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Looking to get some advice for building a house in Miami area

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Looking to get some advice for building a house in Miami area

Old 04-29-2020, 05:46 AM
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Default Looking to get some advice for building a house in Miami area

Looks like I will be staying in Miami for a little while since the job is going well and we are getting established. I am toying with the idea to have a house built on a vacant piece of land. Land is around Kendall and Redlands area and on about an acre. I have never gone this route before and am worried about horror stories with contractors etc. Either way, if anyone knows of a trust-worthy GC or some guidance in a direction to start learning about this please let me know. Would love to talk someone about possible numbers with what I have in mind to even see if it's affordable.
Old 04-29-2020, 06:29 AM
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I don't know specifically about that area but my advice would be to buy a house already built.
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Old 04-29-2020, 06:58 AM
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I’ve built 4 of my own houses in South Florida. I think I know the area you’re looking at. How much are you paying for the lot and how much can you spend on the house?
Old 04-29-2020, 07:23 AM
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Very important to factor in traffic for when things eventually resume. It may take you 90-120 minutes from the Redlands to downtown area each way. I know that wasn't your question, but the traffic will affect your quality of life, assuming you won't be working from home.

My dealings with GC's have not been positive, it's the wild west down here. I agree with the poster above to buy an established home
Old 04-29-2020, 01:56 PM
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I've looked at so many already built houses and they are not exactly what we are looking for and most are on top of each other. Not to mention they are all overly priced for what you actually get.
For those that are against it, can you tell me why? As far as traffic goes, I work at the zoo which is about 15 min away from most of the empty plots of land (that's timing before this pandemic). And I usually go to work before the rush hour (around 6 or 630am).

There's a couple pieces of land all around an acre that are in the kendall/ north Redlands area and all are priced around $150. Doing my cost comparisons most plots in the area sold between $100k and $125k so hoping to get it for around $100k if I do decide to build. As far as budget for the house, I think around $250k to have my total at $350k for everything. That is my goal at least. We aren't fancy people. Expectations are open floorplan, tile/laminate flooring, concrete block, granite countertops, impact doors and windows. Would like 4/2 around 2k sq ft.

Gameon: Can you give me some examples of price range and pros/cons for this? Are you in the area?
Old 04-29-2020, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikestyger1 View Post
I've looked at so many already built houses and they are not exactly what we are looking for and most are on top of each other. Not to mention they are all overly priced for what you actually get.
For those that are against it, can you tell me why? As far as traffic goes, I work at the zoo which is about 15 min away from most of the empty plots of land (that's timing before this pandemic). And I usually go to work before the rush hour (around 6 or 630am).

There's a couple pieces of land all around an acre that are in the kendall/ north Redlands area and all are priced around $150. Doing my cost comparisons most plots in the area sold between $100k and $125k so hoping to get it for around $100k if I do decide to build. As far as budget for the house, I think around $250k to have my total at $350k for everything. That is my goal at least. We aren't fancy people. Expectations are open floorplan, tile/laminate flooring, concrete block, granite countertops, impact doors and windows. Would like 4/2 around 2k sq ft.

Gameon: Can you give me some examples of price range and pros/cons for this? Are you in the area?
I think your light at $250k. That’s about $125/sf. A GC probably won’t get involved on a 6 month build to make $50 grand unless they have other homes going up in the immediate area. When it comes to building you usually get what you pay for. When you go with the inexpensive guy, that usually equates to a lot more quality and time issues. I really think your going to need to bump your budget up another $100k, if you can keep it a simple build and keep the wife under control in picking finishes out it could be doable. There a lot of soft costs like architect, engineer, permit fees, impact fees, etc. that can greatly impact your cost. You should research these prior to buying a lot.
Old 04-29-2020, 07:20 PM
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In SFL, I would estimate closer to $150/ft. We just got quoted a 440 sqft enclosure at $130 but that was leaving the floor as is and calling it an “office”
Old 04-29-2020, 07:46 PM
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Bad timing I think.... time to buy cheap is coming back.
Old 04-30-2020, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Mikestyger1 View Post
I've looked at so many already built houses and they are not exactly what we are looking for and most are on top of each other. Not to mention they are all overly priced for what you actually get.
For those that are against it, can you tell me why? As far as traffic goes, I work at the zoo which is about 15 min away from most of the empty plots of land (that's timing before this pandemic). And I usually go to work before the rush hour (around 6 or 630am).

There's a couple pieces of land all around an acre that are in the kendall/ north Redlands area and all are priced around $150. Doing my cost comparisons most plots in the area sold between $100k and $125k so hoping to get it for around $100k if I do decide to build. As far as budget for the house, I think around $250k to have my total at $350k for everything. That is my goal at least. We aren't fancy people. Expectations are open floorplan, tile/laminate flooring, concrete block, granite countertops, impact doors and windows. Would like 4/2 around 2k sq ft.

