New Home Construction - Posted by Sunny Parikh

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New Home Construction - Posted by Sunny Parikh

Posted by Sunny Parikh on February 21, 2005 at 15:16:07:


I’m currently looking to build a home in New Rochelle, NY and found a piece of land that is selling for $350,000 (.26 acres). The thing is, the land itself is flat up front but dips down towards the back. The house next door has the same land structure. I’m not sure if $350,000 is a rip off for the land or not. The owner said he put it on the market two years ago and it didn’t sell; he said that he took it off because he didn’t feel like selling it anymore. It sounds like a lie. I plan to build a semi-luxurious -> luxurious home for about $800,000 and sell it for about $1.2 million. However, I’m not sure why the land hasn’t been sold yet - its in a very desirable neighborhood too. This is my first time doing this so I want to make sure I know what I’m jumping into. Also, behind the land, below the property, when you look down you could see a drainage or stream of somewhat running through. I’m not sure if this is a reason why people haven’t bought it or because of the slope of the land. I don’t want to buy and build and find out no one wants to buy it because of those reasons. How can I find out if the land is worth building on and if the price is suitable?

Also, if the land is worth it, I plan to be my own general contractor for the project. However, I have no experience, but plan to be the GC for future projects, so by GCing this project, I’ll gain enough experience. Where can I get resources on being my own general contractor aside from books which are usually general. The owner of the land has built several homes in the area by being his own general contractor and offered to give me a list of subcontractors that he’s worked with and trusts. As well he is willing to give me tips and whatnot. But I need more information than what he could provide, such as what order to hire each subcontractor and how to get the best price and where to get supplies, etc.

If anyone is experienced in the field and can assist me, please do so. I appreciate it, thanks in advance.

Sunny Parikh

Re: New Home Construction - Posted by Janet

Posted by Janet on February 21, 2005 at 18:54:48:

Sunny email me. I have some information for you…


Re: New Home Construction - Posted by rdjlazo

Posted by rdjlazo on February 21, 2005 at 15:41:53:

Price of lot is based on how you can use it and after adding lot cost, labor cost, city fees etc if you can still make profit for your investment in effort, time and money.You will need civil engineers, architect, gen contractor and city panning and egineering dpt to assist you on this one. If you will ask the above group you will learn a lot about this lot.
Are you not wondering why your seller who have built several in the area is not building on this lot and he is more experienced than you. For a beginning contractor if I were you, I will start with a flat ready to build sfr lot. That one is too complicated for your first project.
Good luck,

Re: New Home Construction - Posted by Sunny Parikh

Posted by Sunny Parikh on February 21, 2005 at 15:59:53:

Hey rdjlazo,

Yeah I’ve been wondering why he hasn’t built on it himself too. I confronted him about it and he said that he doesn’t have the money to build right now because he’s investment $6,000,000 in a building somewhere else and he needs the $350,000 to help fund that.

I met with a builder today and he’s charging $500 to go onto the land and check it out as well as give a full analysis of it and what needs to be done. He’s charging $200 to calculate materials needed to build the desired custom floor plan I chose as well as the estimate to build it. I’m not sure if I should tell him to come on site right now; instead I might get other opinions from other builders who aren’t charging a fee. I have a relative whos a civil engineer for the city and he might know about the land. So i’ll give him a call and ask him to come see it. Do you think I should hire him for the $200 to estimate costs of building the house and give me the required list of materials needed to build it? Its the only available land in the area except for a $850,000 lot thats .8 acres on waterfront. Most lots in the county are over over $350,000 for the same size.

The lot is good for a walkout basement similar to how the house next to it was built. I have no clue how to go about being my own general contractor though :(.

Could anyone provide resources (sites) that have essential information about being your own general contractor. All I’ve found are scam sites.

Thanks in advance,


Re: New Home Construction - Posted by Stan

Posted by Stan on February 21, 2005 at 16:53:20:

It really is amazing how may people try to be their own GC and fail at it. I mean it looks so easy. And for someone who does have experience at it, it can be lucrative. But there are many, many pitfalls. This isn’t rocket science, but you have to have knowledge of your cost and what you want to do BEFORE you even apply for the permits. That is where I have seen most fail. Thinking that they can learn as they go. Now this isn’t rocket science, but you have to have the knowledge. aside from remodeling, I build 7-8 cusotm homes a year. It can be done part time, however it is a brute. And at your size and scope, even more so. Could a beginner come in and pull it off. Yes, but that person would be the exception rather than the rule. Personally, this is the wrong project for your first project. You do not need to be asking these kind of questions on a 1.2million project.

Re: New Home Construction - Posted by Sunny Parikh

Posted by Sunny Parikh on February 21, 2005 at 16:58:36:

Hey Stan,

Thanks for the information. Would you suggest going with a builder? The thing is, I don’t want to get cheated out by them. I’ve heard stories where they say they’ll put an expensive material in, but instead put in a cheap one of which they’re charging the expensive one for. Also, is there a way to calculate how much the home will value once its built?



Re: New Home Construction - Posted by Steve (Austin, TX)

Posted by Steve (Austin, TX) on February 22, 2005 at 24:49:44:

What about being cheated by the subs?? I’ve seen new builders pay $12/sq ft for a slab that should cost $5 or $6. Being the GC is harder than it looks. Outside of dealing with banks, permits/inspectors, insurance etc., builders can carry liability on the structure for years.

And outside of all that, you have to know how to negociate with subs, schedule and manage them, and make sure they are doing the job properly and that they aren’t skimping on materials or incorrectly installing etc.

It can be done, but most new GC’s go massively over budget, it takes 203 times longer to build than expected, and is extremely stressful. Just make sure you go in with your eye’s open, get multiple bids, and make sure you know exactly what is incildes in the bid and what isn’t.

As for value, unless you are paying cash, the bank will probably require an appraisal before closing the loan. If you want a value before then, either pay an appraiser yourself or ask a friendly realtor for comps.

It can be done, and it can be very profitable, but make sure you go in with our eyes wide open.

Re: New Home Construction - Posted by Rich Holcomb

Posted by Rich Holcomb on February 21, 2005 at 20:40:48:

I am a builder from Ohio and just recently completed a 3900 sq. ft. home on one of the last lots in the development. It was a walkout basement lot which turned out beautifull as my customer put an in ground pool behind the house. THE LOT TOOK 1000 TON OF # 1 AND # 2 LIMESTONE TO BRING IT TO FOOTER GRADE!!!
As a novice I would suggest you do your homework before you buy the lot. We knew of our problems with the soil before hand and had the developer agree to pay for the lot improvments.
I get so tired of hearing about all these dishonest contractors you people speak of. Some of us really do operate with integrity and honesty!!!