Building a new home can be exciting. Getting to design and choose everything you want is a dream for many, but it’s also a huge undertaking – and an expensive one. On average, it costs $150,000 to $232,500 to build a 1500 sq ft house. BUT, that doesn’t include everything! (Keep reading for more info on that.)
This is based on the average per sq ft building cost of $100 to $155 per square foot. Where you fall on that scale will depend on many factors, including your location and how complicated the build is. The cheapest type of house to built per square foot is generally a simple ranch style, hence their popularity.
BUT, before you run out and find a builder, you should know that this price does not cover everything. In fact, there are a lot of costs people don’t even think about before you even get started building that can add a LOT to your neccessary budget which you should be prepared for.
Land Costs May Catch You Off Guard
If you live in a lower cost of living area, then chances are you can get land at a reasonable price. However, for those that live in a higher cost of living area with less available land – it quickly becomes far more expensive and difficult to acquire a good parcel at a reasonable price.
The hotter the neighborhood, the more you’ll pay obviously. So, if you need to save here, then ask yourself if it’s worth driving a little further to work to get a better location, bigger lot, or even some acreage at a price which you can afford.
Watch Out For The Site Prep Costs
Every parcel of land needs some degree of work done before you can start building. At the very least, this means land clearing and a foundation put in place. However, your land may also need grading if it’s not even, or you may need to install a septic tank or drill a well if you’re outside the city service limits.
These costs add up quick and you’ll want to be prepared before you dive into a home building project. For example, the foundation alone can run you $8,000 to $30,000. This, of course, depends on whether you’ll be happy with a basic foundation or if you have loftier goals of a full basement setup.
Similarly, a septic tank and well drilling are also pricey. Expect to pay $7,500+ for a well and $3,900+ to get your septic tank up and running if you’re planning to live outside of the city’s serviceable area. That’s why it’s important to know the ins and outs of the piece of land that you’re buying.
Because even lots which are not far outside the city center may not actually have access to city water yet! In short, it’s easy to be surprised and accrue costs you never though of if you don’t do your research. Here are a few things to look out for on prep work and their potential costs.
- Land Clearing – $1,500 to $5,000 per acre
- Well Drilling $7,500+
- Septic Tank Install $3,900+
- Driveway (Gravel) $1,500 up to $6,000
- Driveway (Paved) $5,000
- Foundation $8,000
- Full Basement $30,000
In closing, while building a home is very worth it to many people, especially when housing supply is low – it’s also trickier than it seems. But, if you’re armed with the right knowledge – you can build your dream home.
Bob learned about farming from his grand dad. So, the decision to leave the city and start homesteading was not a difficult transition. He now lives with his wife and two kids on their 30 acre property in Ohio.