting rid of overgrown plants can do for a house and mine were 40 year old arborvitaes, just huge.

They might not approve of all the rock if it's an all brick, cookie cutter neighborhood. That will be their problem.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:51 PM

7. I'm starting a big project too.

In N. Cal., I'm adding a bathroom and the greywater from bath, sink, and laundry will go to dwarf fruit trees and berries. Stage two, next year will include water catchment and new metal roof. All with permit.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:15 AM

8. It is always advisable to allow an extra 10-15% for over-runs on the estimate.

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