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Buying Villa Linnea

March 22, 2010

Buying a cottage is a serious academic challenge. After all, Villa Linnea is supposed to serve generations to come. And the building regulations  for cottages used all-around-the-year aren’t exactly easy to understand either, even for an engineer like myself.

We knew since a few years what the basic layout of Villa Linnea should be. The essentials are 3 bedrooms, a large living room in the center, a decent sized kitchen and dining area, and a no-fuss bath room with shower and toilet. No sauna. Villa Linnea should be two stories high with plenty of large windows towards the lake where the sun sets in the evening. And as signature, Villa Linnea should have a nice tower to go with it.

So we went searching for suitable designs from the usual suspects in Finland such as Kimara (the Ryanair version of Kontiotuote), Kontio (Kontiotuote’s own portfolio), Honka, Rantasalmi (bankrupt by now!), and Mammuttihirsi.

We found two designs that served rather well as starting point for the Villa Linnea design:

Image from Kimara:

Image from Mammuttihirsi Villa 119:

Both of them have one tower on one side of the building. Since my significant other and myself are huge fans of symmetry we decided that we actually will go with one tower on each side instead of one in the middle, as originally thought. By mirroring the half of the floor plan with the tower on powerpoint, we were ready to start negotiations with Kimara and Mammuttihirsi.

During the negotiations, we did not only add the second tower to the original designs, but also stretched the floor plan to go from 119 m2 to 148 m2, changed the structures of the second floor and the interior walls to also be made from massive logs instead of a light-weight wood frame with paneling, and added a covered terrace on three sides of Villa Linnea. But it’s absolutely worthwhile to start designing from an existing model. Why? Well, because you don’t pay for the design. In neither case did we pay anything for the drawings during the negotiation process.

To make a long story short, after friendly and professional negotiations in three rounds with both Kimara and Mammuttihirsi we made the deal with Mammuttihirsi. In regards to pricing, we ended up agreeing on a price which was significant lower than the first offer. The materials (logs, roof, roof materials, windows, and floor structures aka rossipohja in Finnish) of our Villa Linnea (which is more a Villa 148 now than a Villa 119) cost pretty much the same the list price of Villa 119 today without modifications.

Maybe, the most amusing twist in the price negotiations is the point when either of the sales persons claimed not to be able to lower the price anymore. At this moment, Kimara offered a 500 Euro outdoor  grill and Mammuttihirsi a spa weekend. Needless to say that we didn’t accept either of these so-called “deal-makers” but rather cut out another 5000 Euros off the price.

 

 

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