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Old 11-13-2020, 09:48 PM   #1
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Default Builders, cost per square foot?

We are looking for a home in the lakes region and just found a lot that's interesting...whats the average cost per square foot to build in the area right now? Any input/advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:06 PM   #2
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We are looking for a home in the lakes region and just found a lot that's interesting...whats the average cost per square foot to build in the area right now? Any input/advice is greatly appreciated!
Minimum of 200.00 for basic up to 400.00 for high end.


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Old 11-13-2020, 11:48 PM   #3
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Unless you are in no hurry, I would go with a resale rather than new construction. The decent contractors are committed a year or two out, weíre told.
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Old 11-14-2020, 06:45 AM   #4
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We're building in Dover at 307 sq currently imagine it will go up once we finalize finishes.
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Old 11-14-2020, 06:54 AM   #5
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Minimum of 200.00 for basic up to 400.00 for high end.


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I know prices have increased, $200.00/sq ft puts a 2000ft house at 400K for construction costs only, it seems to me that's way over what a basic house would appraise for.
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Old 11-14-2020, 07:08 AM   #6
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I know prices have increased, $200.00/sq ft puts a 2000ft house at 400K for construction costs only, it seems to me that's way over what a basic house would appraise for.
Prices of building materials especially wood and siding have doubled since Covid. Appraisal always depends on location.


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Old 11-14-2020, 07:39 AM   #7
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Default Prefab homes

Because of the demand for stick-built and only a handful of quality builders, owners have looked to prefab homes. Just bring your plans to one of the local offices and they will work with you. They can provide project management. They can build to walls and roofs and you finish the exterior and or interior or they can do a turn-key job. They also provide a warranty beyond the 1 yr requires by state law.
Because of the control environment work area, the cost per sq foot is minimal. Often times stick builders leave the materials outside and often get stolen.
Here is a link to a local prefab builder. He works with local suppliers and uses local wood when available. Many of his homes are in the Lakes Region.
https://bensonwood.com/
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Old 11-14-2020, 07:48 AM   #8
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Prices of building materials especially wood and siding have doubled since Covid. Appraisal always depends on location.


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I hear you - if I subtract my land value from what my house at home is worth I come up with about $120.00 / sq ft vs a realistic valuation based on recent sales. (I've had some friends move recently for price comparison) I'm not doubting you I just don't see how the math can work with a rolled up all in cost vs. what a bank would finance. I'm sure I'm missing something.
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Old 11-14-2020, 08:11 AM   #9
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Because of the demand for stick-built and only a handful of quality builders, owners have looked to prefab homes. Just bring your plans to one of the local offices and they will work with you. They can provide project management. They can build to walls and roofs and you finish the exterior and or interior or they can do a turn-key job. They also provide a warranty beyond the 1 yr requires by state law.
Because of the control environment work area, the cost per sq foot is minimal. Often times stick builders leave the materials outside and often get stolen.
Here is a link to a local prefab builder. He works with local suppliers and uses local wood when available. Many of his homes are in the Lakes Region.
https://bensonwood.com/
Bensonwood does a nice job with their prefabs but they ain't cheap. You could easy pay over $350 sq ft for one of their unity prefab homes. Add the site in and I don't see how it makes financial sense
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Old 11-14-2020, 08:18 AM   #10
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I hear you - if I subtract my land value from what my house at home is worth I come up with about $120.00 / sq ft vs a realistic valuation based on recent sales. (I've had some friends move recently for price comparison) I'm not doubting you I just don't see how the math can work with a rolled up all in cost vs. what a bank would finance. I'm sure I'm missing something.
The build cost is separate from the land cost but remember it all depends on location for the assessed value which is what your ability to finance would be based on. I can tell you from experience 120.00 for a build cost in this market will not cut it at all. Remember this includes everything from excavation and land clearing to foundation to window and siding to flooring to appliances to plumbing fixtures HVAC and on and on.

I have built a few homes and I have been in the construction industry for years this is based on experience and the current market


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Old 11-14-2020, 08:31 AM   #11
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Bensonwood does a nice job with their prefabs but they ain't cheap. You could easy pay over $350 sq ft for one of their unity prefab homes. Add the site in and I don't see how it makes financial sense
As has been mentioned in other posts, nothing is making much sense in this Covid real estate market. If you are coming from out of state and have money to burn, these prices will not dissuade you. It’s the people that are on a tight budget that are going to be squeezed out.
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Old 11-14-2020, 08:52 AM   #12
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The build cost is separate from the land cost but remember it all depends on location for the assessed value which is what your ability to finance would be based on. I can tell you from experience 120.00 for a build cost in this market will not cut it at all. Remember this includes everything from excavation and land clearing to foundation to window and siding to flooring to appliances to plumbing fixtures HVAC and on and on.

