Author Topic: Buy a prefab home for only 50-100% more than it would cost to build normally!  (Read 5966 times)

obstinate

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The price per square foot on these things is nuts. And that's without the land.

Nederstash

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Isn't there a person called Bluehouse on this forum? I'm immediately suspicious.

Miss Piggy

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Those houses are so very, very...square.

SilveradoBojangles

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This is exactly what my mother in law wants to do, and it drives me nuts! She loves these super modern, eco-friendly, toxin free modular homes. She wants to sell their gorgeous old craftsman house, which is in an awesome and highly desirable area and currently makes them 1500 a month in rent, so that she can spend 400K on a tiny one of these. She's already bought the lot (not included in the 400k she was quoted)! I think she's enamored with the idea of designing it, but once it's built she'll go right back to feeling unfulfilled and bored, and I think it won't have much re-sale value. We've tried to talk her out of it but at the end of the day it's their money.

So basically, what I'm saying is, I might inherit one of these boxy monstrosities one day.

obstinate

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If I'm honest, I like how these houses look and are designed. So I'd pay an architect to rip them off and hire a gc to build it with moderate quality finishes and save a bundle. It doesn't cost 1.3mil to build a 3500 sqft house even here in the silly valley (build costs here are 400-500 dollars per sqft depending on finish).

Actually lel I wouldn't do any of that. New houses are for suckers.

Taran Wanderer

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If I'm honest, I like how these houses look and are designed. So I'd pay an architect to rip them off and hire a gc to build it with moderate quality finishes and save a bundle. It doesn't cost 1.3mil to build a 3500 sqft house even here in the silly valley (build costs here are 400-500 dollars per sqft depending on finish).

Actually lel I wouldn't do any of that. New houses are for suckers.

Do you have your math right?  3500 sf x 400 to 500 per sf = $1.4M to $1.75M.


dcheesi

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Is it weird that I honestly like the houses more and more, the further down the price/size list I go?

Well, ok, the very first one is cool, even though it clearly would only work for SoCal and similarly rain-free climates. But after that, the next few are just uuugly, and I'm not even particularly averse to modern architecture. It's not until at least midway through the list that I start to see some actual aesthetic appeal again.

obstinate

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Do you have your math right?  3500 sf x 400 to 500 per sf = $1.4M to $1.75M.
Apparently I don't! Arithmetic is hard. Thanks for the correction.

Feel free to buy one of these if you live in the valley.

(But I think what I actually have wrong is build costs. I'm p sure that my friend paid less than this per sqft to take his house to studs and then back, which is even more expensive than building fresh. Maybe I'm remembering the build costs my insurance salesman mentioned after a demand shock like a catastrophic earthquake?)
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 10:26:33 PM by obstinate »

Taran Wanderer

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Do you have your math right?  3500 sf x 400 to 500 per sf = $1.4M to $1.75M.
Apparently I don't! Arithmetic is hard. Thanks for the correction.

Feel free to buy one of these if you live in the valley.

(But I think what I actually have wrong is build costs. I'm p sure that my friend paid less than this per sqft to take his house to studs and then back, which is even more expensive than building fresh. Maybe I'm remembering the build costs my insurance salesman mentioned after a demand shock like a catastrophic earthquake?)

I have to think you're right regarding overall costs.  $400 to $500/sf is high even for the Bay Area.  In any case, the prices on these are exorbitant.  I think the post's title should probably say "...for only 100-150% more than it would cost to build normally!"

calimom

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Is it weird that I honestly like the houses more and more, the further down the price/size list I go?

Well, ok, the very first one is cool, even though it clearly would only work for SoCal and similarly rain-free climates. But after that, the next few are just uuugly, and I'm not even particularly averse to modern architecture. It's not until at least midway through the list that I start to see some actual aesthetic appeal again.

I like them too and thought about getting one on a raw piece of land…..till I saw the pricing and thought of everything else you'd need besides the land, like septic, a well, electric hookup, driveway….etc.

TexasRunner

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I also wouldn't buy from that company (even if I was in the area).  Getting the plans and then hiring a GC would be awesome/hilarious, plus you could have a slab/permanent house with a higher resale.

zephyr911

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BAHAHA... $65K garage. I can buy a condo here for that much.

BlueHouse

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Isn't there a person called Bluehouse on this forum? I'm immediately suspicious.
While I assure you that I am not above selling overpriced items to unsuspecting masses, if I had come up with this, I would not be on my computer at 530am. I would be in Bali drifting in my water hammock to the sounds of water lapping the beach.

With This Herring

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This is a California company, right?  Does California not have bugs?  I can't picture opening up entire walls of my house, unscreened, to let all the miscellaneous creepy-crawlies inside.

