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Old 06-09-2017, 01:53 PM   #1  
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Default Teach me: Buying a new house in a subdivision....

So it looks like I will be in OKC for the foreseeable future (girlfriend still has 1.5-2 years to finish up her Bachelors). I feel pretty confident the company I work for will be growing strong well into the future. Oracle just spent $10billion to acquire us at the end of last year and have already taken over another huge chunk of the top floor of the building we are in so we can grow our staff.

For what I pay in rent for my downtown 700sq ft apartment, I could easily just buy a $160k house and have that. Keep in mind here $160k will buy you a brand new 1650sq ft home 3 bed 2 bath 2 car garage with storm shelter, appliances, nice finishes, etc. I could push my budget higher since the girlfriend will move in with me once her house outside of Tulsa sells, but I want her contribution to turn back into play money for me.


What are the downsides of new construction vs an older home that's been fully renovated? The biggest negative for me, is that new subdivisons don't have all the great old trees as 30-40-50-60 year old neighborhoods do. A huge positive for me, since I don't know crap about working on houses just cars, is that everything is new. New HVAC/Roof/Applicances/Plumbing/Electric/etc vs an old house.

An older home that's been fully renovated is still an option, but I'd have to add $50-60k to what I want to spend, or buy something that needs updating over years of living there.........and I'm not too sure I want to do that.
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Old 06-09-2017, 04:09 PM   #2  
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An issue most new OK houses have is improperly layed foundations. Builders use sand instead of proper base course before laying the monolithic slab to save money. Over time the house will need piers due to settling. Most older houses that have piers, have higher insurance rates.
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Old 06-09-2017, 04:33 PM   #3  
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Is it safe to say you have some experience in the homebuiling industry? I know our soil leads to settling, is that still an issue with the post-tension slabs most houses are built with nowadays?
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:30 PM   #4  
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I recently bought a house in NW OKC, it was built in 2005 and has settled. The slab itself is fine (as in not cracked), but the settling is enough to where outside mortar was cracking, interior walls shifted enough not to be square (seller tried to hide it with silicone that was painted over) and on the side it is shifting the doors are also not square causing sticking. As for professional experience, all military CE stuff. Oklahoma soil in general sucks, and sand under the foundation regardless of slab type is far less than optimal. Some literally just dump it and make it relatively level before pouring.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:41 PM   #5  
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My house was built in the early 50s, the one I grew up in was the early 20s. I would absolutely buy an older house over a new one any day. Home renovation and maintenance is super easy. You can no doubt do most of the work yourself If you're willing to put in the effort. Most new homes need a lot of work after the fact that you may never think of. Finished basement. Finished garage. Deck out back. Fenced yard. Double insulation. Ect.

But either way, im sure you will be happy with your decision.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:53 PM   #6  
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I am defiantly not trying to steer you away from either! In my case, I am only paying about $200 more a month towards a mortgage, rather than renting. For cool older houses look into the historic district. The houses need updating, but you will know what you need to do up front. I believe they even have incentives for buying and restoring a house in that district and it's close to Downtown OKC.
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:22 PM   #7  
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I am defiantly not trying to steer you away from either! In my case, I am only paying about $200 more a month towards a mortgage, rather than renting. For cool older houses look into the historic district. The houses need updating, but you will know what you need to do up front. I believe they even have incentives for buying and restoring a house in that district and it's close to Downtown OKC.
Yeah, but I don't make XXX,XXX per year, good for OK, but still not that much.
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:39 PM   #8  
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Lots of houses in the $190k-210k available in the Edmond/Piedmont area that are worth looking into (3 car garage). If your looking for sub $150k, Midwest City/Del City area. If you don't mind the commute Choctaw/Harrah area is growing rapidly.
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:24 PM   #9  
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Yeah, I can afford that.........I'd just rather leave more money in the play account every month.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:57 PM   #10  
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So I went back and talked to the sales guy and did a "price out," ie, X floor plan in Y neighborhood + Z upgrades.

They are a spec builder so certain upgrades are limited, like I can't have them make an oversized 2 car garage, for instance.

1355sq ft, 3 bed, 2 bath, 2 car garage home. Built-in storm below ground storm shelter in the garage (incredibly important for this part of the country), granite in the kitchen and bathrooms, soaker tub in the master and coffered ceiling in master, all SS appliances, upgraded dark cherry cabinets.

House has a HERS score of 60, 30 year shingles, etc etc

$160k, they pay $3k toward closing costs.

They are getting ready to start building a new edition in about 45 days that would put me about a 12-13 minute drive from work, in a well established suburb, with neighborhoods with much larger homes on all sides.