I have built a few homes and I have been in the construction industry for years this is based on experience and the current market


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I don't doubt you, I'm only trying to figure out how the numbers work - this is not an argument by any means at all.

A close friend just sold a pretty high end home in Londonderry where I live. Selling price was 750K, the land is worth I'd say 150K so that gets me to a house only price of 600K. The house is 3000 sq/ft, if I divide the 600K by 3000 sq/ft I'm at $200.00 sq/ft on the upper end of the scale.

If I give the land a higher value it drives the house sq/ft price down, if I add the sq/ft of his finished basement that also drives the sq/ft price down

Again I don't disagree with you I just can't see how the numbers would work. If your building a house and using a bank it's all got to balance out. At least that's how my brain works.
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Old 11-14-2020, 08:57 AM   #13
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You really cannot compare a resale to a newly built house. The numbers do not have to make sense to you, but itís what people are willing to pay right now.
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:44 AM   #14
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You really cannot compare a resale to a newly built house. The numbers do not have to make sense to you, but itís what people are willing to pay right now.
I don't disagree with you on that

The same person I mentioned is moving to Florida into a new build down there, those details I'm not totally up to speed on but will ask him.

I do know he's paying about 765K for 2600 sq/ft with the pool and Leni right on a golf course around Sarasota. (it is not a 55 and older).

If I do a quick calc based on a guess of 100k for land I'm at 665K for 2500 sq/ft = $266.00 sq/ft.

I'll call it good with this post unless I figure out where I'm going wrong - I'm a numbers guy and just not getting it. I never claimed to be the smart guy in the room.... Thanks for the good discussion
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:23 AM   #15
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I don't doubt you, I'm only trying to figure out how the numbers work - this is not an argument by any means at all.

A close friend just sold a pretty high end home in Londonderry where I live. Selling price was 750K, the land is worth I'd say 150K so that gets me to a house only price of 600K. The house is 3000 sq/ft, if I divide the 600K by 3000 sq/ft I'm at $200.00 sq/ft on the upper end of the scale.

If I give the land a higher value it drives the house sq/ft price down, if I add the sq/ft of his finished basement that also drives the sq/ft price down

Again I don't disagree with you I just can't see how the numbers would work. If your building a house and using a bank it's all got to balance out. At least that's how my brain works.
Unfortunately, the math doesn't work that way. If you find an exact duplicate of that 150K lot and build an exact replica of that 3,000 SF house, it's generally going to cost you more to build than it would to outright purchase the home you're copying. That's part due to depreciation and the fact that, over time, cost of materials and labor increase.

As another point of reference, your homeowners premium may be based on a home rebuild value that significantly exceeds what you could sell the home for.

I say purchasing a resale is the way to go. You are more likely to get what you want, where and at a more reasonable cost. And throw some of the money saved into some renovations to make the home even more perfect.
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:29 AM   #16
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I don't disagree with you on that

The same person I mentioned is moving to Florida into a new build down there, those details I'm not totally up to speed on but will ask him.

I do know he's paying about 765K for 2600 sq/ft with the pool and Leni right on a golf course around Sarasota. (it is not a 55 and older).

If I do a quick calc based on a guess of 100k for land I'm at 665K for 2500 sq/ft = $266.00 sq/ft.

I'll call it good with this post unless I figure out where I'm going wrong - I'm a numbers guy and just not getting it. I never claimed to be the smart guy in the room.... Thanks for the good discussion
I’m a CPA and in the construction industry and I get it. As Sue said you cannot compare new and existing.

If your planning on building for 120.00 your going to end up with below contractor grade materials.

A key factor is you are not considering the current demand for builders which drives up prices along with the skyrocketing material costs. In my Development they cannot find enough builders for the lots they want to develop with spec houses.


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Old 11-14-2020, 11:17 AM   #17
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I don't disagree with you on that

The same person I mentioned is moving to Florida into a new build down there, those details I'm not totally up to speed on but will ask him.

I do know he's paying about 765K for 2600 sq/ft with the pool and Leni right on a golf course around Sarasota. (it is not a 55 and older).

If I do a quick calc based on a guess of 100k for land I'm at 665K for 2500 sq/ft = $266.00 sq/ft.

