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Those that have built on to their homes....

Original post made by Pleasanton Parent on Nov 1, 2009

What convinced you that building on was a better decision than moving? Did you end up spending more than you anticipated? I'm trying to figure out if I should consider building onto my existing home or just pick up and move. Any experiences/recommendations would be appreciated. Thank you.

Comments (8)

Posted by Patti, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Pleasanton Parent,

We added on to our home about 3 years ago and the cost was calculated on a square footage basis. I do not remember the exact amount but believe it was about $200 per square foot. All things being equal, with homes prices being as low as they are today we would probably move because I believe it would be cheaper.


Posted by T.H., a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 2, 2009 at 8:44 am

I have gone through this and there is no clear answer. You can easily get carried away because when doing a project each decision can be 'overdone'. Like with flooring, 'It's only an extra few dollars for the good stuff." If you make the better decision over and over, over your budget you will go. I say location, location, location. If you like where you are add on, if you want to move to another location move. If you can keep yourself in check, stick to your budget and find a good contractor, adding on isn't a bad decision as long as you don't outbuild for your neighborhood.


Posted by Kay, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Nov 2, 2009 at 9:09 am

The benefits of adding on are realized in the long run, not short term. We bought our home 23 years ago -- 850 sf on a 1/3 acre lot for $140K. We set down roots, and got to work. After adding 2450 sf in three stages and remodeling twice, we have our dream home, free and clear. This method worked out for us because we had a clear, delineated plan of what our ultimate build-out goals were, we stayed on track, only built what we could afford to do without loans, and were certain we were going to stay in this home until our children were grown. If you have that kind of dedication, adding on may be your answer, too.


Posted by Curious, a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 2, 2009 at 9:48 am

Also take into account what your property taxes will be if you move to a new home. If you have been in your home for 5-10 years, your property taxes are most likely pretty low. Move to a new home and you will be paying 2-3 times your current amount.


Posted by great time, a resident of Downtown
on Nov 2, 2009 at 10:13 am

Right now is a great time to buy something that already exists for a really good price. Having said that you would still need to sell your existing home in this same market. In my experience adding on almost always seems to cost more than originally budgeted. Even in these tough economic times building costs don't seem to have moved downward comensurate with the economy. The most consistent comment I hear from those I know in the construction industry is that material costs have gone through the roof. This makes no sense to me since housing starts are slow etc... The exact opposite would seem to be true. In my opinion if you have the stomach to be your own general contractor and know enough about what you are getting into. There are sub-contractor resources available to do most anything, at really affordable prices. There is certainly some risk attached to this approach though. As someone else stated the lower tax base on your existing home is certainly a good reason to stay as well.


Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 2, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Thank you all, very helpful comments.


Posted by res, a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Things to consider might be:
Amount currently owed on your house: will you be ahead?
Property taxes.
Location: will you be able to find a house with an equally good or better location? Consider commute, and schools if you have kids will they have to change schools?
Do you have enough time to deal with a move? (that ones a real PITA)

I would be more inclined to add on, that way you don't have to move. Sure prices are low, but when you find a good house is hard and you often end up competeing with multiple offers. If you have to buy on a contingency of selling your home it might be harder.


Posted by tyu, a resident of Birdland
on Nov 3, 2009 at 11:27 am

Material prices are actually down but shipping prices are still high mainly because of the high cost of diesel. Net result is that products are not realy cheap or expensive right now, they are fairly ballanced.


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