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"Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-13-2005, 06:39 AM   #1
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"Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

Noticed an article in the AARP Bulletin for September about
"granny cottages" which I would call a detached mother-in-law
apartment. Anyway, the article focused mostly on zoning
problems and that a bunch of people are opposed (worried about
home values and all that). Then they gave some examples of people
selling what they like to call "backyard homes". I noticed one home came in
four(4) exterior styles at 674 SF, but the cost is around $150,000, and of course that is not counting the land. That works out to about $220
per SF which seems nuts to me. Now, we could live in 674 SF with no
problem, but I paid about $68 per SF for our house (Including the land, half an acre).
Of course, I have a lot more maintenance here, but even when we were
looking at building (an idea since abandoned), I never used anything
over maybe $130/SF in computing my costs. Maybe the difference is
where I live. Most of the locations mentioned in the article were in
California.

JG
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-13-2005, 08:36 AM   #2
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
I noticed one home came in four(4) exterior styles at 674 SF, but the cost is around $150,000, and of course that is not counting the land. That works out to about $220 per SF which seems nuts to me...Most of the locations mentioned in the article were in California.
JG - We are selling a 1921 cottage in Glendale Ca. - 696 sq. on .05 acre(no yard work!)...realtor is listing at 415k...$596 sf It is nuts, and I feel terrible about it.
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-13-2005, 10:26 AM   #3
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
JG - We are selling a 1921 cottage in Glendale Ca. - 696 sq. on .05 acre(no yard work!)...realtor is listing at 415k...$596 sf* * It is nuts, and I feel terrible about it.
Holy crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-13-2005, 10:37 AM   #4
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

I will put up with all the hurricanes before I pay anything like that!
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-13-2005, 10:41 AM   #5
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
Holy crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thats what I did when the realtor told me the list price...although I am hoping for a bidding war.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOG51
I will put up with all the hurricanes before I pay anything like that!
Amen brother....
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-13-2005, 11:17 AM   #6
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

My next door neighbor built an in-law suite (guess you could call it a granny cottage) back in 2001. Because of zoning regs (can't have two separate dwelling units on one parcel of land; you'd have to subdivide which can get expensive) it's attached to the house by means of an enclosed porch.

It's a 21x28 foot studio basically, with one bathroom, a galley kitchen, stacked washer/dryer, and it's set up for handicapped access, with a wheelchair ramp up to one of the exterior doors, and extra-large doors inside. I think she said it cost around $60,000 to build at the time. One area it really skimped out on is the heating/cooling. It has one of those motel-style heat pumps that sits under one of the windows, and also has electric heating strips scattered throughout. It also wasn't built on a "regular" foundation, but instead on cinder block piers 8 feet apart, with lattice skirting it. So it's kinda like a stick-built double-wad!
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-13-2005, 11:58 AM   #7
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

I would guess $60-$100/sf for most suburban/rural areas in the US reasonably close to a labor source and a builder's supply store. Not in bubble areas though. These figures don't include land and site prep (grubbing, clearing, major grading). So many variables though. Slab foundation, block piers like Andre's neighbor. If all of the interior fixtures and appliances were "contractor specials" you could probably build an el cheapo place pretty easily for $60,000 with 1 BA and a simple kitchen.
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-13-2005, 12:24 PM   #8
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
If all of the interior fixtures and appliances were "contractor specials" you could probably build an el cheapo place pretty easily for $60,000 with 1 BA and a simple kitchen.
$60k is easy here (Atlanta suburbs)
For a comparison our 2003 Habitat houses averaged (figures from memory) $65k, which about $28k was land purchase. The houses were between 1300 to 1650 sqf. Most "grunt" work done by volunteers, but grading, concrete pouring, plumbing and electrical work outsourced by pros. Donated building materials were about 20% of total materials.

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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-13-2005, 12:31 PM   #9
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

Look at the America's Home Place website for an example of costs. Add 25-50% for change orders and unexpected expenses not included in their costs.

