Deciding to build a home is exciting—it's no wonder that more than 1,000,000 new residences are projected to go up this year. Still, if this thought has crossed your mind, you have also probably wondered: How much does it cost to build a home, anyway?
According to data from the National Association of Home Builders, the median price of constructing a single-family home in 2015 was $289,415, or $103 per square foot. And according to the U.S. Census, the median size of a newly built single-family house in 2015 was 2,467 square feet. That price can vary widely based on where you live, though. (Want a more targeted estimate? Go to realtor.com®/local to find out the price per square foot in your area.)
So why does building a home cost so much? Let's break down the costs, shall we?
There are a few main costs involved in the construction of a home, says Andy Stauffer, owner and president of Stauffer and Sons Construction. Sure, each time you build a home, costs are a little different, but here are the biggies:
Now you know the basic cost to build a home, but the expenses don't end there. Here are a few extra costs you'll need to be aware of that aren't factored into the above price:
That's a fair question—particularly since you can buy an existing single-family house for a median price of $223,000, or $66,415 less than building one. You will also save yourself the headaches that inevitably come with construction.
Still, building a home does have its advantages. Everything from pipes to the heating and cooling systems will be new. That means no costly repairs in the near future—and so a newly built home could end up costing less in the long run. Plus, of course, you get to design your home to your exact specifications. If you have very clear ideas of how you want your home to look, this blank slate could be worth every penny. (That said, designing your dream home from scratch has its challenges, too, so make sure to not make these mistakes.)