The average cost to build a 2,000 sq ft house is $100 to $155 per square foot. That means the cost to build a 2,000 sq ft house would be $200,000 to $310,000. However, there are a number of other costs involved to build a home – which we’ll talk more about in this article.
First You Need Some Land
Before you get into building – you’re going to need some land! The price for this, of course, is heavily dependent on location. In a rural area in Tennessee you could pick up 20+ acres for less than $30,000, but in a hot metro like Nashville, a standard lot starts at about $65,000.
The Prep Work Gets Pricey Fast
Once you’ve got your land you’ve got some work to do before you can even think about building a house. This includes grading and leveling if the land is not flat enough for building, putting up a foundation, building a well, or installing a septic system.
While a house in a major city likely won’t need a septic tank or a well, keep in mind that hooking up to city water and sewer is not free. Expect to pay at least $1,500 for each of these, but call and ask the city first cause it can be surprisingly expensive in some circumstances.
Here are a few of these “set up items” and their average cost.
- Land Clearing ($1,500 to $5,000 per acre)
- Well Drilling ($7,500+)
- Septic System ($3,900+)
- Gravel Driveway ($1,500 to $6,000)
- Paved Driveway ($5,000)
- Foundation ($8,000 to $15,000)
- Basement ($10,000 to $30,000)
Can You Build A Home More Affordably?
You can if you’re willing to make some sacrifices. There are lots of options now which include log cabin kits which you can build yourself on your land ($74 to $164/ sqft), modular homes which are delivered and assembled ($50-100/sqft), and mobile homes which you can just drop on your land ($76/sqft)
Before you go out and buy a city lot and try to plop one of this options on it – check the deed restrictions! You can get this from the seller before you buy and it’ll tell you what you can and can’t do with the land. Know what those restrictions are before you end up with land you can’t build on.
Is It Worth It To Build A Home?
The answer to this one depends. It depends on how many homes are available in your area and the prices for land. If there is a lot of cheap land around but not many cheap houses – it could be very worth it. You can read more about when it can be cheaper to build a house at our previous article.
In short though, when prices inflate – building makes more sense. When prices go down and there’s a glut of inventory available, it’s hard to justify the frustration and costs of building a 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.