Hi Monica - can you please email me your Contractor's and Architect information if you have it?
Based on what's out there in market right now and pricing, it makes sense to us to built a new home rather than to buy one mainly for the reason that whatever is out there its not what we like for the price and would still end up changing things, but then again we don't want to be under water right away either so we are trying to keep our costs low.
I would appreciate all the suggestions and help and stories people have to share.
I created some statistics to help understand how much a newly built home would sell for over the purchase price of the knock down home. It shows the increased price (per square foot) of newly built homes.
Please see http://julianalee.com/cupertino/new-cupertino-homes.htm
I would say your cost estimates are on the low side but could be achieved. If you are just building it as an investment and intend to sell it, your contractor & architect can make good progress with only a moderate amount of your time. If you intend to build your dream house be prepared to spend a lot of your time.
Many of the permit and inspection fees are based on the value of the work done. You may decide to hire an approved outside plan checker to speed up the process. You may have neighbors object to your plans and have to redraw them or your plans may be approved without issue. Predicting the cost of the permits and inspections can at best be a rough guess at the minimum.
Cupertino has a "Building Permit Fee Estimator" link at
which will download a pdf form for you to fill out.
Juliana Lee, MBA LLB
Top 3 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty
Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 home sales completed in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties
Perhaps permits would be the lowest cost for you. If major electrical work is involved and you have to bring more power from city meter, costs and time factor go up. Best bet for you is to meet with 2-5 different contractors, discuss the plans with them. Each will explain thigs to you in detail, and you will get a better understanding of the process. A simple breakdown:
1. Architect costs
3. Contractor/construction costs
4. Interior upgrades
5. Cost to move out and rent a place to live during construction
Know that it will be a long and involving process, which will test your patience, no matter how good the contractor. I know of a few contractor who have done similar projects in the area, you can interview them. Please let me know if you want their contact info.
Call (408-316-0793) me or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up an appointment. I work with investors / home filppers so I can help with your valuations. I can help you evaluate whether you should sell the home or construct a new one. Both have advantages and can be determined by your financials, the cost to rebuild based on design parameters. The City permits follow the design, size, etc. I will explain the entire process to you.
The City of Cupertino Planning Department can give you all that information. Either go or call them. Best is to go so they can explain first hand all the permits and fees associated with building a new home.
Stu Carson & Davlyn Giovanetti
There is "no way" for you to get an "exact" cost from the City for the various building and mechanical permits. Part of the reason is that the permit pricing is often based on the cost of the actual item being installed, rebuilt, refurbished or upgraded. So, for example, if you're planning to install a $30,000 heating system with duct, then when you apply, the cost will be based on the cost of the heating system. Unless you know ALL the costs involved in building the components of your home, and I would bet strongly that you do not, then you would never know the permit and inspection costs. Keep in mind, too, that fees change, so what they quote you now, will probably not be the same in the summer.
Best to work with your contractor and architect to get a good estimate of the costs involved in permit and inspections. No one will know the exact amount until the time comes to get those items approved by the City.
Allison James Estates & Homes