Everything is not only bigger in Texas: it’s also better. So why not build your new home there? Here at NewHomeSource, we know building a new home is an exciting process that can seem intimidating at first, so we created this guide to help you through the steps.
In Texas, there are seven unique regions with their own landscape, character, and price point. These regions are Big Bend Country, Hill Country, South Texas Plains, Panhandle Plains, Gulf Coast, Piney Woods, and Prairies and Lakes. Plenty of acreage spans these regions, meaning it won’t be hard to find the perfect place to call home.
The average cost to build a house in Texas–including materials, labor, land, and fees–is around $447,500 according to HomeAdvisor. New Texas homes range between $80 and $160 per square foot to build; the bigger the house, the higher the construction costs. This can vary depending on the real estate market and affordability of the city.
Step by Step Process to Build a House in Texas
Lots of love will go into your new home, but various costs will arise throughout the process. No matter where you want to build in Texas, there are a few things to plan for before you can start building and settle into your new home. These will include land, insurance, taxes, permits, and other general construction costs.
The cost of land in Texas will depend on two categories: rural land sales and small land sales. Your home will likely be a small land sale, which is 200 acres or less. Of note, this definition increases to 8,000 acres in West Texas.
Finding land to build on is the first step in any home building journey. In recent years, the Lone Star State has been booming, entering 2021 as the world’s 9th largest economy by GDP. This means that land in Texas is in high demand. Though some land prices have risen, there’s still plenty of land to go around.
Homeowner’s insurance in Texas averages between $1,863 and $3,279 per year. There are many different options for homeowner’s insurance companies, but the least expensive one is Texas Farm Bureau, averaging $1,646 per year.
Luckily, the state of Texas has no property tax! The Comptroller’s office does not collect taxes. However, local taxes are up to the discretion of counties and cities.
After you buy your plot of land, it’s time to obtain building permits and insurance. The national average homeowners pay for permits on a new home is $1,200 to $2,000, according to HomeAdvisor. However, Texas is the largest state by landmass in the continental U.S., so that number will vary depending on the area where you decide to build.
As you calculate expenses on new construction, you should look at closing costs in Texas, which are about 2 to 5 percent of the home’s purchase price. This is relatively the same as buying an existing home, as the transfer of real estate requires certain protocols are followed, such as passing inspections.
Choose your Builder
Having a home builder that you trust is a huge part of the process, so this is a cost worth the investment. Builders are specialized and know exactly how to build your home from scratch quickly and efficiently.
Mortgage preapproval can help determine if you can afford a builder, and it’ll be helpful to have on hand when you meet with builders to ensure your financial credibility. Using a program like TrustBuilder helps narrow the list of builders to the cream of the crop.
Purchase a Lot and Complete Selections
Purchasing a lot will allow you to work with your builder to create or select a floor plan that you love. Selection time will vary if you are building a fully custom or a production home. If it is fully custom, you can select every single detail of your home (as long as they meet HOA requirements if there are any). If you’re going with a production home, you will be offered the home and land as a package and a range of house plans, giving you time and energy to focus on the rest of the build.
Ask your builder about climate considerations and the orientation of the house. How your home is situated on the lot will affect your view, how much natural light it receives, and energy efficiency.
Prepare the Lot and Frame the House
Before the builder can break ground, the local government must approve the design and issue permits. This includes zoning, grading, septic systems, electrical work, and more.
Once these initial steps are complete, construction can officially begin! The ground is prepared through leveling, or in the case of a basement (a rarity in Texas), the land is excavated, the footings are formed and poured, and then the foundation walls are installed. Until the concrete cures, there will be no activity on the construction site.
The next phase is when the excitement kicks in: rough framing begins. This is when the walls and roof are put in place according to your plans. Plywood is installed, and the house is covered with a protective wrap to keep elements out while construction continues.
Once the framing is complete, specialists can start to work. All electrical wiring, sewer lines, water lines, plumbing, and more are scheduled. Afterward, insulation will be installed throughout the home to make sure it is energy efficient, and stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Next on the list is hanging drywall, and then most of the aesthetic installation (think interior trim, cabinet installation, and painting). Exterior landscaping and final touches on the interior will be the last steps in the process.
On average, it takes about four to six months to build a house in Texas. However, this is dependent on several factors, including the size of your home, whether it is custom or production, how long your builder takes, inclement weather, supply chain issues, and more. To ensure this is a smooth and quick process, have all your permits and paperwork completed promptly.
Once the build is complete, there will be final inspections to catch any potential problems before you move in. Post inspections, your builder will schedule a final walkthrough. They’ll explain how everything operates, upkeep needs, and it is also an opportunity to see anything that needs to be corrected or adjusted.
After that, get ready for moving day: Your new Texas home is officially complete!