Posted by Melissa Lynn Galland on Oct 2, 2018 6:51:53 AM
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Central Oregon is an ideal place to raise an active family or retire with a peaceful mountain view. For people who love to get outdoors, the region offers hiking, skiing, fishing, and many other activities—all practically at your back door. With an average of 300 sun-filled days a year, Central Oregon is a perfect escape from the notoriously rainy climates of other parts of the Pacific Northwest. Families are attracted to towns with world-class hospitals and excellent school systems, and rural residents enjoy ample space to keep horses, chickens, sheep, and other livestock. These are just a few of the reasons land sells so quickly in this area.

If you are considering building a new custom home in Central Oregon, you probably want to know what you can get for your budget. Of course, the answer depends on several factors. You won’t get a specific number until you engage a builder to provide an estimate, but a good starting place is understanding what is included in the cost of homebuilding in this area.   

Where do you want to build?

Whether you already own land or are looking at various properties throughout the area, where you decide to build your new home will influence the overall cost. For example, in the southern end of Central Oregon, thick trees, steep grades, and rocky terrain can add to the site costs, but the cost of land might be less. On the other hand, relatively flat areas with great views and easy access to water might have lower site costs, but the purchase price will likely be higher.

Weighing your priorities against the costs is part of the process when building a new home in any area. If you don’t already own land, consider consulting a builder before you buy to get a rough estimate of the site development costs so you can factor them into your budget.

It’s also important to consider long-term costs such as property taxes, homeowners association (HOA) fees, and ongoing maintenance. For example, living in a rural area often comes with lower taxes and fees, but it might cost you more to keep a long driveway clear of snow. An urban neighborhood will likely have higher taxes, but that also comes with more access to amenities.

Why do you want to build?

Your reasons for building a new custom home will also influence the costs. For example, are you building a family home where you plan to live for the next 20 years? Or are you an investor who plans to rent the property? These two builders will have different priorities, and these priorities will influence choices, such as the quality and cost of the finishes, or custom features that enhance daily life. Similarly, if you want to build a horse property, that will require much more infrastructure than just the home itself and will affect how you decide to allocate your overall budget. Your goals for the property and the home play a role in the decisions that affect the costs, so bear this in mind as you develop your budget.

What do you want to build?

The total square footage of the home, the number and types of rooms, outdoor amenities, and many other factors affect the cost of a new home. Think about how you will use your new home both now and in the future. If you’re planning to expand your family, having the bedrooms clustered together makes caring for a new baby easier. If you’re expecting an aging parent to move in at some point, building a multigenerational home or creating a space where your loved one can be close by while maintaining independence might be a top priority. Regardless of your life situation, building a new custom home is an opportunity to create the spaces that will support you and your family for a lifetime. Planning ahead and making an investment based on your current and future needs can actually save you money in the long run.

Your style and comfort preferences also affect the cost of building a new home. Cathedral ceilings have a higher price tag than nine-foot ceilings. A spa-like bathroom costs more than a basic shower. The best part about building a new custom home is that you get to make all of the decisions based on what’s important to you. If you want to save money by choosing simple finishes so you can invest in a two-car garage with an attached shop, it’s totally up to you.

Knowing what you want in a home goes beyond just the layout. Taking advantage of stellar views is a popular priority in Central Oregon, especially with so many snow-capped mountains peeking over the horizon. In this case, optimizing the size and placement of windows is essential. Think about the features that are most important to you, and build your budget around them.  

What will the home cost?

Once you’ve decided what you want and need in a home, you can get an idea of what it will cost to build it. If you’re starting with customizable floor plans, narrow down your choices based on the square footage, number of rooms, layout, and other key features. From there you can select the floor plan that best matches your preferences and the site conditions of your property. This will help you establish the base cost, and from there you can add the custom features that fit your vision and your budget.

What are the other associated costs?

The purchase price of the land and the cost of the house are just two categories in the total cost of building a new custom home. When creating your overall budget, you must also consider local requirements, permitting fees, and site development costs.

Local Requirements

Every jurisdiction has specific building requirements that must be met. Because these change over time, it’s important to visit the local authorities to ensure that the house you plan to build is compliant. If it’s not, there might be costs associated with making the necessary changes or getting special permission to build the home you want. Working with a builder who has experience in your local area is a good idea because the builder will be familiar with the regulations and have established relationships with officials.

If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, it’s important to understand the rules before you finalize your plans or start building, because the association might have requirements about the minimum square footage, paint colors, fences, or exterior features. You might also have to pay monthly HOA fees, which is important to know when lenders are calculating your mortgage qualifications.

Permitting Fees

Every new construction project requires a building permit and various other permits throughout the process. The associated fees and turnaround times vary depending on the jurisdiction. Again, an experienced local builder can help you successfully navigate this process and provide a rough estimate of the predicted costs.

In Central Oregon, certain areas that are close to rivers require special permits, with the goal of keeping the rivers as wild as possible without preventing people from building near them. Other areas might also have environmental permitting requirements, so make sure you do some research, ideally before you purchase property.  

Site Development Costs

When you build a new home, the land must be developed to prepare the site. This might include removing trees and stones, blasting to make the ground level, grading, creating drainage systems, and more. On some properties you might need to drill a well and/or install a septic system, which could be more costly in areas with deep frost and heavy snow loads. You also need to connect to local utilities such as electricity, sewer, water, and gas lines. In addition to scheduling these providers as soon as possible, you should also expect to pay connection fees and other associated costs. Your builder can help you estimate these costs early in the process so you can factor them into your overall budget.

How can you pay for your new home?

All of these fees and expenses might seem overwhelming, but building a new custom home in Central Oregon is possible with financing solutions that take the entire budget into account. Adair Homes has teamed up with Alliance Financial Services and other financial partners to provide a broad range of financing options, including those with low and zero down payments. With competitive rates and great customer service, you can find the financing solution that’s right for your situation.

Adair Homes is committed to helping new homeowners build dream homes at any budget. We’ll work closely with you to determine exactly what you can build, including estimates for all of the associated costs so there are no surprises. Our unique equity-building program also allows you to get more home for your money, so you might even be able to do more than you expected.

If you’d like to speak with a Home Ownership Counselor about building a new custom home in Central Oregon, schedule an appointment at our branch office in Redmond, or give us a call today.

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