Monday, May 12, 2008

Budget & appraisal being updated, and bathroom dreaming...

Sorry, I've decided to update my budget so I took it offline and edited out this post.

I'll just leave you with dreamy photos of our beautiful, contemporary Japanese soaking tub that's made of stainless steel. You can get these luxurious tubs at Diamond Spas.

Imagine meditating in one these after 8 hours of work!




15 comments:

Albo said...

I know that everything is relative, but how is a $600,000 house "economical and affordable"?
The swimming pool cost is almost the same price as your land!

Jan & Myleen said...

Albo, in relation to similar modern homes with similar amenities, 580K is a bargain. Most homes of this nature are well over 1 million to build, so, in the scheme of things, it's more affordable. The swimming pool includes an automatic safety cover, and is optional to any homeowner. If you remove that from the costs, it is still a decent priced house compared to the 50 year old broken down homes in the Northeast or small condos in San Francisco. Everything is relative! You should be thankful that I even posted prices of everything.

Jan & Myleen said...

In addition, I think the more people buy into green building, the more affordable it will become! With soaring energy prices, we'll be forced to put in energy efficient features in our houses... I know that $500 cooling bills are not uncommon in the summers here in Texas.

Albo said...

The fact that you posted the cost breakdown is why I made a comment. It was very interesting to compare the pricing against what I paid this past year for my construction in Vermont.

My wife and I did the same as you "build a modern, affordable, green, energy efficient and healthy home!" and have documented the project here:

Diary of a Vermont Eco Builder

Our costs were vastly different however - every project is unique - and we came in at around $360,000 for 2000 sq ft. This was pushing what we could afford, and we make a fairly good living, but it's still not "affordable green housing". At the moment it's VERY hard to make that statement viable, especially in this state where average median incomes are in the $40,000 range.

Jan & Myleen said...

Albo, thanks for giving us your link! I'll check it out. Yeah, I will admit that it hasn't been "affordable", but I am hoping to change this by making more people aware what they can do, and the more people who come on board, the more cheaper it will become. Originally, we wanted to spend maybe 425K tops, but that didn't happen! Our building costs came out to be $580K with all the green features, and there's still room for cutting, as well as not everyone would buy a pool. But after all the high end costs, we will probably spend about $50/mo on electricity vs. a possible $350/mo. Also, our carbon footprint will be considerably less and that plays a role on what we're willing to spend on. Also, it's hard to directly compare, but Austin is still considered way more affordable than California, Massachusetts, New York, etc. So, just take pricing with a grain of salt. Some people have actually said that the pricing on my spreadsheet is a bit high in some areas, other areas, much cheaper.

Anonymous said...

I do appreciate your candor on budget. Many people view that as private information and do no share it.

Leaving the total budget aside, I think affordability is the key for each particular green feature. If a green feature is truly affordable to a median income family, we can actually make that feature part of the building code. Changing the code is where you will see large systemic change.

Your project and Albo's serve as demonstration projects that serve to show which green features truly are "affordable". Thanks!

----
Bob

FREE SEO said...

I love the house and Austin is great, but I just got a chuckle out of your statement that you were just an "average couple."
I don't think an average couple can spend 600 grand on a home! But, hey..if you got it, more power to ya'!

What are your property taxes like there? A friend of mine was just looking in Austin and said the taxes were outrageous. So, he decided to come buy a new condo here in Bangkok.

Jan & Myleen said...

Free seo, yeah, I hear you on the expense. We are at a breaking point, but seeing that we have a modest living in other aspects of our lives (we don't wear name brand clothes and have a ONE 8 year old used car for the both of us), we chose to spend more on our abode... choosing green and quality is our investment, and we realize that it is expensive, but we hope to change all that. Yes, property taxes are higher here than in other parts of the country, but there are a lot more "affordable" homes here in Texas. We used to live in Boston, where 580K got you a crappy little house 1 hour from downtown, so we still feel we are getting our money's worth! :-)

jay said...

Hopefully your appraiser was educated about green building topics. Basically, there should be a present value reflected as future benefits. Appraisers working with income properties are used to doing this, but residential appraisers need to be aware that the future benefits of a green home are lower operating expenses (Utilities), making a higher mortgage more affordable. There's actually a new seminar (launching Tuesday in Austin, TX) by my employer, the Appraisal Institute on the Valuation of Green Buildings, which is designed to educate appraisers about green building issues and their impact on value. Glad to come across your blog, and looking forward to keeping tabs on your progress.

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Philippines properties said...

I am currently planning one for my bathroom and yours is great!

Paula M

san antonio garage door repair said...

In the pics,your tub is looking very nice.

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John Henry said...

It's your dream house... so no matter what's the price it is still worth it.

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