Remodel & Renovate in 98125>Question Details

Isbef, Other/Just Looking in 98125

We live in N. Seattle in a 1600 sq foot rambler which is 5 years old, we are thinking of adding a second story of between 500 to 1,000 sq feet to

Asked by Isbef, 98125 Sun Feb 14, 2010

give us more space. How much would you estimate the cost per sq foot would be? We have looked into moving for more space, but larger newer houses in Seattle are very expensive. Thanks

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Greg’s answer
Typical Real Estate Agent response from Pete A...Don't remodel=sell your house and buy another...2 RE Agent Commissions! That is crap...get educated and build-you will spend less and get more of what you want!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 16, 2010
I'm a Realtor and I agree with you. That is crazy to say "just sell your house". If they wanted to sell, they wouldn't be on here posting that they want to add on. Location, neighbors, love the house,etc. All reasons why people add on and NOT sell.
Flag Sun Feb 3, 2013

All good responses here, I will just add --- It is very important to get an opinion of market value of your home with the remodel for your area/neighborhood. Depending on your location home values vary from 300K to 1.5 mil (if on the water).

The Haller Lake, Cedar Park, Olympic Hills, Lake City, Sand Point, Maple Leaf, Matthews Beach, Meadowbrook, Victory Heights etc. have lot's of Active listings and many are Pending sales right now. Some of these area pockets were hit hard with foreclosures which resulted in lower neighboring property values. You might find a property which is bank owned that meets your needs at a very reasonable price right now if you elected to buy versus remodel.

If you remodel, you will want to know what the completed market value will be, compared with the cost of the remodel. How long will it take to recoup the remodel cost and can you see a return on the investment for your neighborhood?

If you will have the nicest, most expensive home in the neighborhood, you will want to live in the home a long while so the neighborhood catches up in value. It will not be a short term investment. However, if you remodel and your home is not the nicest home in the neighborhood you will be increasing the value, making your home more marketable. A good Market Evaluation will help you keep form going crazy with the remodel and keep your cost in tact. A good architect as Mack mentions will be a good investment.

Best to you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 15, 2010
I would add to the conversation just one more consideration. When you are done, will it be something someone else buying in your neighborhood will want to buy? Chances are the size you are planning will not constitute an over improvement, but I've seen some home owner additions which were not well laid out or thought through for resale. Someday, your needs or situation will change. If your addition is unusual for the neighborhood, you will have a more difficult sale, typically below what similar sized homes would sell for. Good luck however you decide.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 15, 2010
$225/sf or $125,000 minimum. Where's the staircase going to go?

Here's the problem, Isbef. You can adapt a house, which comes with one set of compromises - or, within the same budget, you can sell your house and buy another which comes with its own set of compromises.

I probably do a half-dozen or so consultations like this per year. It is rare that there is a "clear winner" in the decision to expand or move - at least, from the financial end.

I do know some excellent architects and contractors that can help you sort out the design and financial side of the expansion.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Isbef, I agree with the $100-$250 sq ft range for improvements on your addition. The ultimate number depends on your materials, budget or extravagent.

Recently, I am getting inquires for clients that have smaller homes, bought when the market was robust(2008) and now have minimal or no equity. Additionally, their families have grown. Frankly, the construction/remodel scenario comes up because they cannot afford to sell and they need the space because of the growing family. You want to find out if you can qualify for a construction/ remodel loan before you go further. See if the construction makes economic sense. Can you afford this addition? Will you have instant equity after competion or will you be getting less than 100% on your construction project?

Truthfully, if you can find a home that is acceptable, my personal opinion is to sell/rent and purchase. I have credit approved borrowers for construction loans and afterwards, they scrapped the project and they ended up buying an existing home. Also, I have done the other scenario where they love the area so much but need the space so they add on.

Most of the time, based on my funded construction projects and future value appraisals, the subject property is worth more than the acquisition costs + improvements. We use the guidelines of acquisition costs + improvements OR appraisal whichever is lower. Obviously, you would have to have enough information(loan amout) to give to your lender to see if you could qualify for the loan. See if the project you are considering is even feaseable.

Good luck and contact me if you have any questions. (
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 11, 2013
Constructing an addition to an existing home is costly and more then likely the owner will be unable to recover the cost and labor of such an endevour. The owner will have to under take a tremendouse learning curve in dealing with architects, contractors and workmen. I would counsel the owner to sell the home as is and go find a home already finished that will meet his size requirements.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 16, 2010
The structure alone will cost you at least $100/s.f. and then add finishes, plumbing, mechanical, electrical to get a total cost. You need a good Architect to do it right, as well as a good builder. Talk to builders in your area to get a better idea of rough per sq. ft. costs as they vary greatly depending on the neighborhood you live in.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
Agreed. A bad addition with poor design and flow might reduce the value of your house when you go to sell than improve it.
Flag Wed Dec 11, 2013
I have been hearing much lower numbers from builders and contractors recently due to the $175 a square foot. Best to get some bids. It depends WHAT you put there in terms of plumbing and bath fixtures. I live close by if you want someone to take a peek and talk it through with you, give me a call or email me. My contact info is in the link below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
I have worked with a lot of clients in the past when they have done major remodels, and most of them have been sorry they did it if they were still living in the house. The cost depends on who you hire. I would recommend that you decide what you want, hire an architect, and then get some bids based on actual plans. the plans are necessary for the permits, and also, so you can get real competing bids. Labor should be not as costly now as several years ago because of lack of work. If you need some recommendations for architects, just let me know. I know some good and very reasonable ones. But, I would not do this if you have to live in the house while it is happening. If you decide to just move and buy a larger house, I would love to help you with that as well.
Feel free to contact me anytime to consult. I love to help people.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Hi and Happy Valentine's Day!

The average price per square foot in 98125, when purchasing a home, is $262.00. If you want to build, it's between $100 and $200 per square foot depending on your luxury.

I hope this helps!

- Jay
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
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