Gameon: Can you give me some examples of price range and pros/cons for this? Are you in the area?

you are not building a 2,000 sq ft house for $250k. I am in the process of building a house down here and you need to figure on anywhere from $250 to $400 sq ft to build. So best case scenario you’re looking at $500k to build.
Old 04-30-2020, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bigshea View Post
In SFL, I would estimate closer to $150/ft. We just got quoted a 440 sqft enclosure at $130 but that was leaving the floor as is and calling it an “office”
no way I have been speaking with builders for 6 months and am working on drawings as we speak. Material cost has risen the last couple of years and the building code has become stricter.
Old 04-30-2020, 03:57 AM
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Question - why 2k SF on an acre ... Think about resale - who is going to buy a small house on a large parcel ?

I would build min 3500 square feet with room to expand ...

and you will 100% end up closer to $200 psf with hard/soft costs ....
Old 04-30-2020, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Mikestyger1 View Post
I've looked at so many already built houses and they are not exactly what we are looking for and most are on top of each other. Not to mention they are all overly priced for what you actually get.
For those that are against it, can you tell me why? As far as traffic goes, I work at the zoo which is about 15 min away from most of the empty plots of land (that's timing before this pandemic). And I usually go to work before the rush hour (around 6 or 630am).

There's a couple pieces of land all around an acre that are in the kendall/ north Redlands area and all are priced around $150. Doing my cost comparisons most plots in the area sold between $100k and $125k so hoping to get it for around $100k if I do decide to build. As far as budget for the house, I think around $250k to have my total at $350k for everything. That is my goal at least. We aren't fancy people. Expectations are open floorplan, tile/laminate flooring, concrete block, granite countertops, impact doors and windows. Would like 4/2 around 2k sq ft.

Gameon: Can you give me some examples of price range and pros/cons for this? Are you in the area?
Don't assume you are gonna have someone build you a house to save money. If you have a full time job you shouldn't attempt to do it yourself.
Old 04-30-2020, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by triplenet View Post
Question - why 2k SF on an acre ... Think about resale - who is going to buy a small house on a large parcel ?

I would build min 3500 square feet with room to expand ...

and you will 100% end up closer to $200 psf with hard/soft costs ....
please give me the builder who will do it for that cost. I am building over 4,000 sq ft and am looking at significantly more.
Old 04-30-2020, 03:01 PM
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OP you’ve gotten some sound advice about building a house from the ground up. In my experience, people are better off remodeling an existing property to their specs. So if you can find a “fixer upper” or property that checks most of your boxes and has room to improve to your requirements I’d say go that route.

Best of luck.
Old 04-30-2020, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Saltydawg15 View Post
please give me the builder who will do it for that cost. I am building over 4,000 sq ft and am looking at significantly more.
Depends what you are building .... OP sounds like they want a bare bones type place @. 2k SF ....

4k SF @ $200 PSF = 800k ... you can surely build something nice for that ...
Old 04-30-2020, 04:34 PM
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Make sure you are building on high ground.
Old 04-30-2020, 05:14 PM
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THanks all. I am looking for exactly what you guys are offering. Down here I would like to be able to build a house that's nice for my family and my budget which will be at the top end $400k (including land). Looks like that may not be a possibility. I only need/afford a 2k sq ft house and an acre of land is great for me. I have the luxury of waiting to see what this market is going to do, but I do hate paying rent (someone else's mortgage). I'll keep on looking, and hope that prices drop a little, but sounds like building a house may be out of budget. I have a meeting with a GC just to talk and get some advice which will probably be the same.
As for you guys building houses for $800k plus, congrats! Zoo keepers aren't pulling in that kind of cash flow so I'll stick with that and my side hustles to help pay the bills.
Old 04-30-2020, 07:10 PM
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Just finished construction of a new home in SW FL. Finally tally on house was right at $275/SF not including the land. I already owned the land prior to starting the house.
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Old 04-30-2020, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
Don't assume you are gonna have someone build you a house to save money. If you have a full time job you shouldn't attempt to do it yourself.
Good advice above, each house that I built on my own nearly killed me. If you don’t live close to the property, it will probably kill you. Only good thing is that I probably save 30% doing it myself.
Old 04-30-2020, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikestyger1 View Post
THanks all. I am looking for exactly what you guys are offering. Down here I would like to be able to build a house that's nice for my family and my budget which will be at the top end $400k (including land). Looks like that may not be a possibility. I only need/afford a 2k sq ft house and an acre of land is great for me. I have the luxury of waiting to see what this market is going to do, but I do hate paying rent (someone else's mortgage). I'll keep on looking, and hope that prices drop a little, but sounds like building a house may be out of budget. I have a meeting with a GC just to talk and get some advice which will probably be the same.
As for you guys building houses for $800k plus, congrats! Zoo keepers aren't pulling in that kind of cash flow so I'll stick with that and my side hustles to help pay the bills.
2,000 sqft plus a garage will end up really 2,500sqft house. The thing about building a house is that you will want upgrades and extras along the way. Never ends up being the price you got quoted unless you make no changes at all. GC’s know this so you may get some quotes close to what you are thinking but once the house is finished it will be significantly more.

I've always wanted to build my own house but unreliable GC’s , time and money are not worth the trouble. Unless you have a lot of time and money. Based on your budget not even worth thinking about. Not to mention how do you finance the land then the construction. After completion you’ll have to combine the two loans into something conventional. Unless you have the cash to burn don’t do it.

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