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View Poll Results: Houses: Did you build or did you buy used
Lifelong renter 3 2.63%
Built once, never again 21 18.42%
Built more than once 16 14.04%
Always bought used 53 46.49%
Never built, but would consider it 12 10.53%
Other 9 7.89%
Voters: 114. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-06-2008, 01:20 PM   #21
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Same as Zathras and ReWahoo. We would build again, if need be, however, we don't plan on leaving this home.

Designed it on the computer over a 5 year period, got a plan drawer that worked with our builder to draw the building plans. Used a local builder. Would do it again with the same builder.

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Old 03-06-2008, 05:45 PM   #22
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I've rented in "used" existing buildings as well as new construction; old is better, the older, the better; current building was put up in 1912, well designed Edwardian. Oldest "used" building was Ante-bellum, really cool station on the underground railroad.

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Old 03-06-2008, 08:06 PM   #23
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:19 PM   #24
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First home I bought in the Midwest was one of those catalog kit homes like the ones Sears used to sell. I knew nothing about that at the time, but it had a metal plate inside the back door with a model and serial number on it.

Second home was a custom home built in 1973 right about the time builders knew to insulate everything, but had not mastered the technique so well. Aluminum wiring. We moved there in 1988 just in time to replace roof, furnace, etc, etc, etc.

Current home was built in 2000 just for us by a semi-custom builder which is a half notch above the mass builders. I really like it here and never want to move, but may need to downsize and would build again despite the hassles. I actually prefer older homes and I seriously wonder if these newer homes will actually last 100 yrs, not that I'll ever know. I voted other.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:01 PM   #25
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We have built two new homes and had no problems with either. Would definitely build again and probably will. Like picking out everything and getting it exactly how we want. Have never bought a used or preowned house.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:07 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by jIMOh View Post
In my case I built twice (condo first time and dream home the second time). If you built, care to share your builder (big company or custom builder)?

We used Fisher homes for condo and Dixon for our dream home.


Built twice. Rather than "big company or custom builder" I went "owner" built. More satisfaction in the final product and less than half the cost of having others do the construction.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:20 PM   #27
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Husband is a project manager architect, and at home an over-educated carpenter.

Shortly after we married we embarked on the process of building our first home, nail by board. We moved in weeks after our first child was born. The plumbing fixture provider went on strike just as I brought the baby home. Washed dishes and infant in the tub for a couple months. The door was a piece of plywood on hinges we secured with a lock and hasp for a long time. It is a hoyty-toyty neighborhood, the neighbors were amazed that we survived the experience. We lived there about 25 years.

We purchased view property for retirement in a great community, had a home built that is accessible (I'm too old for the nail-by-board stuff, he still thinks he is 30). Beautiful home but too far away from the kids. Lived here 11+ years.

To have the family and members of the community seek him out for his knowledge makes him feel great. He grouses now and again to me but he would be very disappointed if they didn't.
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:55 AM   #28
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Was going to build... but instead bought our current house... It was about 5 years old when we bought it.

When we downsize I am considering building... there are some things I probably will not find in an existing house. The retro fit in an existing house would be expensive.
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:36 AM   #29
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We built twice. The first one I took 6 months off work and lived in a tent on site while building the house to the closed in stage. Then I moved in and finished it while DW stayed with her mom. The 2nd house I did less work but it took longer. I would do it again, but DW wants to remodel instead of building new. So I'm starting this weekend with the master closet.

Bought condo in Az used. Builder was Cachet Homes.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:28 AM   #30
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Now and then I consider tearing down this house and having a replacement built (smaller, super-insulated, partly off-grid).
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:05 AM   #31
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Curious if the one renter would chime in and share why?
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:46 AM   #32
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My first 3 houses were used. I bought a very small house in 1977 and worked my way up to larger, nicer homes. My current house was built new and I love the feeling of having a new house with a new roof knowing I have years of light maintenance.

