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Contributor
cure
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎09-08-2009
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What does it cost to completely fix up a house?

Here's an example of an old house in Cupertino, which needs some work.

 

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Cupertino/20220-John-Dr-95014/home/1140994

 

Assuming the house is structurally sound, here's a list of things that it could need:

 

- new flooring

- paint

- updated kitchen and appliances

- double pane windows

- bedroom closets

 

What else would a 50 year old house need? New plumbing, wiring and roof? What do these cost? Is it worth fixing up such a house, or would it be better to simply tear it down and rebuild? Are these reasonable projects for a first time homeowner to undertake? How long does this take?

 

One advantage of buying a house is this condition is that we get to remodel it to our taste, rather than pay for the remodel of the previous owner, but the numbers would need to make sense.

 

I just want to have a feel, when I walk in to an older house, what it might cost to bring it to a condtion I would find acceptable.

Silver Contributor
MyCousinVinny
Posts: 495
Registered: ‎06-13-2011
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Re: What does it cost to completely fix up a house?


cure wrote:

Here's an example of an old house in Cupertino, which needs some work.

 

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Cupertino/20220-John-Dr-95014/home/1140994

 

Assuming the house is structurally sound, here's a list of things that it could need:

 

- new flooring

- paint

- updated kitchen and appliances

- double pane windows

- bedroom closets

 

What else would a 50 year old house need? New plumbing, wiring and roof? What do these cost? Is it worth fixing up such a house, or would it be better to simply tear it down and rebuild? Are these reasonable projects for a first time homeowner to undertake? How long does this take?

 

One advantage of buying a house is this condition is that we get to remodel it to our taste, rather than pay for the remodel of the previous owner, but the numbers would need to make sense.

 

I just want to have a feel, when I walk in to an older house, what it might cost to bring it to a condtion I would find acceptable.



That house was built in 1960. The question is was it built with the codes that came into effect in the 60s? 

Regular Contributor
chepskate
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎11-28-2009
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Re: What does it cost to completely fix up a house?

You'll probably need

- electrical panel upgrade ($1500)

- some additional wiring/ new circuits to do a kitchen remodel etc ($2000)

- roof repair or re-roof. Repair is cheap, re-roof vaires depending on what you get, say $20,000

- condition of water heater etc? ($3K to replace)

- flooring.. depends on what you buy. Tile: Materials: $2 to $20/sqft depending on how fancy you get with your tile choice. Labor: At least $4/sqft for a decent job

- paint: $2K or so for an interior paint job. It is so easy, you can do it yourself.

- kitchen: Depends on cabinets. You can get great ikea cabinets at $4K or get custom cabinets at $15K. Expect to spend $5-6K on labor (demo & haul debris & install new cabinets). Appliances: Say $5K for " really good"  kitchen appliances, not high-end ones.

- city permits: $500 to $1000

 

 

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grborrmann
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎02-15-2011
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Re: What does it cost to completely fix up a house?

That is an area I have done lots of work.  Depending on what has been done, it is about to or does need everything.  Kitchen 40k, Bathrooms 15-20k each, copper pipes 8k, steel wastelines and vents replaced  as part of remodel will be necessary.  Lots of main wastelines to street 5k , heating systems 6k, Roofs (composition) 14k, windows 8k, entry & interior doors 3k, closets1k, flooring wood/carpet combo 7k , paint in/out  8k  permits 2k  Electrical upgrades 5k. upgrade  Insulation, there is none in the walls and blown in in attic 3k.  Most still have popcorn ceilings.  These areas were mostly orchards previously and the soils in that area do expand and contract with moisure so expect lots of sheetrock crack and repairs.

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tjh
Posts: 4,742
Registered: ‎01-09-2010
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Re: What does it cost to completely fix up a house?

More than $800,000 for that? In a neighborhood full of the same?  And you RBA people keep claiming that there is no bubble or downside there?

 

Hey, if you believe that, I've got some choice properties to show you in the other RBA (the Rest of the Bay Area).

 

And, please don't argue that the lot size is so unusually large, unless you can point to a general plan showing zoning that allows high density housing for the area that includes that lot.

 

Sheesh!  BTDT.

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tjh
Posts: 4,742
Registered: ‎01-09-2010
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Re: What does it cost to completely fix up a house?

cure:

 

On a more helpfull note: 

 

I too was always one that thought it would be best to buy something older, with potential and make it into what I wanted rather than pay a premium for what someone else has done.  But, what I've found is that, it always costs way more than you think it will, especially if you hire out the work and, more importantly, life gets in the way of ever getting it completed.  Many, many freinds have gone through this too.  What started out with good intentions and a lot of sweat and toil, ends up getting sold and then replaced with something that doesn't need any work and the peace of mind that comes along with that.

 

I've seen this both in personal residences and my old car hobby.  Let someone else take the hit on thier investment of time, money and emotional turmoil.  Are you aware that major remodeling is known to generate a divorce?

 

For instance, my wife would like a pool.  There is almost no way I'd buy a house and spend the money and go through the pain of having a pool built.  You save a lot of money and grief by buying a house that has a pool already where a previous owner has gone through all of the grief.