I'll call it good with this post unless I figure out where I'm going wrong - I'm a numbers guy and just not getting it. I never claimed to be the smart guy in the room.... Thanks for the good discussion
I am in Florida and I have been here for six years now. I live in a development that is still being built so there are resales as well as new homes. The resales typically sell for less than the new homes, although right now during Covid, and because of lack of inventory, the prices have skyrocketed. We have gone from at least 20 homes on average for sale down to two right now. Homes stay on the market only a few days if the price is right and with multiple offers.
There is a base price to the new home but you can add as many options and upgrades as you want. This really determines the price per square footage. So in this regard, you cannot compare one 3000 square-foot house to another because each one is different depending on how much extra they spend on add-ons.
And just like everywhere else, there are some lots that are better than others and they carry a higher premium.
So I think you will drive yourself crazy if you try to apply the same ”Formula“ to each property.
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Old 11-14-2020, 02:58 PM   #18
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I think you would be hard pressed to get even a basic house built for $200 a sq ft today. They say Lumber increases from Covid add an extra 20k to a build and all building materials have gone up.
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I know prices have increased, $200.00/sq ft puts a 2000ft house at 400K for construction costs only, it seems to me that's way over what a basic house would appraise for.
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Old 11-14-2020, 03:46 PM   #19
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I think you would be hard pressed to get even a basic house built for $200 a sq ft today. They say Lumber increases from Covid add an extra 20k to a build and all building materials have gone up.

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I agree with you. 200 is extremely low.
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Old 11-14-2020, 03:52 PM   #20
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I think you would be hard pressed to get even a basic house built for $200 a sq ft today. They say Lumber increases from Covid add an extra 20k to a build and all building materials have gone up.

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I must agree... I think Joeyís higher numbers are closer to a sq ft cost. Having just completed a large construction project at my home, $200.00 per sq ft doesnít even come close.

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Old 11-15-2020, 12:55 PM   #21
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Minimum of 200.00 for basic up to 400.00 for high end.
Agree. Based on recent discussions with builders around the lake I would say $325 - $350 is about market.
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Old 11-15-2020, 01:59 PM   #22
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Agree. Based on recent discussions with builders around the lake I would say $325 - $350 is about market.
I agree with your numbers as well.

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Old 11-15-2020, 08:01 PM   #23
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I don't disagree with you on that
The same person I mentioned is moving to Florida into a new build down there, those details I'm not totally up to speed on but will ask him. I do know he's paying about 765K for 2600 sq/ft with the pool and Leni right on a golf course around Sarasota. (it is not a 55 and older).

If I do a quick calc based on a guess of 100k for land I'm at 665K for 2500 sq/ft = $266.00 sq/ft. I'll call it good with this post unless I figure out where I'm going wrong - I'm a numbers guy and just not getting it. I never claimed to be the smart guy in the room.... Thanks for the good discussion
Values of houses on Florida golf courses tend to follow variable criteria.
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Old 11-16-2020, 12:16 PM   #24
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Agree. Based on recent discussions with builders around the lake I would say $325 - $350 is about market.
Thanks Everyone! I agree that it doesn't seem to make sense unless you have money to burn. If you need a mortgage, there's no way that the house would appraise high enough at those rates to pass the appraisal contingency.

It's too bad, because we like the lot. But, it seems like waiting for an existing re-sale is the way to go.

I really appreciate the discussion!
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Old 11-16-2020, 01:04 PM   #25
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Thanks Everyone! I agree that it doesn't seem to make sense unless you have money to burn. If you need a mortgage, there's no way that the house would appraise high enough at those rates to pass the appraisal contingency.

It's too bad, because we like the lot. But, it seems like waiting for an existing re-sale is the way to go.

I really appreciate the discussion!
Again appraisal is about location. If the location warrants you can spend 300 per square but if it doesn’t you are correct you can overbuild for a neighborhood and not be able to get a mortgage.

Without us knowing the location you are considering it’s hard to give you an opinion based on your situation


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Old 11-16-2020, 03:54 PM   #26
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Again appraisal is about location. If the location warrants you can spend 300 per square but if it doesnít you are correct you can overbuild for a neighborhood and not be able to get a mortgage.

Without us knowing the location you are considering itís hard to give you an opinion based on your situation


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I did the math, at 300/sq ft we would be over built by more than 100k in a neighborhood that maxes at 600-ish...so it totally doesn't make sense
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Old 11-16-2020, 03:56 PM   #27
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I did the math, at 300/sq ft we would be over built by more than 100k in a neighborhood that maxes at 600-ish...so it totally doesn't make sense
That’s too bad.


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Old 11-16-2020, 04:17 PM   #28
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I did the math, at 300/sq ft we would be over built by more than 100k in a neighborhood that maxes at 600-ish...so it totally doesn't make sense
That's really where I was going with my "calculations"....sorry to hear that. Just make sure your not missing something that swings it your way
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Old 11-16-2020, 04:57 PM   #29
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I did the math, at 300/sq ft we would be over built by more than 100k in a neighborhood that maxes at 600-ish...so it totally doesn't make sense
If I remember correctly, your original post said that you wanted to spend $350,000. At $300 a square foot, you could only build a 1000 square-foot house, because you still have to buy the lot. And Iím not sure anybody lets you build anything that small anymore.
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Old 11-16-2020, 05:19 PM   #30
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I'm looking at a new construction listed in Londonderry, $699,900.00 for 3245 sq/ft, been on the market for 82 days which is kinda weird.

