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PerGynt

I couldn't agree with you more. But there are judges who don[t think that it is proper to work from home. They say it is "unprofessional" not to have an office away from the home, and I know lawyers who have been asked outrightly whether they work from home by these judges. I do not argue with judges, but how do you defend this position to a local district judge that you will see again and again? I was thinking that explaining that you feel that it's financially irresponsible to pay for an office when you can have one at home might be a good start. How would you do it?

Corinne A. Tampas

Having been a building contractor in another life (life before being a lawyer), nothing infuriates me more than real estate appraisers that ONLY take square footage into account when coming up with a value for a home. After all, most homes, regardless of square footage, have only one kitchen and two to three baths. This is where the cost runs up. It really does not cost much more to build a 3500 square foot house than a 2000 square foot house.

To my mind, the value in the house comes not from the square footage, but the finish work (tile and flooring material, grade of appliances and plumbing fixtures, insulation, tankless water heating systems, efficient heating and cooling systems, electrical packages, etc.). I personally would be thrilled if the public demanded change, but on a practical level, real estate appraisers and the lenders they work for are going to have to understand that value comes from more that a big boxy house with lots of rooms.

PerGynt

Corinne,
All of the 3500 sq ft houses I ever built cost at least 1.5 times as much as the 2000 sq ft houses, and maybe more becuase you usually don't build them in the same neighborhood or sell them to the same people. The cost of the lots are very different by virtue of being usually larger and in different locations, and the level of finish is usually much higher in the larger houses. From a builder's perspective (spec and custom)It's probably not a good idea to build a 3500 sq ft house without a high level of finish or you can't sell it to the people who buy 3500 sq ft houses. Not only that, but you'd better not put that high a level of finish in a 2000 sq ft house or you price out the people who buy 2000 sq ft houses.
Where you report your COSTS for the two different sized buildings were about the same, my experience is different in that my MARGINS were about the same, costs following footage, and any efficiency captured with additional size was offset by additional costs of finish and location, and sometimes additional holding costs as well.
So, anyway. Here's me sharing a very different experience with you about the cost of building a house, Corinne.
Cheers,
P

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