In this article:
Whether you’re searching in the center of Texas Hill Country, on the outskirts of San Antonio, or somewhere within the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, it can be tough to find a home that ticks everything on your wishlist. If you’re still on the hunt for the perfect place, your best bet may be building a house in Texas from the ground up.
While building a new house can be a great option, it does come with its own set of considerations. That’s why we’ve brought you four tips for building a house in Texas. Read them over so that you can be sure your new home suits all your needs.
1. Interview multiple builders
In your area, there may be many new master-planned communities to choose from. While you’re likely taking factors like location and amenities into account, you should also look into the actual builder.
Just like how you should interview multiple real estate agents when buying a home, you should also interview multiple home builders if you’re planning to build. Your builder will be managing the bulk of the process, from handling subcontractors, tracking all costs, obtaining inspections and certifications, and more. All that to say, your builder needs to be someone you can trust.
You’ll want to talk to each builder about their experience with custom homes, ask to see a portfolio of their work, and request a few references. Before making your final decision, you should not only consider your thoughts on the community’s look and feel, but also how well you think you’ll work with the builder.
2. Begin with a budget in mind
In real estate, the budget is always going to be a concern, but that’s especially true when you’re thinking of building your own home. Since there are so many costs associated with home building, you’ll want to go into the process knowing exactly how much you can afford to spend. In order to do that, your next step should be talking to a lender and get a pre-approval. That will give you an idea of how much the bank is willing to lend you for your new construction.
Once you’ve gotten pre-approved, you can sit down with your designer and start to draw up the construction plans. At that point, your builder will likely go over the list of construction costs associated with building your home, including the purchase price of the piece of land, site preparation expenses, building materials and labor costs, plus fees for permits. After calculating these various costs, the builder should be able to give you a price per square foot that you can use to ensure you’re staying on budget.
3. Make your design decisions carefully
Once you have the budget and construction plan in place, you can get to the fun part of building a custom home: making design decisions. You may work with your builder’s design experts, who will help you make some choices about the finishes and trims that you’ll have in the home. Believe it or not, this is one step where even the most well-meaning homeowners can cause trouble.
By simply changing your mind one too many times, you can cause your project to get behind schedule or go over budget. For example, in theory, it may not seem like a huge deal to add some extra square footage for a pantry or to decide that you want energy-efficient windows after they’ve ordered the original ones.
However, in practice, last-minute decisions like these can bring production to a halt. With that in mind, do your best to make sure that you’re satisfied with all your decisions before you put the orders down on paper.
4. Elect to have the home inspected
Some soon-to-be-homeowners are under the impression that there’s no need to do any inspections on new construction homes, especially since the municipality will probably inspect the house while it’s being built. However, the reality is that newly built homes can come with issues too.
To that end, make sure that you at least conduct a general home inspection. That way, a third-party professional can check that the home’s major systems, like the plumbing and electric, are in good working order. Based on the inspector’s feedback, you can also schedule additional specialized inspections to ensure there are no issues with the house.
In this case, it’s much better to be safe than sorry. Remember that if you uncover a mistake before you buy the home, it’s the builder’s responsibility to make it right before you take ownership. After the inspections are completed and any repairs are done, your home should be ready to go!
The bottom line
Once your dream home is fully built, the last thing you want to worry about is selling your current home. If you sell with Orchard, we’ll help you line up your closing dates, so you can move into your new home as soon as it’s ready. That also means you can avoid any overlapping housing costs or double mortgage payments. Learn more about Orchard's new builder program here.