Anyone who has shopped for a new construction home knows this question well. You find a home advertised at a great price only to find out later many costly items were not included. Even with a true turn key price on a new home, there are still other factors that will need to be considered. Building a new home can seem overwhelming. Breaking down the process and doing some research will allow you to develop a plan for your perfect home. So how do you get a true cost on your new dream home? Let’s talk about some factors to consider.
What is Included and NOT Included with the home?
Many new construction builders advertise low pricing that does not include essential items such as heating and cooling system, final plumbing and electrical, foundation, grading and backfill, termite treatment, gutters, etc. etc. These are items that every home will need to meet the residential building code, so the cost will need to be calculated into your budget. Ask your builder for a list of what is included in the price. Even better, ask them what is not included and how much those things will add to the price.
Model homes typically have many optional features that add additional cost. If you are looking at a model home, find out what additional features have been added to the home and at what cost. Are those features included in the price quoted? The builder should be able to provide with you a base price quote as well as the price of options that have been added to a particular model home.
Upgrades and Options – What to Expect
New home pricing will typically start with a base price that includes standard features. You will want to study these standard features and think about what aspects of the home are important to you. Most of the time, you’ll find that certain upgrades are needed to get the home you want. Make a list of options you want to consider. Your builder should be able to itemize the cost of each option. Most customers will add 10%-40% to the base home price with optional upgrades. When prioritizing these options, start with the items that cannot be upgraded later. For example, you can always upgrade the countertops later, but you cannot add taller ceilings.
How much will land cost?
As the old real estate saying goes, “location, location, location.” Property pricing depends entirely on the specific area. Ask yourself some questions about your ideal property. Identify the key features this ideal property would include. How much of my total budget am I willing to spend on property? Do I want the largest parcel of land I can get for my money? Does the property need to be in a certain school zone for my children? How far are am I willing to travel to and from work? These are questions to consider when thinking about the ideal location for your new home.
Once you identify a few target areas, you can begin to look at property listings and develop a property budget. Consulting with a real estate agent familiar with the area can help you find available properties and research pricing. If you would rather take on the work yourself, there are also several helpful websites such as Zillow, Landwatch, and Realtor. You can also consult with your builder about available properties in the area. When researching available properties, be wary of restrictions in certain areas. These restrictions can prevent you from building the home you want or using the land in the way you intend.
You will want to do much of this property research BEFORE you begin pricing homes. Your property budget greatly affects what you will be able to spend on the home. Having an idea of your property budget beforehand allows you to know how much you will be able to allocate for the home.
What about the cost involved with preparing the land?
This can be tricky, as properties can have vastly different site cost based on things like clearing, slope, permit fees, driveways, among other factors. Let’s look at some of these factors in more detail.
*Well and Septic – Most rural properties will require a new well and septic system. Conventional well and septic systems typically have a total cost of $8,000 - $15,000. Your county environmental health office will inspect the property and approve these systems. Some properties may have access to a city system for well and septic. In that case, the county will charge a connection fee to connect your home to these systems. These connection fees will vary by county.
*Slope – Properties with a steep grade typically require more site preparation and therefore incur more sit cost. Many times a basement foundation makes more financial sense in these situations rather than a crawl space foundation.
*Permit Fees – These fees can vary greatly in different areas. Your builder should be familiar with estimated permit fees in a given area.
*Driveways – The cost of a new driveway depends on the length and type of driveway desired. Gravel driveways are relatively inexpensive while asphalt or concrete driveways will be more costly.
*Clearing – Wooded properties will need to have a home site cleared and graded for your home’s foundation. This is a factor to consider when looking at properties that are heavily wooded.
An experienced builder is a valuable asset to help you navigate this process. The builder can meet you at the property to establish a site plan, determine cost factors, and offer guidance and suggestions. Builders can also help with the permitting process and ensure all local and state guidelines are being followed during site preparation and construction. Choose a trustworthy builder with a good reputation and a history of quality work and customer service. You will want to be able to rely on them to give you all the information up front (not in the middle of the project.)
Building a new home is a difficult task, but it can also be a lot of fun. Empower yourself by researching the details and develop a solid plan for your home. Taking these steps will leave you smiling as you stand in front of the home of your dreams!
At Silverpoint Homes, we recognize that new home construction can be a stressful process. An experienced construction coordinator assigned to your project will guide you step by step through the process and provide progress updates. We will meet you on your property to discuss the details of your site plan and budgeting. Silverpoint Homes wants to not only be your builder but also a trusted guide and advisor. Let’s start talking about your dream home today!