Spork

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Great googly moogly!

I don't get it.  What's the hook?  Why so damned expensive?  I thought the one good thing about prefab was that it was cheap.  Am I flummoxed just because I am so unappreciative of California prices?

This is about 4x what a contractor built home costs around here.

Making Cookies

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Maybe these houses are meant for people with $100 lunch boxes and $650 per month car payments... and only slightly above average incomes.

SilveradoBojangles

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This is a California company, right?  Does California not have bugs?  I can't picture opening up entire walls of my house, unscreened, to let all the miscellaneous creepy-crawlies inside.

California (at least the coastal parts) doesn't have bugs. If I leave my door open the only creepy-crawly that comes in is the neighbor's cat.

With This Herring

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This is a California company, right?  Does California not have bugs?  I can't picture opening up entire walls of my house, unscreened, to let all the miscellaneous creepy-crawlies inside.

California (at least the coastal parts) doesn't have bugs. If I leave my door open the only creepy-crawly that comes in is the neighbor's cat.

Wow...

zolotiyeruki

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BAHAHA... $65K garage. I can buy a condo here for that much.
Yeah, when I saw "garage" I thought that perhaps they meant "garage-sized home", i.e.  quite small, but efficiently designed.  Nope.  It's a garage.  A garage that costs $100/sq ft.  Actually, let me rephrase that.  A garage that starts at >$100/sq ft.

So I scrolled back up one, to the Cabana, their smallest actual home.  Starting at >$400/sqft, for what is effectively a fancy mobile home.  Seriously, it's 15' x 42'.  The size of a single-wide.

Man, I'm in the wrong line of work.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 01:59:22 PM by zolotiyeruki »

zephyr911

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California (at least the coastal parts) doesn't have bugs. If I leave my door open the only creepy-crawly that comes in is the neighbor's cat.
Wow...
Jebus, don't tell my wife. She would gladly pay 5x as much for housing if ants and roaches were no longer an issue.

With This Herring

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California (at least the coastal parts) doesn't have bugs. If I leave my door open the only creepy-crawly that comes in is the neighbor's cat.
Wow...
Jebus, don't tell my wife. She would gladly pay 5x as much for housing if ants and roaches were no longer an issue.

I'm fairly sure if you moved somewhere consistently cold enough, there would be a large reduction in creepy-crawlies.  Does anyone from the northernmost reaches of Canada and Greenland care to chime in?  You might even get cheaper housing!

Go around your house and caulk EVERYTHING.  I can't stand ants!  Spiders are okay (except for the jumping ones), but NO ANTS.  I'm really lucky we don't get roaches around here.

Also, I've found that the type of screens you have in the windows makes a huge difference.  This apartment has half-window screens, so you slide them up or down depending on which pane you open.  Unfortunately, this means that all sorts of little things come in through the gap between the screen and the window edge.  Blah.  So, if you have half-window screens, replace them with full-window screens.  It makes a huge difference.

Jack

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These prices are completely ridiculous. Here in Atlanta, I would expect a house even with fancy eco-construction and pretty high-end finishes to cost less than $200/ft2 to build (maybe $250/ft2 at the most, and that would include SIP construction and metal roofing and such). Hell, in most of the metro area (outside of the most desirable neighborhoods), houses sell for well under $200/ft2 including the lot!

(For comparison purposes, my average-quality not-new-construction house bought in 2009 cost me a whopping $77/ft2, including a lot in a 'hipster' intown neighborhood.)

mm1970

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https://www.bluhomes.com

The price per square foot on these things is nuts. And that's without the land.
Yep, price per square foot here in So Cal, for an existing house, is $600-$1000/ sf.  I'd say my house is about $700/sf.  (It's small, so there is a "floor" in how low you can go).  But most of that is the land.  The cost to build, last I checked, was around $250/ sf.

Making Cookies

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So a $1.3M house there costs $165K here. I'm feeling dizzy... ;)

financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Buy a prefab home for only 50-100% more than it would cost to build normally!
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2016, 07:38:24 AM »
So a $1.3M house there costs $165K here. I'm feeling dizzy... ;)
For houses, it is location, location, location. One of my guilty pleasures is looking at properties for sale in la creuse (one of the cheapest French regions because no local jobs, not a wine region and not very touristy): http://www.immo-creuse.com/immobilier/maison-ancienne-roches-chatelus-mavaleix-vente-fr_VM458.htm
For the price of an average house in Belgium you can get there something best discribed by the words: domain. You are of course then living in France, in the middel of nowhere, but my god, are some of those places mouthwatering nice ...

nereo

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Re: Buy a prefab home for only 50-100% more than it would cost to build normally!
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2016, 08:09:36 AM »
California (at least the coastal parts) doesn't have bugs. If I leave my door open the only creepy-crawly that comes in is the neighbor's cat.
Wow...
Jebus, don't tell my wife. She would gladly pay 5x as much for housing if ants and roaches were no longer an issue.

