"You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star." Friedrich Nietzsche
One of the lessons I'm learning in my (seemingly endless) attempts to rebuild following the flood is to find comfort with chaos. The mixed messages I've received from builders have been astounding! The first quote I received for my 1250 square foot one bedroom cabin was $137,500. It seems a fair price, but sadly, the builder had unforeseen challenges and so I began to look for bids from other builders.
The second quote I received was from a builder approved by the bank and he stated that he would be able to build my cabin for $199,000 - an increase of $61,500. The next bid was $215,000, increasing my original bid by $77,500!
I already own the land. This is a ONE BEDROOM cabin. The final value of the house would be $259,400 and I would need to find several similar one bedroom houses valued at over $250,000. (I am limited to one bedroom because of my sewage system - very few home owners in our area have that limitation.)
The opinion I most respect is from one of our township officials who noted, "Utilizing Building Valuation Data Table from the International Code Council, developer and publisher of the building codes used extensively throughout the US, including PA, the sq. ft. cost for a single family dwelling constructed with a wooden frame should not be much higher than $100K. There would be some additional cost for the reinforced, flood-resistant foundation, but not much."
The township uses these BVD tables to check construction cost estimates, and the first estimate I had was very close. If a township official feels that $100,000 "with additional cost for the reinforced, flood-resistant foundation, but not much" is reasonable, then more than double the cost can be viewed as either frustrating or amusing. I've decided to be amused!
I could also sell the land and head off to live closer to my friends Carrie and Lisa, and I would only be 45 minutes from the ocean!
There is chaos and lack of clarity a fraction of an inch below the surface of a mirror. But everything becomes clear when we move forward that paper thin distance.
Regardless of how this plays out, I intend to have faith and to find comfort in the chaos. I'm certain that I will soon be joyously giving birth to yet another dancing star!