Don’t break the bank with remodel

Cost overruns more common than many think

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Whether you're thinking about building or perhaps just remodeling your current property, there's one mistake almost everyone makes -- and it's a costly one. Back in the mid-1980s, I was one of three listing agents on an 83-lot subdivision called "The Summit Above Beverly Hills." (You might have seen it in the tabloids -- it's where Britney Spears lives currently.) I decided to build a home there, and lived in it for 11 years. Recently, we just finished building our current home plus doing a major remodel on another property we own. On virtually every single custom home at the Summit, as well as on my own properties, I've seen the same pattern repeatedly. The final cost of the project was always 30 to 40 percent higher than what we initially budgeted. When you start a major building project, you'll hear stories about cost overruns. The builder will warn you about making changes once the plan is complete. You will vow it won't happen to you. Don't fool yourself --...