So, you have been dreaming of owning your own home in Texas. After analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of whether to buy or build, you have settled on building. The main question is how much does it cost to build a house in Texas? Are there any hidden charges you need to be aware of?
In comparison to both the west coast and the east coast, Texas is much more affordable per square foot for both land and building. In fact, the bulk of people moving from California to Texas often times sell a home and then buy or build a bigger house in Texas for almost half price.
The cost of building a new home in Texas will depend on several factors including:
· Location of your home
· The building materials and products you select
· Pricing differences among regions
· Home type
· Cost of labor in your area
· Use of modern or custom designs
If you’re interested in building a house in Texas, here are some quick tips to give you a ballpark estimate of what you can expect.
How Much do Empty Lots Cost in Texas?
With its beautiful ranch properties, rolling hills, and hardy pine forests, Texas is an ideal place to buy land. Once you’ve identified the piece of land you want to buy, the estimated costs will vary widely, depending on the location, type, and size of land.
There are two main types of land in Texas:
•Subdivided land and
•Raw or unplatted land
i). Subdivided Lots
Texas offers every land type including zero lot line properties. You will even find a fifth-acre lot in a master-planned community, while neighborhoods with twenty-acre parcels are not a rarity.
The average single-family home sits on a half-acre lot, and subdivided lots often feature roads or utilities. The land is platted and recorded at the county level and may have a Home Owners Association (HOA) or deed restrictions attached to it. Other common features include shared community green spaces and a single entrance.
Subdivided lots in Texas can range from $20,000 for a typical mobile home lot to over $100,000 for a 1-acre lot in a developed community. Subdivided land costs more when you factor in the cost of utilities, surveyor costs, installing a septic tank, grading, and roads.
ii). Raw or Unplatted Land
Land that is raw or unplatted has never been divided. Raw land costs less to buy by the acre but it’s costlier to develop when you factor in utilities, grading, and roads.
For example, the cost for raw land in Fort Worth can range from $7,000 per acre for smaller parcels to over $50,000 per acre for larger tracts. However, finding the perfect lot is only the beginning of the land buying process.
Obtaining Building Permits
You will need to get all the necessary permits before building your new house. The location of your land will determine your building permit costs which range between $400 and $4,000. Areas that are more rural are cheaper to get a permit. Costs can vary widely depending on local regulations.
You can apply for a permit after obtaining a blueprint or building plan from an architect. Permits are valid no matter how long it takes to finish building your home. Failure to get a permit can attract steep fines, demolition, or a lack of insurance coverage.
Municipalities require permits to ensure that homes are up to code. In Texas, municipal codes prevent the construction of buildings that cannot withstand the state’s hurricanes, flooding, or other possible natural disasters.
What is the Average Cost of Building a House in Texas?
There’re are fewer entry-level homes being built below the 1,700 and 1,800 square feet range. The more common mid-level homes range from 2,500 to 3,500 square feet. You can expect to pay anywhere between $90 and $134 per square foot when building a new home in Texas.
The average price point on new construction homes in the Dallas Fort Worth area is in the mid to upper $250,000 range. Across the country, building an average single-family home costs $248,000, or between $100 to $155 per square foot.
Foundation work is where the real work begins as this is when you’ll break ground on your new home. It will cost you anywhere from $4,500 to $21,000 to pour a concrete foundation. The cost for a simple slab is on the lower end.
b). Finishes and fixtures
Want coveted granite countertops or marble floor tiles? These high-end options can cost between $40 and $100 per square foot while hardwood flooring will cost you $6 to $8 per square foot.
c). Type of roof
To install a new roof can cost $7,300 but the prices increase if you want options such as slate roofing.
Smart home features can cost anywhere from $50 to thousands of dollars when you go high-end. You’ll also need to factor in wiring and plumbing costs as part of your budget estimates.
e). Impact fees
Uncle Sam will also demand his share as impact fees which are roughly $2,000. Impact fees fund public services like roads, parks, and water treatment in your new community.
In your budget estimates for 2021, you may encounter the ongoing ripple effects of the Covid-19 pandemic or supply issues of materials like timber. To avoid overpaying and to mitigate against unexpected price fluctuations, your best defense is in-depth price research and a flexible construction schedule.
Why do Finishing Costs Vary?
Finishes such as flooring, roofing, shutters, lighting, cabinets, appliances, doors, bathroom, and kitchen fixtures will consume almost 25% of your total construction budget.
Basic finishes may be enough for future rental properties, but luxury touches can add up fast. There is always the chance costs may change regardless of how well you budget for your new construction home.
For example, the cost of installing an indoor pool can set you back $28,000 while a deck or a porch can cost $20,000. For landscaping, the sod will cost you another $1,000. Depending on where you live, energy-efficient solar panels can cost between $10,000 and $15,000. You’ll also need to consider the maintenance costs of such features.
Is it Cheaper to Build or Buy a House in Texas?
After breaking down the cost to build a house in Texas, you'll be in a better position to decide whether it’s cheaper to buy an existing home. The total cost of building your own home will compare better to buying a home if you already own the land.
Data from the National Association of Realtors shows the median cost of buying an existing single-family home is $271,300 whereas the average cost to build is almost double at $427,893.
The factors that influence housing costs make it impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer. But if you can manage to design and build a new construction home, then go for it!