Mild winters, wide-open spaces, and vibrant city life makes Mississippi a unique and flavorful place to live. Southern-style cooking and backyard barbecues are a celebration of community in the Hospitality State. Over 50 different universities, colleges, and technical schools make the state a great place to seek new pathways for higher education. As a bonus, open roads with minimal traffic mean more opportunities to soak in the pleasant scenery.
Many newcomers drawn to Mississippi are also attracted to the low cost of living. The average cost to build a house in the Magnolia State is comparable to other states in the Midwest and Southern region. Stunning traditional Southern-style homes along the Gulf Coast and in major cities such as Jackson and Hattiesburg enhance the local scenery and add to the state’s natural beauty.
For new homebuyers, the step-by-step homebuilding process can be a bit overwhelming at first. With just a bit of research, new buyers can feel equipped with the knowledge they need to make their dream home a reality. Here are several additional important tips and tricks that new buyers should be aware of before beginning the homebuilding process in Mississippi.
Mississippi brings the heat and humidity, no matter which region of the state you reside. Homeowners looking to escape the cold should look no further than the balmy winters along the Mississippi Gulf Coast region. The farther north you venture the temperature drops slightly. In most areas of the state, expect to keep your air conditioner running year-round.
Homeowners in Mississippi should take critical steps to prevent structural damage from humidity. Installing a dehumidifier in areas that experience a higher moisture buildup, such as basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms, or laundry rooms will help keep these areas dry, lessening the chances of chronic problems like mold or mildew. Sealing openings around doors and windows, maintaining airtight spaces with weatherproof stripping, and caulking to repair cracks will help repel pests that may invade the home during wet periods.
Mississippi is also affected by severe weather risks. Severe thunderstorms are prevalent in the summer months, especially in the southern region of the state and along the Gulf Coast. Tornadoes tend to pop up in the late spring and early summer while hurricanes are a threat in the summer and fall. Homes along the coast will require either crawlspace or pier-and-beam foundations to withstand potential flooding and storm surges. Storm windows and doors are helpful for protection from high winds and torrential rain.
Along the coast and in regional floodplains, Mississippi homeowners may be required to adhere to specific building codes to protect their houses and neighborhoods from extreme flooding. To obtain floodplain information for your coastal Mississippi lot, visit the FEMA Flood Service Center Tool and search for your address. It is advisable and sometimes required to purchase adequate flood insurance and other protection against natural disasters in the coastal region.
According to HomeAdvisor, building a new home in Mississippi may cost between $180,000 and $300,000. The total expense depends on location, design, and materials. This is usually $100 to $155 per square foot for the typical home in Mississippi.
Here is a step-by-step guide for building your new house in Mississippi.
Before Breaking Ground
Step one is to purchase a plot of land. In Mississippi, as is the case across the country, the price of land is increasing. According to Landflip, the average cost of land in Mississippi is approximately $3,342 per acre. This can vary significantly by rural or city location, and if developments already exist in the nearby area.
Next up are building permits, which are typically required in Mississippi to start any new home construction, add to an existing residence, or make structural changes to an existing building. The regulations for building homes in Mississippi are decided by local city governments, which have the power to issue permits. The cost of permits will also vary by city, so be sure to contact your local governing authority for information regarding your required permits and the approval process. Keep in mind, some cities may require additional permits for installing water, electricity, and sewer connections.
Planning for labor costs ahead of time is essential. Unless you’re a professional homebuilder, it’s advisable to hire a general contractor to oversee the project and the day-to-day operations. A general contractor will work alongside homebuyers every step of the way to bring the owner’s dream home to reality. The construction site manager will hire and supervise all subcontractors and ensure that the project is moving along smoothly to meet your timeline and budget. General contractors typically charge between 10 and 20 percent of the overall project cost.
Architects and designers often work with homebuyers in the initial stages of the custom homebuilding process to draw up plans that encapsulate the buyer’s vision for the structure. However, some homeowners may be just as satisfied with purchasing pre-made plans for their home without the added customizations, which is an easy way to cut costs. And in some cases, homebuyers may choose to work with a design-build firm that will bundle the drawing of blueprints and the construction elements into a package deal. These three options for designing a new Mississippi home are competitive with the average nationwide labor costs.
Building Your New Home
Once the above is completed, it’s time to break ground on your lot. The site will need to be prepped by clearing, leveling, or excavating the area. U.S. estimates range anywhere from $3,000 to $150,000.
Then there’s the foundation. In Mississippi, homes near the coast are unlikely to have a basement due to unfavorable soil conditions and heavy ground saturation. Basements pose a high flood risk for new homes in areas that are prone to severe storms. Expect to have a slab or crawlspace foundation instead, which average $8,000 and $14,000 respectively in the U.S.
Framing is next and is typically the largest expense in the new home building process. This step creates a three-dimensional shape for your new home by erecting the structure and setting the lumber skeleton in place. The roof will also be installed, costing approximately $5,300 to $9,000 in Mississippi.
Major systems like plumbing and HVAC will come next, as well as window and wall installation. The final steps will include flooring, countertops, appliances, and painting, as well as exterior landscaping.
Helpful Tips for Building in Mississippi
Finally, below are a few tips and tricks for building your dream Mississippi home.
Closing Cost Incentives
Most, if not all, states offer some form of financial assistance for homeownership. Learn more about closing costs and down payment assistance available in Mississippi to potentially save money on your new home build.
The homebuilding process from start to finish is about the same in Mississippi as the U.S. average of seven months. The year-round warm weather often means fewer delays compared to colder locations with ice and freezing temperatures.
Build Your Mississippi Home
Warm weather and balmy breezes open up to clear skies and sunny days on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Take the next step toward your homeownership dreams and start building your dream home today.
Melanie Theriault is a writer, counselor, and lifelong learner. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Southwestern University, where she discovered her passion for fostering human connection through storytelling.