Very seriously considering going to give him $1k (fully refundable) deposit next week to put me in line to pick my lot.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:00 AM   #11  
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Wow! Sounds like a great deal. In my location, you would be lucky to get just the lot for that price!
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:41 AM   #12  
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Cheap cost of living is one of the few advantages of staying in OK.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:46 AM   #13  
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I recently went through a bunch of this. Let me leave my experience out there. I renovated an older home so I could have mature trees and such in the yard. A year in we started getting sick, we found terrible mold under the house even though it was no there during construction. It was an issue with a leaky pipe that caused the mold but it was already too bad for us to trust the home after it was all fixed. We had to move after that. I then bought a cookie cutter house, some call these spec homes. I lived there for 7 years. While the home looked nice, it was not efficient. Our electric bill was often $350-$400. After much thought and being sick of living in an area with only 6ft tall trees, I found a lot and bought it, we picked out floor plan then heavily modified it, hired a good builder and went to work. I spent every penny on efficiency. Foil back decking, expanding spray foam, brick, windows etc. We got literally the cheapest flooring made by mankind next to dirt. It still turned out nice. My new house is twice the size of my last home and my electric bill was $180 last month. Thats with 6 people living in the home. My house also appraised for 1/3 more than what it cost me to build it. I also have 50+ year old trees that a perfect for my kids to play under.

My advice, build your own house. You will get it exactly the way you want it and will be much happier in the long run.
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:52 PM   #14  
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Problem is that is a much, much more expensive proposition. Just utility drops, septic, road access, etc.........you've just burned down $30-35k without counting the lot and haven't begun to work on the house yet.

Buying a home like this is really a 4-5 year proposition while the girlfriend finishes her degree, I'm not pissing away money on rent, and at least I have a garage and my tools back.

Then I can sell it to some young people with a kid as their starter home.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:58 PM   #15  
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Originally Posted by miataman04 View Post
My advice, build your own house. You will get it exactly the way you want it and will be much happier in the long run.
+1.

Better yet, build it yourself. Then you know it's done right. Any issues, you know what is behind walls, underground etc.
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:47 PM   #16  
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Originally Posted by z31maniac View Post
Problem is that is a much, much more expensive proposition. Just utility drops, septic, road access, etc.........you've just burned down $30-35k without counting the lot and haven't begun to work on the house yet.
I'm not sure what your market looks like but here in Arkansas

Lot 1 acre $18k, Utility connections $500 for electric, water was free. City owned utilities are required to get service to you within a reasonable distance for free. I know that as a fact. I'm a city councilmen. I didn't use septic so I have no idea what that cost. Depending on the lot you may not have much cost in a driveway. I can post a full breakdown of what I spent. I kept up with it in excel.

My point is, its not as expensive as you may think. You should really look into it, at least talk to a local builder.

New houses here sell for $115 a square foot. I built mine for about $82 with a 2 car garage and shop..... I could have gone cheaper too.
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:21 AM   #17  
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+1.

Better yet, build it yourself. Then you know it's done right. Any issues, you know what is behind walls, underground etc.
I have this thing called a full-time job.

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Originally Posted by miataman04 View Post
I'm not sure what your market looks like but here in Arkansas

Lot 1 acre $18k, Utility connections $500 for electric, water was free. City owned utilities are required to get service to you within a reasonable distance for free. I know that as a fact. I'm a city councilmen. I didn't use septic so I have no idea what that cost. Depending on the lot you may not have much cost in a driveway. I can post a full breakdown of what I spent. I kept up with it in excel.

My point is, its not as expensive as you may think. You should really look into it, at least talk to a local builder.

New houses here sell for $115 a square foot. I built mine for about $82 with a 2 car garage and shop..... I could have gone cheaper too.
My point is, I have looked into it, that's why I know what it costs in OK. There are neighborhoods inside city limits that are on septic (my ex and I were looking in a neighborhood of $250k+ homes)............the septic system alone is north of $7k.

Then if you're outside of town you have to drill a well for water and on and on. Trust me, I've checked.

That's why in OK the only people you see on "land" are old farmhomes, trailers, and mansions.
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:27 AM   #18  
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Problem is that is a much, much more expensive proposition. Just utility drops, septic, road access, etc.........you've just burned down $30-35k without counting the lot and haven't begun to work on the house yet.

Buying a home like this is really a 4-5 year proposition while the girlfriend finishes her degree, I'm not pissing away money on rent, and at least I have a garage and my tools back.

Then I can sell it to some young people with a kid as their starter home.
Be careful with these assumptions. Factor taxes, up keep and such into your calculation if you only plan to live there 5 years. Then add you costs to sell the home. Unless you're in a booming market with low taxes, you'll probably be close to break even when all is said and done.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:41 PM   #19  
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Be careful with these assumptions. Factor taxes, up keep and such into your calculation if you only plan to live there 5 years. Then add you costs to sell the home. Unless you're in a booming market with low taxes, you'll probably be close to break even when all is said and done.
Break even > living in a one bedroom apartment or paying more to rent a similar quality home.
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:17 PM   #20  
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I have this thing called a full-time job.
Ditto, and I built two OB houses. But, I was committed, and my employee benefits were used to the max.

It's not something for everyone, and if it's not for you that's cool, just putting it out there.
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