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Thoughts on planning a house build in two phases

4 years ago

My husband and I are at the point that we are getting our construction financing organized, have picked out several builders we'd possibly like to work with, and are about to start interviewing architects (we will DEFINITELY be working with an architect due to the cost/sq ft to build). We are in an area where the average cost/st ft has increased significantly (to around $300/sq ft) over the last few years. We have the budget to build up to a 3300 sq ft home, but would like to keep the size closer to 3000 sq ft to allow for cost overruns. We recently saw a house (which was not for sale, just me stalking the other houses in the HOA) that was built on the smaller side (2400 sq ft) then 4 years later the owners built an 800 sq ft guest house. This got me thinking that it was a very smart approach.

We are in a a mountain resort area where guest rooms are very desirable for resale or as VRBO/AirBnB rentals (and it is allowed by the HOA). While I don't particularly want a whole separate guest house (it seems that it would increase costs overall), I do like the idea of designing a "basic" house (3 beds/2 baths), along with an addition if we deem it necessary later. Is this an unreasonable thing to ask of the architect? Would I ask him/her to design the whole thing now, and also how it could work as just the "basic" version? Would it be better (aka cheaper) to design a separate guest house? This will be our full-time home (we will not be renting it out) and we plan to live here until we need to move into some sort of assisted living. :) But we also said that with the last semi-custom house we built, and we ended up selling that one after 2 years, so I want to make certain I plan for the unforeseen.

If it matters, the location will have water and sewer hookups (no well or septic). We'd be doing hot water radiant floor heat (standard in the area). The HOA is a high end location with custom homes on 1-2 acre lots about 10 minutes from the local ski resort.

Please let me know if there is anything else I need to consider or information to provide. Thanks for your time and help!

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