Posted by Melissa Lynn Galland on Jun 15, 2017 7:22:38 AM
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With thousands of homes for sale in the Boise area, it can be difficult to sift through all of the options. Even if you can narrow your choices based on factors like the number of bedrooms, total square footage, location, and price, it’s still hard to know if you’re getting the most for your money. 

Existing Homes in the Boise Area

According to the website Buy Idaho Real Estate, there are currently just over two thousand homes for sale in the greater Boise area, including popular cities like Caldwell, Nampa, Kuna, and Cascade. Although the numbers fluctuate daily, a recent breakdown of the single-family home market demonstrates just how difficult it can be to assess value for money when it comes to buying a new home.

Square footage

Price range

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There is clearly quite a large price variation even within a limited range of square footage. Some of the factors that influence this divergence are: 

  • Neighborhoods and school districts
  • Age and condition of the home
  • Quality of finishes and amenities
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Total land area

The only way to know exactly what you can get for your money when purchasing an existing home is to analyze all of these (and more) factors against what your family wants and needs in a home. 

Building a New Home in the Boise Area

When building a new home in any location, you have much more control over the budget and where your investments are made. The total cost of building a new home includes the price of land, the costs associated with developing the site, and the cost of the home itself. Once you account for the land and the site development, the remaining budget can be maximized to get as much value as possible.  

A recent search shows more than 600 properties for sale in the Boise area ranging from less than an acre to more than 80. With hundreds of desirable lots in the range of $30,000 to $75,000, finding space in your preferred neighborhood is a strong possibility. Site-development costs in town typically range from $25,000 to $27,000 and go up to $35,000 to $40,000 in more rural areas. The costs associated with preparation depend on factors such as:

  • Whether or not you need to dig a well
  • Accessibility to utilities
  • Amount of grading required
  • Septic installation
  • Landscaping and paving
  • Impact fees 

These costs can vary significantly from site to site, so if you are considering buying land for new construction, consult with a local builder to get an estimate before you buy. 

As an example, assume you can purchase a desirable lot for $50,000, and you spend another $30,000 on site-development costs. If you have a budget of $225,000, you will have $145,000 remaining to invest in the home. With this budget, you could build a new home in the Boise area between 1,900 and 2,300 square feet, depending on the floor plan and level of customization. For the same budget of $225,000, only about a quarter of the roughly 200 homes available on the market are of the same size, with most of them being in the range of 1,200 to 1,700 square feet.  

This is just one example of how building on your own land can allow you to maximize your budget. Of course, the circumstances surrounding every home are different, so it’s important to do thorough research before you buy, whether it’s an existing home or new construction.

Buying an existing home comes with a range of unknown factors. Even with a quality inspection, there can still be plenty of surprises after you move in, especially if you plan to renovate. Building a new home eliminates the unknown and allows you to create a home that truly matches your lifestyle. If you’re looking to buy or build in the Boise area -- including popular Oregon cities like Vail, LaGrande, and Cove -- get in touch with Adair Homes to discuss your options for new construction. Our Home Ownership Counselors will work with you to determine exactly what you can get for your money, and you might be surprised to learn just how much that is.