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The Benefits of Building on Your Own Lot

Are you considering building a new home on a lot you own in Northeast Florida or Central Florida? If so, this guide will help you understand the benefits of building on your lot, the process involved, and the cost of new custom home construction in these areas which include the  cities of Jacksonville, St. Augustine, St. Johns, Orlando and Winter Park, among others.

Deciding to build a new home can feel a bit daunting. There are so many decisions to make throughout the process! It is always best to consult with a well-established, local builder like Envision Custom Homes. Envision has over 15 years of custom homebuilding experience in Florida. Call (904) 337- 0216 in the Jacksonville area or (321) 695-2784 in Orlando, or contact us below to learn more about the custom home building process.

coastal style custom home

Build on Your Own Lot to Save Money

Statistics from custom home builders show that the cost of new home construction in the Jacksonville, Florida area ranges between $92 to $137 per square foot. The actual price ultimately depends on the features, finishes and quality-of-materials used in the construction. The average price of $115 per square foot is for basic construction.

This cost compares favorably with the median price of $129 per square foot for a previously-owned home sold in Jacksonville, FL and $131 per square foot for a brand new home on a lot owned by the homebuilder, as reported by Movoto.

This average price goes up to $150 per square foot for Saint Johns, $160 per square foot for St. Augustine, and $159 per square foot for Orlando, FL. When you build on your own land, you’ll remove the profit that the builder usually applies to the raw land that they have acquired, and this will save you money.

Compare Prices in Jacksonville, FL

  • $115/sq.ft. — Average Price of New Home Construction

  • $129/sq.ft. — Median Sold Price of Previously-Owned Home

  • $131/sq.ft. — Median Sold Price of New Home on Builder-Owned Lot

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Custom Home Construction vs. Tract Home Building

When you build a new custom home, you have control over the materials used, which lends itself to maximizing quality. New tract homes or “production homes” are built so that the builder maximizes profits. As a result, new tract home construction can be less than ideal. This may end up costing you more in the long run.

Tract homes also typically lack uniqueness. They frequently look like all the others surrounding them. A custom home provides instant curb appeal because of its uniqueness when compared to the others nearby.

Depending upon the design and the materials used, a custom home can also be more energy efficient, require less maintenance and may last longer.

By selecting your own materials and controlling the process, you get to dictate the level of quality of your home. You’ll also be able to remove the excessive profits that tract home builders typically apply to their materials. This will save you money as well.

Choose Your Lot

It can be a bit of a treasure hunt to find a good piece of land on which to build your new custom home. Sometimes there can be problems with building on a specific lot, issues that may not be apparent to someone who has less experience in building custom homes. If you already own a homesite, the construction plans need to work with any constraints that might exist.

If possible, before committing to purchase a lot, it is a good idea to ask for a consultation with custom homebuilding professionals like those at Envision Custom Homes. This can help you avoid big potential problems that you may not be aware of and enjoy a better result.

Things to Consider When Choosing Your Lot:

Neighborhood: It is critical that you build your new home in a good area with low crime and nice neighbors

Utility Access: It is important to check the ease and cost of making utility connections (electric, water, gas, sewer).

Location: Being near shopping, amenities and good schools is a consideration if you have children or plan to re-sell in the future.

Zoning and Land Use: Make sure you can do as you want on your land. Check for zoning prohibitions if you want to have animals such as horses, livestock, a fishpond, etc.

Acreage: The size of the lot must accommodate your new home and ideally leave plenty of space for your privacy.

Easements: You must provide required access according to the title deed of trust requirements and zoning rules.

Topography: The shape and grade of the lot determine the amount of dirt work needed for leveling and site preparation.

Building Permits and Property Taxes: It is always a good idea to find out how long a building permit will take to process. In some areas, this can be a lengthy period.

Building Plans and How to Get Them

Once you have found your lot, there are three methods to get plans for your new home. These include:

Standard Plans: These are pre-designed, existing plans that many builders may have available. They may offer some options but limited customization.

Design and Build: This approach utilizes a team typically consisting of an architect, civil engineer, interior designer and contractor who work together to plan, design and then build the home.

Self-Directed Customized Plan: With this strategy, you separately hire all of the experts required for the project including an architect, building contractor and any additional professional support required to get a building permit.

Building a new home on a lot you own should be an enjoyable experience. To get help when making these kinds of decisions for your next custom home project, consult with Envision Custom Homes. Request more information in the contact form above or call (904) 337-0216 in Jacksonville or (321) 695-2784 in Orlando.

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