Thinking About Building A New Home

August 2007 - We decide that this is the year to begin thinking seriously about building the house we will live out our lives in.

Pat says we need to make sure we are within 30 minutes of an international airport so we can travel when we want, and so the kids can easily visit. This is important since families get spread around - but when a major airport is close by visits are easy.

I get on the internet and check in-town property prices in the surrounding counties. It appears that if you want to live in-town within 25 miles of Glen Ellyn you will pay $1 million / acre. Most folks build on quarter or third acre size lots in-town.

Out of town sites are much cheaper -- but you usually sacrifice city utilities and city services; which we've grown used to in Glen Ellyn.

We consider that we own our current home outright, and that no matter where we build we'll probably pay the same construction fees for materials and labor in the mid-west. I look into Glen Ellyn zoning and building restrictions to see what's involved in doing a ground up remodel of our home.

Reading the online Glen Ellyn zoning regulations it becomes obvious that to change 60% of our home's walls, ceiling, and floor-space puts us squarely into the Class III remodelling category. In that category our existing foundation is about one and a half feet too wide under current zoning (our home was built in early 60's).

We look at cost to tear down our home and are pleasantly surprised to learn that it runs about $1200 for permits and about $7500 for the teardown and hauling away of debris / spoils. Our 40+ year old split-level home has a market value of around $15,000 (land value of our 50 x 200 foot lot on Park Blvd is around $240,000).

We decide that since we really like Glen Ellyn and the incremental cost to us of doing a tear-down is less than $15,000 (house value + permits + demolition - realter fees), that we will look into building on our current lot. Whew -- it's good to get to the point of knowing where you want to build; and finding out it's right where you already live!

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