Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hangin' in There

Again, I am posting that we are waiting for bids. Lately, I have been busy with odds and ends. It has been a Loooong time since my last post. Mainly this is because of the lack of progress. I would love to post good news, and when there isn't is hard to keep moving forward. Zach and I have been swamped with stuff (life, I guess) and we have had many discussions about scrapping the house building idea and just buying a house nearby (Eugene). We have had the plans finished for a while, trying to get bids, detailed bids. We did not have much luck with some builders. Not returning calls, Crazy! Anyways, the plan is to continue chugging along with the house building project, so here we go. Anyways, the newest update is that we may have to abandon our basement/garage. The way it is, appears to be too daunting for a builder (hence the lack of bids?) the last builder we talked to said it could be done, but would cost about 30 - 40 % of the entire project.

We hope to have an accurate bid, very detalied by next week or so with this last builder. This will be a bid without the basement /garage and in its place a standard crawlspace foundation. We are thinking about moving the garage to a different location. If we do this (plans are in the works) then we have to move farther away (7-10 feet) from the bank that our home site is on. We would have to move far enough back to have to move the existing septic tank (and most likely the drainfield). I am working on getting bids for that.
I'll keep you posted...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Slow Goings

Our first bid for the house, which we received almost 3-4 weeks ago was about $185 / square foot. That was really discouraging. (We probably couldn't even do half the house at that cost). We met with one other builder that I really liked. He gave us a pretty good estimate and wanted some more details on the plans. He had a lot of good information for us. We let him do most of the talking, and he sounded like a good fit for us. He would be able to fit in our project this spring/summer and could estimate an approximate timeline of 7-9 months for a completed house. We would like to get another bid or two, but I'm leaning towards him. His best guess - again, needed more details on the plans would be $110 - 140 / square foot. He thought it could be done for around the $110/square foot, but that the basement/garage was going to be a bit of an unknown. Zach had been working on getting everything together with the plans but has been swamped at work. It is a little hectic with everything going on, but we are still trying to keep going strong.
I need to meet with our loan officer again and see what is available for a 9-12 month construction loan. Previously she said 6 months is the norm, it costs more if you go over that; however if you don't set it up right than you can be penalized for the time spent over the 6 month period...
Our property is in the floodplain (FEMA maps call us in the floodplain and unless you survey the land / area and say you aren't in the floodplain then you have to pay flood insurance for your home- this can be $150-1,000 per month around here). So, we hired a surveyor (specializing in floodplain property) to come out and specify a chunk of the property out of the floodplain. We couldn't use the original survey completed a few months ago because some of the land we definately know is in the floodplain; however, our building site should be out of the floodplain. This then has to go through FEMA and then you can be "out of the floodplain" and not pay floodplain insurance. We also needed to know at what elevation our basement could be - since we need and want it at least a foot above the base flood elevation. The survey crew were out last week, our estimate for the entire thing was $1000.00. Well worth the effort to not pay insurance. Hopefully the results will come soon, and another item scratched off the list.

Monday, January 7, 2008

We have called some builders back

We handed off plans to 5 builders at least a few weeks ago. We have yet to meet with one. We have been playing phone tag, and actually talked to 2 that might have a bid for us soon. I have heard that 2-3 weeks should be plenty of time, but we were right in the middle of a couple of hopefully soon. One builder denied the project because we said we would like to do some of the work ourselves (minor finish work). Apparently that is something you should ask right away....(tip for the future). His insurance wouldn't cover anyone that did any work that wasn't licensed.
This last week, we met with a plans examiner. He was very helpful and gave us some insight into why we might not be getting bids right away. He had great things to say about the plans. He thought Zach did a great job with all of the layouts, calculating the loads to carry all of the weight of the structure properly, etc. He even mentioned that he thought we could do this on the side one day since Zach is familiar with the code and shows that he is willing to learn the code. The thing that we need to work on is formatting the plans and displaying some of the information a little differently. We will revise a couple of things and add more detail to the plans hopefully this week.
One builder actually called today and mentioned that he will be emailing a bid - although he would like a little more detail in the plans and mentioned that the bid will as good as he could get based on what he had.

Oh! I also have 1 serious inquiry about the trailer for sale! and 2 others "interested". Crossing my fingers, and will post more later.