I'm fairly sure if you moved somewhere consistently cold enough, there would be a large reduction in creepy-crawlies.  Does anyone from the northernmost reaches of Canada and Greenland care to chime in?  You might even get cheaper housing!


One of the things I miss about living in California was the near-complete lack of biting insects (few mosquitos, no black flies or deer flies...). We had spiders where we lived, but that was about it. Ants are prolific whenever you have sandy soil anywhere in the country... if you don't want ants don't have sand near the foundation to your home.

Regarding a reduction in creepy-crawlies here in Canada.... BWAHAHAHAHA!! You have to go really far north to get away from this problem. Like arctic circle, permafrost type latitudes.  I live in Quebec City and work in northern Quebec and Labrador, and the summer mosquitos and black flies are the worst I've seen in the more northern area.  Even areas that get snow in May can be thick with flies in July. Thankfully their seasons (yes, they have particular seasons) last just a couple of months. A big plus though is a complete lack of poisonous spiders, venomous snakes or creepy-crawlies that can seriously hurt you.  Then again we've got bears that will bend your bird feeder like a twig and occasionally rampage through your garbage/car/garage.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Buy a prefab home for only 50-100% more than it would cost to build normally!
« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2016, 09:35:43 AM »
That cabana costs nearly as much as my 3000 square foot home on 1/3 acre...

Spork

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Re: Buy a prefab home for only 50-100% more than it would cost to build normally!
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2016, 09:45:54 AM »
That cabana costs nearly as much as my 3000 square foot home on 1/3 acre...

...and it didn't include the price of the 1/3 acre.

It costs more than my custom built 2400 sqft house on 8 acres.  And it's a damn pool house that looks like a single wide.

FireLane

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Re: Buy a prefab home for only 50-100% more than it would cost to build normally!
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2016, 09:12:03 PM »
Holy cow. For what one of these costs, you could buy a bigger and probably nicer house in New York or some other HCOL city. Land included!

Whoever runs this company is either a terrible businessman who's going to be out of business in short order, or a very, very good businessman.

nereo

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Re: Buy a prefab home for only 50-100% more than it would cost to build normally!
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2016, 06:15:51 AM »
Holy cow. For what one of these costs, you could buy a bigger and probably nicer house in New York or some other HCOL city. Land included!

Whoever runs this company is either a terrible businessman who's going to be out of business in short order, or a very, very good businessman.
In nyc?  Um.... no.  Upstate New York definitely, but you've got no hope of finding something of larger size, similar quality and new construction for these prices in either the SF Bay area (where these are built and shipped) or in nyc.  Home prices are that high in these areas.

FireLane

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Re: Buy a prefab home for only 50-100% more than it would cost to build normally!
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2016, 09:13:58 AM »
In nyc?  Um.... no.  Upstate New York definitely, but you've got no hope of finding something of larger size, similar quality and new construction for these prices in either the SF Bay area (where these are built and shipped) or in nyc.  Home prices are that high in these areas.

Their "Origin" house is very similar to the place I live now and costs almost twice as much.

Goldielocks

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Re: Buy a prefab home for only 50-100% more than it would cost to build normally!
« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2016, 02:29:36 PM »
Canada - re house pests.

After living in California, I can appreciate a lack of the following pests in the Canadian home:

Very Rare/ do not cause problems:
1) Termites (and there is so much wood construction here, outside and in)
2) Ants (We have ants, but they typically stay outside, not like those sugar ants...  I did have carpenter ants, Once for a total of 6 weeks, and after treatment they were gone for good)
3) Roaches (only if imported from your vacation!  I had never seen a roach until I moved to California at 30+ years old)
4) Bed Bugs (starting to arrive now, but still rare enough).
5) Very large (10" plus) centipedes running across your floor.
6) Scorpions (Thank you Arizona)



Problematic:

Silverfish (in older rentals)
Spiders (lower /dark spaces in homes on the coast, prolific, non-biting)
Wasps -- will build nest in cracks, under decks and high places, but very few ground nesting wasps here.

Typical concerns are rodents / mammals

Rats (west coast), mice (fall season), raccoons (west coast), bears (near forest), squirrels, etc making a mess / nest or digging up your garden.  Pigeons that nest on your balcony / roof.

Neighborhood cats that uses our yard and garage for a litterbox.  :-<

All told, pretty nice, and rare to call the exterminator for indoor insects.
Flying mosquitoes / flies, and outdoor biting things.  Yes, yes., yes.