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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-13-2005, 03:13 PM   #10
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

Here is a novel approach for granny's house:

www.tumbleweedhouses.com/

Perhaps they come in gingerbread?
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-18-2005, 11:53 PM   #11
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
JG - We are selling a 1921 cottage in Glendale Ca. - 696 sq. on .05 acre(no yard work!)...realtor is listing at 415k...$596 sf It is nuts, and I feel terrible about it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
Holy crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOG51
I will put up with all the hurricanes before I pay anything like that!
Anyone in LA looking to downsize? Hope the bubble is still there.
http://tinyurl.com/a2uko
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-19-2005, 08:28 AM   #12
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

I think Habitat for Humanity figures $75,000 to build a 1400 sq ft house. Some of this is donated/cut-price material and labor, of course. And the land is donated, too.
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-23-2005, 09:26 PM   #13
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

Lots of places here now sell brand new houses for $40/sqft including the land. KB home quality and worse. Not much better than a mobile home. The houses are generally big square boxes with small windows (cheap) and skimping on everything possible. It is a disposable house.

We bought a very old small house that we stripped to the studs. The existing house needed lots of leveling, lots of foundation work and had termite damage. To salvage it, it costs us almost more than if we had torn it down. We are adding on 1000 sqft of living space, a deck and a garage. All materials are premium, such as seamless metal roof, heavy gauge plumbing, metal A/C ducting, aluminum clad wood windows and instant water heater. Also getting a new kitchen, new bathrooms ($2K shower), new AC and all new electric/sewer/plumbing. Basically almost everything that we need to build a 1700 sqft house will be around $100-110K. This includes architect etc. but not the framing of the existing structure (which would have been almost the same cost as salvaging it like we do now). It is a lot of work but being your own general contractor really pays off.

$65/sqft for premium stuff. Lower the quality of the windows, cabinets, other materials and get a shingle roof - we could probably do it for $45-50/sqft

Vicky
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-25-2005, 04:14 PM   #14
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

I'm working on a neighborhood of 14 cottage style homes, 8 are joined zero lot line (i.e. duplex) 6 are single.

We are budgeting $130/sf including some site development costs. The client is a non-profit land trust so they are going to be pretty basic. We are counting on some economy of scale. Someone building just one in their own backyard could easily be looking at $150 or more.

These numbers include substantial utility hookup and demand fees, and school, park and traffic impact fees....
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-25-2005, 04:33 PM   #15
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LEX
Here is a novel approach for granny's house:

www.tumbleweedhouses.com/

Perhaps they come in gingerbread?
I love these! Jay Schaefer, the Tumbleweed architect , was on the HGTV Small Spaces show this week.

And if you and 'Granny' have a falling out you can hitch it up to the truck and move her out in the middle of the night.

Judy
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-25-2005, 08:31 PM   #16
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

I have winter vistors (family) for weeks - months stay each year (I live in Arizona).* My bachelor younger brother has made it part of his regular tour three years running.*Excllent poker games around here during these visits.* Though I enjoy my family, I am going to buy an older fifth wheel or airstream, (I can get a great used one for about ten grand from a Sun City Estate sale)* hook it up out back near the mountain side near my work shop/garage (I live on a four acre lot in the desert mountains) where my guests will have their own privacy, access, Ect.
I have an existing y trap to tie in the sewer hook up collar, the line runs into the main sewer line without flow issues, the shop toilet is already in use and has never been a problem, (back up bathroom and shower, but I will have to clean up the existing "GO-jo" scented and V-8 overhaul themed decore of the shop bathroom for my sister's visit)* and theres already 120 v power.* It will basiclly be a full service Rv Pull through, and I plan to set it up where I have a fifth wheel/airstream (depends on the price and deal)* on site and an adjacent space for those who drive in for a while by the time the weather channel starts its midwest blizzard coverage in a few months.

Years ago I recall reading Stewart Brand (one of my heros) singing the praises of use of the airstream as a yurt on wheels to escape conformity.* Now I may use a trailor as an* guest house for winter visitors.

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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?
Old 09-26-2005, 10:40 AM   #17
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Re: "Granny cottages" - cost per SF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LEX
Years ago I recall reading Stewart Brand (one of my heros) singing the praises of use of the airstream as a yurt on wheels to escape conformity. Now I may use a trailor as an guest house for winter visitors.

Wadya Think? (I love tapping into the vast upaid consultant resources of the site!)
I pass by a house on the way to work everyday that is on the edge of my neighborhood. They almost always seem to have a pop-up camper parked and opened up in front of their duplex. It's sort of a working class neighborhood, so my guess is people (immigrants or family guests?) live in the pop-up most of the time. Not sure how sewer is handled, but the camper is just sitting in their driveway in the front yard in a residential neighborhood on a pretty busy street. I guess it is working for them!

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