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Need your opinion on a modern home

by Bobby Dixon last modified May 24, 2005 03:05 PM
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Need your opinion on a modern home

Posted by Bobby Dixon at May 10. 2005

First off I'd like to say hi as a newbie to these forums. I've been in Austin since '91 and love it here. I've also been a fan of Dwell since the first issue.

I currently own a home in the 78723 area. Nice place, great neighborhood, etc... But my wife and I are tinkering with the idea of building our own custom, modern home in about 4-5 years. Our current home was remodeled somewhat, and the designer in me has made some improvements throughout the years, but nothing on a large level.

My question is, to what extent would you remodel/update your current house if you knew you'd be moving out and living in your dream house in a few years?

Saving money for the custom house would be the key issue, but at the same time I can't live in a place that doesn't inspire me on some level.

What are your thoughts/opinions/experiences?


Re: Need your opinion on a modern home

Posted by tom mot at May 10. 2005

If you plan to sell your current home in the next 5 years I would hold off on doing any more remodeling or improvements, unless of course the time and money put into such projects will result in an equivalent or higher increase in appraisal/sale value. If you can't make your money back at closing, and saving money is an issue, then I would definitely choose to sock money away. I'd rather be uninspired for 5 years in a home that's temporary than spend the first 5 years in my dream home saving up for some bells and whistles that I could have had at the beginning.

Re: Need your opinion on a modern home

Posted by Mark Meyer at May 10. 2005

Strain is right to a certain degree, but if the time frame is 5 years out it would probably make sense to do some improvements now that would surely net yourself a bigger ROI in the future. The thing to do is make improvements now (espeially since rates are so low) that will position your house to be MORE marketable in the future. Bathrooms and kitchens, and extra bedrooms, and flex spaces, and loftier sized spaces are all easy enough (and if done judiciously, cheap enough) to do now, but make a HUGE difference in the appeal to future buyers.

I guess it really matters what it would take to get the house to the point that it has few or no negative aspects to it.

Mark Meyer

Re: Need your opinion on a modern home

Posted by Universal Constructor at May 24. 2005

Hi B.

I'm currently working on a 200 - 250K remodel in the 78703 / Windsor Road Neighborhood. We just went through this.

I would advise you the following:

1. Decide what your appetite is for remodeling your existing house. How much work have you done in the past on it? Are you excited to remodel/add on?

2. How much room do you have on the lot? Is it a substantial enough structure without a lot of goofy bits, so that you can get get something clear, clean and useful - while still having enough space to add on?

3. Will what you put into the home translate into added value when you go to resell? Obviously most realtor's will be doing square foot calculations primarily, however do not be afraid to add value through cleaning up and clarifying the aesthetics of the existing. Good to find a designer with a magician's attitude of creating something from nothing.

4. How committed are you to having exactly what you want? Can you live with a stop-gap of renovating and/or adding on until you get to help design the dream home?

Off the top of my head.

- Jonathan

Universal Joint Design Associates

Jonathan Chertok. Principal
AIA Design Associate
Austin, Texas 1 512 407 9628

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