06/02/10 5:41pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE “. . . Tricon Homes, if they are not the number one builder in terms of number of units in the Heights, they are definitely in the top two. Since the 90’s they’ve built over a hundred units a year, with the majority of them located in the Heights. If you think their construction costs even sniff $100/sqft, you simply do not know what you are talking about. I sell land for a living to top builders in town, and work for a home building company that builds from the $150’s to $1.8M. A $1.8M house in Memorial will average $120/sq.ft in direct costs for construction. Are you trying to say that it costs more per square foot to build a bungalow with siding in the Heights than it does a brick/stone mansion in Memorial or River Oaks?? If so, again….go find a better builder cause you’re getting ripped off.” [MCoerver, commenting on Comment of the Day: The High Cost of Building Small]

05/28/10 2:36pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE HIGH COST OF BUILDING SMALL “As a homeowner in the Heights I agree that scale is a factor in new construction but I would like to point out one important financial reality. It is next to impossible to finance the new construction of a smaller home. Given that the average lot costs $250,000 and the average cost to build new is another $135 per square foot, a new 1200 sf “Bungalow” will set you back $412,000 plus. You are now sitting in a new bungalow with a total cost of $343 per square foot. The average appraised value of homes in the Heights is around $200 – $225 per square foot. Banks will not finance this project unless you make up the difference in cash, so your looking at bringing $162,000 to the closing table plus a 20% down payment. Hopefully the HAHC realizes this reality and continues to allow larger homes to be built. There has to be a happy medium square footage wise. It is also important to point out that it is not cheap to do a major renovation to an existing bungalow. If you want to redo the plumbing, electrical, insulation, sheet rock etc you soon find yourself spending more for the renovation than you would spend on a new home. Many of the “remodels” are simply saving the studs and the sub floor, I don’t see the value in such a “preservation”. And once again, the banks simply will not finance a project that is not in line with the local comps.” [chester, commenting on Big Changes for Houston’s Preservation Ordinance? Mayor Parker Wants a Temporary Ban on Those 90-Day Exemptions]