If you're thinking about buying a fixer upper or short sale, you should be comparing those to what it would cost you to build new. In many cases, a new home can be built in less time than it will take you to buy a short sale. With interest rates still low, and land prices looking like they are about as low as they are going to go, and fairly stable, it's a good time to consider building. Many small builders aren't doing much these days, and some are doing jobs and just breaking even, or making little profit, so you can get a good price to have a home built.
Based on current land and construction prices, you'll want to make sure you can get pre-approved for a minimum of $350,000.00 if you want to build new in Loudoun VA. Depending on the lifestyle you want, there are a variety of ready to build 2-5 acre lots available in the $130,000.00 - $150,000. range. You'll wnat to make sure the lot has an approved perc site, and updated survey would be good. Check zoning, access, easements, HOA, covenants, access to power, BLR's ( Building Line Restrictions), max allowed building height, road maintenance agreements, etc.
Once you've chosen a lot, it shouldn't take long to find a builder that you can trust. But remember, some builders will give you an estimate, but that estimate will include " allowances", for example $10,000. well allowance, $20,000.00 septic allowance, etc. So if your well ends up costing $20,000.000, and your septic costs run over to $30,000.00, which both easily can, you'll have to come up with another $20,000.00. So always try to stay below what your maximun pre-approval is for. If you can get pre-approved for $375,000.00, then make sure you get an estimate to build for $350,000.00 or less.
You can have a home custom built, or buy a modular and customize it. Will you want a crawl space or full basement? A walk-out, or walk-up will cost a little more. Many modulars are designed to be expandable. You can order the main house, then later add a garage to one side, a sun room to the other, bump outs on the back, etc. If a starter home will work, and you expect your family to grow, an expandable design might be best for you.
Most builders can have a new home built and ready for occupancy in 3 months, and depending on the size of home, and type of construction, it could take up to 6 months. For homes in the $350,000.00 range, expect around 3 months start to finish.
When choosing a lender to work with, it's best to work with a lender with experience in new construction. They will verify ahead of time that the final project will appraise for the amount they are lending you to build. For example, Holly Hoopes with Sun Trust in Purcellville VA would be a good person to talk with if you want to build new in Loudoun county VA, and there are others as well.
If you're ready to consider having a new home built, I have several ready to build lots availavble, as well as lots currently in development and close to getting final approval. I also have over 30 years of experience in building, and working with several different builders in Northern VA. I can help you find a good lot to match your needs and lifestyle. Here are two adjacent lots that would fit just about any lifestyle. Located btween Lovettsville VA and Leesburg VA, 4 BDR conventioanl perc sites, no HOA, approx 10 minutes to Commuter Train at Point of Rocks, 10-15 minutes to downtown Leesburg VA and 24 hour emergency hostpital, approx 10 minutes to public boat launch into Potomac River, approx 15 minutes to Historic Harpers Ferry WV, approx 15 minutes to Frederick MD
Jeff Pearl / REALTOR / Lic in VA
Remax Distinctive / Reston VA
Equal Housing Opportunity Provider