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What’s in a price?
Paragon C&D Builders / Vallone Real Estate
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 • Posted January 31, 2013 3:19 PM

Prices…Prices…Prices…What’s in a Price? So many times, we get a call to ask about square footage pricing. There is not a standard answer. It all depends on what you want that makes up a price. Ranges can be given, but that is all. Prices from a track builder and a customer builder can be like night and day. Prices on what taste you have can be like beer and champagne. Maybe you better start a conversation about how much you have budgeted and then see what direction you can go. The builder will then be able to tell you if they can even do what you want for that price. You might need to scale back, change some of the materials and square footage you wanted. Talking with your builder is the key. You can compromise on many things to still get that dream home.

Why is there such a difference in a track builder and custom builder? First off, track builders normally have employees, buy their building supplies in bulk, might use a lower quality of supplies, could take longer to build due to volume, and might not have that personal touch, and so on. Just for the record, you might be able to pay that track builder more for upgrades similar to a custom builder; you must ask them what they offer. Whereas, the custom builder normally hires subcontractors and oversees the projects themselves. Their materials might be grades higher, and you get more of that one on one attention. Interview both types, but ask the same questions of both, so you are comparing apples to apples.

If you are comparing prices from a big metropolitan city to the hill country, they will not be the same. For instance, foundations in a Houston subdivision will be a lot cheaper than a foundation in the Texas Hill country. Soil verses rock determines how that foundation needs to be engineered. And yes, the cost could vary by $20,000 dollars for the same size home. Just like using some of the Hill Country stone in Houston. The stone will be a lot less in the Hill Country than in Houston. Each Region has its own difference. It’s really different if you are coming from a northern state with ice and snow and building here. Simple things like windows vary drastically due to the weather conditions for northern states compared to here in Texas.

Other things that impact prices can be what you want throughout your home. From more wood trim, custom cabinets, rock fireplaces, whirlpool garden tubs, appliances, flooring, hardware, etc. can all really jack that price up.

If you have $200,000 budgeted to build a home and you start working with a builder on the designs, don’t be shocked if they come back with $350,000 if you have added every upgrade you want. Normally, a builder can give you a base square footage price for the homes they build. Calculate their base to the square footage of the home you want. Then see if you can even get started. For instance, if the builders’ average is $130 per square foot, and your house plans are 2400 square foot, the estimated (starting price) will be $312,000. This price would be the standards that the builder uses. It does not include any of those high end extras you might want.

Prices are tricky. So know what your budget is, talk to your builder about that. It might save you and the builder a lot of time if you are initially too far apart on those prices. On the flip side, your builder might be able to help you scale down by either building a smaller home with just some of the extras. Communication is the key to accomplishing your dream by a quality builder.

For all Your Real Estate and Building needs or questions, call Debbie at 830-833-4249 or 713-818-6658.

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