Apologies if this is not right for this sub. My MIL inherited some lakefront property and decided to build a lake house. My hubby and I have been pretty involved since it’s meant for us to use and probably retire in some day. Hired a separate architect and builder at the same time. The builder was onboard with keeping the architect from coming up with something too costly. We all met together several times.
At the start, the builder was saying we should expect $150 to $350/sq foot if we had all high end finishes (not including cost of the architect). This matched what other builders said. Seemed reasonable.
We finalized plans and paid the architect and met with the builders to get their budget for us. With supposed mid-range finishes the total came back at nearly $600/sq ft! I just about fainted.
That means $1.2 million for a 2000 sq ft 3 bed, 2.5 bath home in Eastern Washington. The land is not included in that number since it was already paid for. The architect’s fees are also not included in that. There are some nice elements in the design like a high ceiling in the living room and kitchen, but it doesn’t seem super fancy or complex. We cut quite a few things we wanted and would only have stained concrete on the bottom floor. The only obvious thing that seems overly expensive is that they have budgeted 42k for custom cabinets. Even if they are artisans, that seems too painful to pay.
We’re out the money for the plans/architect and at least as much to the builders for their deposit and initial planning work, budgeting, and getting the site ready for the well we had dug.
Has this happened to anyone else before? How did you proceed? Is it wasteful to just walk away at this point? I would like to ask if they can do anything to lower that number, but I’m worried my MIL thinks it will insult them. I also would like to take our plans to some other builders to get a ballpark, but don’t want the current ones to be upset since it is like a small community. I’m afraid my MIL feels like she has to go ahead with the project because it is so far along (ground has not yet been broken!).
That much money could buy so many other things, including a fully finished lakefront or riverfront home on a much larger lot, including the cost of the land. Or literally anything. My husband and I are panicked and feeling awful that we didn’t see this coming. 🙁
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