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Building vs buying

Lar3140
May 30, 2018 11:55PM

Registered: 6 months ago
Posts: 16

Trying to get a feel for buying land and building a house rather than buying. Just looking for a small house for the two of us, also what kind of time frame is it usually from start to finish.just looking into the two different options thank you

Re: Building vs buying

ironheadUSVI
May 31, 2018 06:44AM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 209

$250 per square foot and twice as long as you are told it will take.

Which island, where on the island, how many square feet.......you have to be more specific.

Re: Building vs buying

Lar3140
May 31, 2018 08:13AM

Registered: 6 months ago
Posts: 16

Stx east end land with view 12-1400 square feet 3-2 with an apt

Re: Building vs buying

AandA2VI
May 31, 2018 08:57AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 2,202

On STX I’d figure three times the time quoted for completion. Two would be STT and STJ. After hearing the stories from a couple friends that built, I would suggest just buying.

Re: Building vs buying

terry
May 31, 2018 09:04AM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 2,541

Have a beautiful 1/2 acre overlooking Salt River with 1 150 degree view of the islands and ocean for sale. Has power to corner and paved road.

Re: Building vs buying

Afriend
May 31, 2018 10:35AM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 445

Our architect estimated 6 months for construction - actual build took 17 months and final cost was more than 2.5X's pre-construction estimates so AandA2VI's estimates are spot on. Don't build unless you have extreme patience and very deep pockets.

There are really four costs to consider: 1) Cost for any preparatory site work - especially important if you are building in low lads that have high water table or on mountainside with steep gradients, 2) Cost to build the basic structure, 3) Cost for finish materials - if you want 'designer tiles, fixtures, etc that can run up your budget quickly, and 4) Cost for landscaping - often people overlook this facet of construction.

Re: Building vs buying

Alana33
May 31, 2018 11:26AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,847

Right now, with so many of the homes still covered with FEMA tarps and awaiting repairs, the demand for construction supplies and contractors is limited.
Something to consider.

Re: Building vs buying

caribstx
May 31, 2018 11:30AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 434

Quote
Alana33
Right now, with so many of the homes still covered with FEMA tarps and awaiting repairs, the demand for construction supplies and contractors is limited.
Something to consider.

You probably meant "availability of supplies and contractors is limited".

Re: Building vs buying

singlefin
May 31, 2018 12:44PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 662

As important as everything else already mentioned, will you be living on-island during construction?
Are you capable when it comes to understanding things like basic plumbing, electrical, masonry, carpentry,
ect...?
If yes, you can keep things moving along and stay within budget.

If you’ll be relying on others for the entire process, expect to wait longer and pay more than originally anticipated.

Re: Building vs buying

lescooper
May 31, 2018 04:13PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 116

You can find real bargains on ocean views lots on St Croix. I looked into building and found out that I could find very nice existing homes for sale at half the price, per square foot, compared to building a new home.

Re: Building vs buying

Alana33
May 31, 2018 04:21PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,847

Quote
caribstx
Quote
Alana33
Right now, with so many of the homes still covered with FEMA tarps and awaiting repairs, the demand for construction supplies and contractors is limited.
Something to consider.

You probably meant "availability of supplies and contractors is limited".

Yes! Thanks for the correction!

Re: Building vs buying

Jumbie
May 31, 2018 07:04PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 675

Having built a home on STX in 2002-2004, I would NEVER BUILD again. It was a horrendous experience even after doing extensive research. Save yourself the aggravation & buy an existing home.

Jumbie



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/2018 07:06PM by Jumbie.

Re: Building vs buying

Lar3140
May 31, 2018 08:35PM

Registered: 6 months ago
Posts: 16

Well it sounds better to buy an existing house if building is that hard and long, maybe even a fixer upper if its livable and doing some of the work myself, i own a window install co,back in canada so i am knowledgeable
Of a lot of things to finishit

Re: Building vs buying

AandA2VI
June 01, 2018 01:53AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 2,202

You’d be in money here with that business lol. Especially high end hurricane glass... add hurricane shutters to your inventory and you’re rolling in dough. With my insurance losses in STJ (and let’s just say STJ peeps have money to throw around) they always say the same, waiting for windows and doors. I guess it would be hard to stock all sizes but you could charge a premium and people would pay.

FWIW recently saw a few REALLY good hurricane deals on STT. Missing roofs of course but wow like half off. Soooo tempted...

Re: Building vs buying

Cat
June 04, 2018 06:44AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 60

Perfect house for a couple, two bedroom two bath with loft, beautifully maintained, whole-house generator, pool, minutes from beautiful East End beaches, stunning view of Great Pond and South Shore. Minutes to C'sted and easy access to South Shore Road to get anywhere else. 492 Union & Mt. Washington.

Re: Building vs buying

SkysTheLimit
June 04, 2018 01:36PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 1,865

Lar, I couldn't help myself, is "finishit" a type of finishing technique? ;-)

My wife and I have fixed up 2 houses on STX. I did 80% of the work myself. Otherwise labor charges would have been somewhat prohibitive. One we bought in 2004 and still live in it with a nice bit of equity and an income producing apartment. The other in 2016 and it's now a rental.
The first one as a blank slate. Just not completed.
The second one was a roof tear off and complete gut job. I strongly believe in fixer uppers! So much money to be saved!!
Site prep.
Permitting.
Driveway
Septic.
Footings.
Plumping and electrical.
Cistern
Walls?
Roof? Bonus
Pool? Maybe a bonus.......Or not.
Windows?
Doors?
Fixtures?
I have my eye on another one...

Re: Building vs buying

Jerry Barth
June 11, 2018 02:06PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 15

All the above is correct, however one advantage to building (especially if you do most of it yourself) is that you know exactly how it was done. Having seen some of the electrical/plumbing work done by licensed contractors while looking into friend's electrical/plumbing problems I don't trust anybody down there to do a safe/good job unless I was actually standing there watching them. I'm not talking about just nuisance issues but real safety problems that would make me hesitant to sleep soundly in these houses. A way to get around all this is to keep it small (we're building 650 sq ft) and to plan on a multiyear schedule. That being said, I don't think we would be building if we weren't sure we could do it ourselves and hadn't done 3 projects like this before. With existing buildings there is no way to tell what you're getting into. An example is my neighbors roof that landed in our yard during Irma. Sure, a ton of nails and fastenings, at least they did that right. But the sill plates that attach the roof to the concrete walls were regular lumber, not pressure treated. 20 years later I could push my finger through them. Our costs will probably end up being around $400-500 sq ft, that's with the concrete work farmed out and us doing the rest. Also the prefab building we picked is rather expensive, but so far I am extremely pleased with the quality of the materials and construction. Anyway, if you're interested check out our blog at www.windsheimusvi.com I'm still running a couple of months behind but slowly catching up. At this point we're dried in and putting stucco on the outside walls.

Re: Building vs buying

Scubadoo
June 11, 2018 09:02PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,996

You know what they say, if you want if done right, do it yourself. Seems just about every project I try to get estimates on, I just end up doing it myself. Better and certainly a lot cheaper.

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