I'm not the handiest person around and have had 2 houses with leaky roofs. This house has a cement tile roof which should hold up well for a LONG time.
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:24 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by jIMOh View Post
In my case I built twice (condo first time and dream home the second time). If you built, care to share your builder (big company or custom builder)?
Built twice. Designer, GC and 40% labor on first one. Designer, and 20% labor on second on while using local builder who put up a basic finished shell. I did all custom period type exterior and interior trim work, kitchens, baths, floors, tile, etc. First house sold in one week in 1994 (NYC suburbs) second house sold in 4 days a few weeks ago. Surprised to see other DIYer's here.

I'm mediocre at a lot of things in life but I'm actually OK at home design. Then again it's not hard to do 3 notches better than the cookie cutter spec homes that are so dominant everywhere. Spec builders are mostly brainless.
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:36 PM   #34
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1 new & 2 used
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Old 03-08-2008, 06:04 AM   #35
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My house was new when I bought it. Selected built once even though it's a tract house, not custom.

If I move again, will probably find a older house that needs a little but not too much work.
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:13 AM   #36
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I bought new once (spec home that I didn't see built), built once and bought used once. Building was stressful, but it was the best home we've owned, and I knew exactly what went into it as I was at the job site every day during construction. I didn't enjoy it, but I wouldn't rule out doing it again. With a used house, there can always be expensive surprises, no matter how good your home inspector might be. My current used home hasn't had any major problems, but it hasn't been all wonderful either - there have been a few costly surprises over the 16 years we've owned it.
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:34 PM   #37
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I'm not the person who answered the poll, but I can certainly make a strong case for renting for the right person.

If you're single, young, and not a pack rat, you really don't have a need for the space that a house has, and purchasing a condo is not a compelling investment at recent prices.

I shared an apartment with roommates for almost 10 years after graduating from college, saving a massive amount of money compared to what buying pretty much anything would cost (not counting bubble appreciation).

When your space requirements are only half of an apartment, it is very economical to rent.

I bought a house in Feb 2005 because I was getting serious with the woman who is now my wife. Two people need more space than one, and hopefully we'll need space for 3-4 eventually ( I'm doing my part ). I had also developed hobbies that required more space (gardening and aquariums).

When I purchased my house, I wasn't thinking of it as an investment. I was thinking of it as a way to better my life.

Originally Posted by jIMOh View Post
Curious if the one renter would chime in and share why?
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:55 PM   #38
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a little essay and nothing meant more than that...

my brother bought new twice. but in order to be affordable, in south florida more often than not buying new means living in "samesville". same setbacks, same rooflines, all the colors match, all very pretty, all very neat, all very boring.

if i had any desire for new, i'd never have been able to afford what i'd have in mind to satisfy that.

unlike most cars, not including collectibles, i never thought of a house or boat (that i'd consider living aboard) as used. when concerning a thing built to last generations, used is not the first adjective that comes to mind.

just what is the criteria of used? renovation of a "used" house can be more expensive than buying new and so we see many an old home being torn down to build new. if i'm living in a historic house did i just buy a used home? if i completely renew all the surfaces of an existing structure & rehab all the utilities is my house not (re)new?

what if if i tear down an old barn and use the parts to build a new house? am i living in new or used?

wherever i live, it is new to me.

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Old 03-13-2008, 12:58 AM   #39
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I believe they call them "Existing" homes, and we have bought 3.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:38 AM   #40
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We've moved quite a bit - so a total of 6 homes - 1 we built, 5 existing.

We have become more budget conscious over time - we used to think "buy as much home as you can afford". When we moved to our recent location, we had a budget in mind first.

We also wanted a 3000ish square foot home, lots of land, open layout, etc.

It was very difficult to find a match in this market due to price (of course). So we ended up looking for homes that needed cosmetic work/etc, as they were "below" market price (at least on a square foot/lot/etc basis).

We found the home. We've learned to do a lot of DIY type work over the years. It really gives DW & I bonding time to work on these projects together.

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