The prices very greatly depending on where you build and who you build with . Prices in the 23434 area code tend to be more affordable than the 23435 area code. We recently build in Suffolk and found that the area and neighborhood drives the general price range. You can custom build or go with a builder who offers several standard models. The custom will be pricier since you are making changes and adding options and features but they offer more flexibility.
Most of your opportunity to build will come via a planned neighborhood - individually purchasing land and hiring your own builder is not as common. If you would like additional information, feel free to contact me.... more
As the other answers note, the most common methods are: (1) short sale or (2) have the seller prepared to bring a check to closing for the balance owed.
There are several other techniques that investors use, but Realtors (for various reasons) aren't enthusiastic with them. In brief:
Subject To: The property is sold "subject to" the existing loan. Essentially, it's like the new buyer assuming a loan when it isn't assumable. This strategy violates the lender's "due on sale clause" but--especially in today's market--lenders usually are happy enough just to have the mortgage payments made on time.
Land Trust: There's a strategy used by some investors (real estate "guru" Bill Gatten refined the idea) in which the property is moved into a land trust. The buyer pays the full amount every month to the trustee (the owner), and the trustee disburses the money to the lender, taxing authority, etc. OR--the buyer may pay less than the full amount, with the seller kicking in a portion (maybe a few hundred dollars) every month. At some point, the property is brought out of the trust and sold, with the "buyer" having the first right to buy. For more information, go to http://www.landtrust.net