Tennessee is home to rolling hills and a legendary country music scene, but that’s not all this southern state has to offer. Tennessee is ranked as the state with the 17th lowest cost to build a home, making it a much more affordable option for your future home than other states.
When it comes to land, there are three general regions: East, Middle, and West Tennessee. East Tennessee is home to the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains, also known as the Great Smoky Mountains, and provides any home with a beautiful mountain landscape. The middle and western regions of the state are flatter and contain some of the state’s biggest cities and most fertile farmland.
Whether you want a home in the lush mountains or in the city, there are a few things you should keep in mind while building a new home in Tennessee. Building your dream home is no easy feat, but here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
The climate in Tennessee is relatively moderate but it changes depending on the region. In the Western mountainous region, you will find cooler temperatures. As you move east and the elevation lowers, the temperatures gradually rise. The state receives an average of 51 inches of rain per year, which is evenly distributed across the state.
The Cost to Building a House
In 2022, the average cost to build a 1500-square-foot home in Tennessee is about $168,175, which is about $112 per square foot. Even in Nashville, one of Tennessee’s most bustling cities, you’ll find yourself spending about $119 per square foot to build your home.
Several things will need to be factored into the overall price of your home, such as the type, cost of materials, labor, and location.
Custom vs. Production Homes
The choice between a custom and production home is important to consider early in the homebuilding process. This will help you choose a lot, builders, and more. A custom home is exactly that, fully custom. You would work directly with your builder, making sure your house looks from top to bottom, inside and out, exactly how you want.
Of course, depending on your neighborhood, there are always certain things that HOAs may not allow. A production home on the other hand gives you that custom new home feels without the price tag. Production homes – or predesigned homes – come with a list of house plans with limited options.
Materials and Labor
The materials for your home are about 50 percent of the total cost. The exact price of the building materials varies, but labor is a big chunk of the price – or about 40 percent of the total. These percentages, however, do not include the land cost.
An acre of land in Tennessee runs around $14,400. This is not representative of every area of the state, especially pricier cities. For example, in Unicoi County, the average land cost is around $59,408, putting it at the higher end of the state land prices.
Keep in mind, there’s a lot to consider when buying land. So make sure you do your research and talk to local experts before purchasing.
Nationwide, it takes approximately 6-8 months to build a new house. In that timeframe, several things need to occur before your home can be built.
Purchase a Lot
When searching for your dream lot, consider what you want, including the price point! It is also important to consider how difficult it is to make the land livable. For example, if you buy a lot on the side of a mountain in western Tennessee, it will be expensive to get that lot ready to build on. However, if you buy a flatter lot, minimal work will be required – other than basic leveling and tree removal.
Find a Builder
Finding a builder you love is a huge part of the process. Your builder is going to be your right-hand person in the building process and the person you trust with the completion of your home. From planning to building to just giving helpful advice from their years of expertise, you want to find a builder that will turn your house into a home.
Permits and Paperwork
Your builder will help you with all the permits and paperwork required for all states of the building process. For example, you will need to apply for a Residential Permit from the state before new home construction can begin. This can be a long process, so be patient and trust the process.
Building the Home
After the preliminary steps and paperwork are completed, the work may begin! To start, the lot will be cleared of any debris and trees that may be in the way of your lovely home and the ground will be leveled. The foundation will be laid and then the house will be framed. This, of course, skips many steps and you can find more detailed steps to building a house.
After the foundation is built, the house will really start to come together quick! The walls come up, the floors are done, and soon enough, major systems are installed throughout the home.
Once the house itself is completed, there will be finishing touches added and final steps completed. Any necessary exterior grading and landscaping will be finalized and any problems that may have occurred during the building process will be corrected in plenty of time for you to move into your new home.
Helpful Tips for Building a Home in Tennessee
Still need help? Here are some helpful tips for building a home in Tennessee.
Closing Cost Incentives
Even with a new build, there are still certain closing costs. Luckily, Tennessee’s closing cost incentives will help lower those costs. Click here to learn more about the closing process.
Finding a City You Love
Tennessee is home to so many different cities, there truly is a place for everyone. If you aren’t sure the Nashville music scene is for you, check out this list of the safest cities in Tennessee so you feel completely comfortable in your new home. Looking to retire? Luckily, there are plenty of retirement-friendly cities in the state of Tennessee.
Build Your Tennessee Home
This is such an exciting time in your life, so enjoy it! With so many changes, challenges may arise. But if anything is certain, it’s that walking into your newly built Tennessee home for the first time will be worth every second and every cost.