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What Cost Service do You Use?

What Cost Service do you use?

  • Marshall & Swift exclusively

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Boeckh (M/S Boeckh) exclusively

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Means or Craftsman Cost Guides

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • All of the Above

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • None of the Above

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I use local costs only and use no cost books

    Votes: 1 100.0%

  • Total voters
    1
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Terrel L. Shields

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I just got my 2003 copy of Means SF cost guides. Anyone else ever try using those? I am curious especially about the CD version. How easy is it to use? Do you trust your numbers??
 

Jeff Horton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
I recently purchased the M&S Residential Express CD and I like it. It's pretty basic and can't do anything out of the ordinary house with it very well. But I bought it for two reasons. USDA requires some certain form for cost on new houses and it does it for me.

Secondly I have used local cost from builders and supplies houses for a long time. However that is hard to prove if you are called on the carpet for something. I decided that M&S was a good standard that was widely accepted right or wrong. It would be easier to defend if needed. Since I am trying to break into Legal work that seemed like a good move.
 

Bobby Bucks

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Professional Status
Real Estate Agent or Broker
State
North Dakota
For the past 2 years I have used only local cost info from builders I know personally. Dropped Marshall Swift completely after hearing my builder buddies chuckle at their figures......."I can build a house for that?"
 

Nancy in Friday Harbor

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
Hey Terr,

I use two of the three.....how about a line item?
Have used Means and M&S since 1992......Have to put local modifiers on both. Have to update my Means......and the M&S subscription is due.
Ahhh, it's only money!!

Nan
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
For the past 2 years I have used only local cost info from builders I know personally. Dropped Marshall Swift completely after hearing my builder buddies chuckle at their figures......."I can build a house for that?"

Same here, though I have a Marshall & Swift here for back up. Builders (and just about every other kind of tradespeople) like to charge a premium over Denver costs in my area, and they tend to price gouge those who have an address in areas of higher end homes. It's almost impossible to just simply say what town you live in and get a bid on anything. They want to know what street you live on before they'll throw out any numbers.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Have had Marshall/Swift since way back when and it only cost $49 a year. It is still the industry standard in my market.

Since I do alot of new construction here...have a pretty good feel for builder's costs or better yet....builder's prices which have little to do with costs. Example: Microwave oven from builder $600...cost at Lowes for exact same unit $179. Just replaced a 24" towel rack...Lowe' price $12.99. Builder's price list says extra towel rack $35. How about a walkout lower level for $7,000? Less concrete and a door....go figure????
 

Terrel L. Shields

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I think all cost books need to be used with caution. But ditto for local builders. I have appraised new construction for a certain builder for the past 6-7 years...about 3 - 4 per year. Every one I have been in, is roughly speaking the same quality..good workmanship, usually tile, no vinyl flooring. Berber carpet, medium priced appliances, Brick veneer up to 80%, vinyl on rest. It has consistently went from 55-60- $65 bucks plus lot when these have sold and he tends to sell them for not much less than the appraisal but rarely much more. Recently, we did a custom house where this builder bid the borrower a job for $75/SF (no lot). He usually builds and sells on his own lot and this is the first custom one in a long time. They cannot understand why I appraised it for about $10/SF less. First, in that sub, this will be the most expensive house there, but not the largest, and at least 3 others were built by that builder....so? He has added $10 for putting up with these folks and after meeting one of the borrowers I understand why....I got her life history is about 2 minutes - far more than I wanted to know. I am convinced the builder thinks they are going to be a pain in the butt and wants to make sure he is covered...

Once you see a builders quality, it seems not to vary much with rare exception. They want uniformity so they can build faster. And abstracting their costs from the market is a real benchmark for using your M & S or whatever....
 
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