Contributor
cure
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎09-08-2009
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Re: What does it cost to completely fix up a house?


grborrmann wrote:

That is an area I have done lots of work.  Depending on what has been done, it is about to or does need everything.  Kitchen 40k, Bathrooms 15-20k each, copper pipes 8k, steel wastelines and vents replaced  as part of remodel will be necessary.  Lots of main wastelines to street 5k , heating systems 6k, Roofs (composition) 14k, windows 8k, entry & interior doors 3k, closets1k, flooring wood/carpet combo 7k , paint in/out  8k  permits 2k  Electrical upgrades 5k. upgrade  Insulation, there is none in the walls and blown in in attic 3k.  Most still have popcorn ceilings.  These areas were mostly orchards previously and the soils in that area do expand and contract with moisure so expect lots of sheetrock crack and repairs.


Wow! That adds up to 130-140K (and up!). This does give me an idea of how to compare prices of houses in different conditions in the same neighborhood.

 

Would a complete teardown and rebuild come closer to around 300K?

 

Assuming the house is unoccupied, how long does this take?

Contributor
cure
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎09-08-2009
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Re: What does it cost to completely fix up a house?


tjh wrote:

cure:

 

On a more helpfull note: 

 

I too was always one that thought it would be best to buy something older, with potential and make it into what I wanted rather than pay a premium for what someone else has done.  But, what I've found is that, it always costs way more than you think it will, especially if you hire out the work and, more importantly, life gets in the way of ever getting it completed.  Many, many freinds have gone through this too.  What started out with good intentions and a lot of sweat and toil, ends up getting sold and then replaced with something that doesn't need any work and the peace of mind that comes along with that.

 

I've seen this both in personal residences and my old car hobby.  Let someone else take the hit on thier investment of time, money and emotional turmoil.  Are you aware that major remodeling is known to generate a divorce?

 

For instance, my wife would like a pool.  There is almost no way I'd buy a house and spend the money and go through the pain of having a pool built.  You save a lot of money and grief by buying a house that has a pool already where a previous owner has gone through all of the grief.


A word from the wise and experienced :-)

 

I'll keep this in mind. I just wanted to have a better understanding of how this works.

 

We've been renting too long, and are looking at all alternatives (including moving to somewhat lower cost cities like Dublin, San Ramon or Pleasanton, though that commute would be a killer). In San Ramon, there seem to be plenty of newer properties, 4/2, 4/3, 2200+ sq ft, in the 700-800 region. Something comparable in Cupertino would be 1.1-1.4M, depending on the neighborhood.

Silver Trusted Contributor
Real_Estate
Posts: 940
Registered: ‎11-20-2010
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Re: What does it cost to completely fix up a house?


cure wrote:

grborrmann wrote:

That is an area I have done lots of work.  Depending on what has been done, it is about to or does need everything.  Kitchen 40k, Bathrooms 15-20k each, copper pipes 8k, steel wastelines and vents replaced  as part of remodel will be necessary.  Lots of main wastelines to street 5k , heating systems 6k, Roofs (composition) 14k, windows 8k, entry & interior doors 3k, closets1k, flooring wood/carpet combo 7k , paint in/out  8k  permits 2k  Electrical upgrades 5k. upgrade  Insulation, there is none in the walls and blown in in attic 3k.  Most still have popcorn ceilings.  These areas were mostly orchards previously and the soils in that area do expand and contract with moisure so expect lots of sheetrock crack and repairs.


Wow! That adds up to 130-140K (and up!). This does give me an idea of how to compare prices of houses in different conditions in the same neighborhood.

 

Would a complete teardown and rebuild come closer to around 300K?

 

Assuming the house is unoccupied, how long does this take?


The above estimates are similar to my recent experience, except that the window and the floor numbers appear to be on the low side.  Yes, to completely renovate the interior could be a project of $130,000 for the size of the house indicated.

 

I have not done a complete teardown but have asked a contractor to provide a ballpark estimate.  For your kind of house above, you should budget for $500,000.  In some cases, you can keep a couple of old walls and position the project as "renovation" rather than a rebuild.  You could save some money that way as "new" construction calls for a lot of studies, surveys, reviews, fees, etc.

 

Regarding time, 3 months should be enough, once demolition starts.  However, if you really go down this path, you MUST include a late penalty clause in the contract.  Contractors make money by signing up several projects AT THE SAME TIME.  If you do not protect yourself, it will be likely that your crew will somehow "disappear" for days or weeks.  Then, you will have a lot of delay.  3 months could turn into 6 months.

 

My experience is that, this process is manageable.  From a property tax perspective, it is better because you won't pay tax on the $130,000 renovation cost year-in and year-out.  If you buy a property with $130,000 cost added-on, chances are the seller would build in a higher $ amount in the sale price for his work.  And, your property tax base will include that as well.

 

Good luck.

 

 


 

Trusted Contributor
NathanSF
Posts: 166
Registered: ‎04-01-2011
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Re: What does it cost to completely fix up a house?

[ Edited ]

tjh wrote:

More than $800,000 for that? In a neighborhood full of the same?  And you RBA people keep claiming that there is no bubble or downside there?

 

Hey, if you believe that, I've got some choice properties to show you in the other RBA (the Rest of the Bay Area).

 

And, please don't argue that the lot size is so unusually large, unless you can point to a general plan showing zoning that allows high density housing for the area that includes that lot.

 

Sheesh!  BTDT.


In this case, the lot size is important because these areas have lot to house size ratios limitations.  Cupertino is $500+ bucks a square feet so an additional 1K sq feet makes a huge difference.

 

If nothing else, bigger lot means bigger yard.  A 6K sq ft lot would not allow for a swimming pool whereas 10K would.