I know good lots in town if you can find one is 150K, that gets the house to $549,900 which equates to a sq/ft price of $169.50

Even if the land was free it rolls up to $215.68 sq/ft

Yes for some reason your way better off finding something already built
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Old 11-16-2020, 06:39 PM   #31
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Default On zillow.com...

You can look up current for sale and past sold properties, new construction spec and resale and it will tell you value/ sq. ft. Although that may include land.
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:33 PM   #32
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I'm looking at a new construction listed in Londonderry, $699,900.00 for 3245 sq/ft, been on the market for 82 days which is kinda weird.

I know good lots in town if you can find one is 150K, that gets the house to $549,900 which equates to a sq/ft price of $169.50

Even if the land was free it rolls up to $215.68 sq/ft

Yes for some reason your way better off finding something already built
Is that the new house right up next to Interstate 93...?
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:13 PM   #33
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Is that the new house right up next to Interstate 93...?
no it's in a desirable southern part of town about 5 miles from exit 4.

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Old 11-18-2020, 01:43 PM   #34
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If I remember correctly, your original post said that you wanted to spend $350,000. At $300 a square foot, you could only build a 1000 square-foot house, because you still have to buy the lot. And Iím not sure anybody lets you build anything that small anymore.
We would bump up our price range to build, just so we could have exactly what we want in a house, so the house would be about 2000 square feet(so a 725k house in a neighborhood that maxes at 600k). Im super conservative with finances, so we would like to buy in the 400k range, but after looking at our desired area, we are going to have to bump up to get what we want.

Again, it just doesn't make sense to build where we're looking. We are much better off buying existing construction than trying to build in this high flying market. I really appreciate the help, and now I understand why a lot in a desirable neighborhood might sit.
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Old 11-21-2020, 12:46 PM   #35
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Consider replacing two existing buildings- each 40ft. x 40ft.:
#1- Basically, a garage- standard height.
#2- Cottage- year-round use/two interior walls/12 ft. ceiling/nothing fancy (paneled walls/vinyl-plank flooring) w/6 x 40 screened-in porch (not over poured basement).

All the "guts" are in the basement- hot water hearer, furnace, well pump- so no rebuild cost, there, in my request.

I'm asking this in view of the fact that many numbers have been tossed around in this thread, but I'm not looking for lot clearing/grading or well digging- just today's prevailing per sq. ft/ cost (or total price estimate) to build (rebuild) each building.

Thanks for your thoughtful and knowledgeable responses.
The house across the street from me, a 30X40 A frame built in the 60's was purchased a few months ago for 550K. The women was going to tear it down and build a new house but builders were telling her that could take two years.
So she decided to gut and rebuild the place. She told me she got an estimate of 260K but as of a week ago she told me that price has gone up 70K and that doesn't include a new septic which it needs.
The place is going to be about 1600 sq ft not counting the walk out unfinished basement.
I think she's going to have 400K into the rebuild by the time it's finished and it's still an A frame.
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:35 PM   #36
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The house across the street from me, a 30X40 A frame built in the 60's was purchased a few months ago for 550K. The women was going to tear it down and build a new house but builders were telling her that could take two years.
So she decided to gut and rebuild the place. She told me she got an estimate of 260K but as of a week ago she told me that price has gone up 70K and that doesn't include a new septic which it needs.
The place is going to be about 1600 sq ft not counting the walk out unfinished basement.
I think she's going to have 400K into the rebuild by the time it's finished and it's still an A frame.
Thank you. Very helpful!
Are talking Mass. or Meredith?
Funny- I'm talking about 60's buildings!

I know you can't know, but I'd be interested to find out how much the current building is insured for.
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:51 PM   #37
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Thank you. Very helpful!
Are talking Mass. or Meredith?
Funny- I'm talking about 60's buildings!

I know you can't know, but I'd be interested to find out how much the current building is insured for.
Meredith, just let me say that she is sparing no expense. They are doing a fantastic job but it's still going to be a million dollar A frame when done.
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:52 PM   #38
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Recent sales in the lakes area are a good indicator of cost vs value. I know my home value on Zillow has increased 220k in the past 60 days


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Old 11-21-2020, 03:29 PM   #39
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New construction in the Lakes Region for sale on Zillow:

Bean Hill Road on 2 acres, 1924sqft, $339,000 ($176/sqft, including land cost)
Butternut Lane on 0.23 acres, 1738sqft, $369,000($212/sqft, including land cost)
Sterling Drive on 0.23 acres, 1859sqft, $389,000 ($209/sqft, including land cost)

Based on this, if you exclude land cost it seems like per sq ft can be as low as $150-200.
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:32 AM   #40
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I have deleted my posts concerning costs- I have been using some incorrect information so responses would be moot.
Thanks to you all.
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