What would be the cost per sqft of building a house in our lot in the Lakeway area, 2k-2.5k sqft in size? how long would take from start to finish?

Asked by Victor Perez, Austin, TX Mon Jan 14, 2013

My girlfriend and me are looking at buying a house together in Lakeway, and while checking the market there we have seen some lots that we like and we wonder if building a house on a lot is much more expensive than building a finished one, or the other way around.

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Gene Davis, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Jan 14, 2013
All the previous replies have merit. I built a custom Tuscan style 4400sqft spec house in Flintrock Falls (near the new hospital), a few years ago; the total cost including design plans ($8,000), came to roughly $140/sqft. There are many variables, ie; style, elevations, level of finish out, etc, etc. it all depends on the price range type home you want. You're financially far better off buying a pre-existing home or a already started home in one of the new sections under development, rather than going through the design phase then finding a builder to build your home on a lot you purchase. You may not get exactly what you want but you could save up to 20% or more vs going the whole custom rout! My million dollar spec finally sold for under $800k; yes, ouch.
I understand all the numbers; if money is no object, build whatever you want; if you're a wise buyer and realize your eventually going to resale the home, then use your brain, NOT YOUR HEART!
1 vote
Does the $140/sqft include the lot price, or is it just the building cost?
Flag Wed Mar 30, 2016
Le Green Sch…, Agent, Anderson Mill, TX
Tue May 21, 2013
In addtition to the information below, the infrastructure available for the lot is also going to be an important variable,

Having an agent who works for you, and not for the seller or for the builder is the best way to get all the information and resources you will need to make the most of your home buying dollar.
The goal is to provide you with best home for you and your girlfiend, and that is a complicated process.

Buyer's REALTOR agents are not primarily salespeople, they are professionals that have a duty to serve your interests, just the way your lawyer would. Signing on with a buyer's agent who represents you will get you the best service, and almost all sellers anf builders have already agreed to pay for having you having an agent on your side.
0 votes
Bethany Jenk…, , Austin, TX
Wed Jan 16, 2013

I would factor a minimum of $190 per square foot because building prices are rising daily in our market. Because the market lost a lot of its labor and material suppliers during the downturn, there isn't sufficient supply right now to service the really high demand. So, the natural result is rising prices. If you want to read more about how custom homes are priced and the various differences in price per square foot, read my blog article from here on Trulia (posted below). I hope that helps, and good luck!

Jenkins Custom Homes is an Austin-based custom home builder, having built homes in Austin for over 20 years, in 5 Parade of Homes, 2 Showcase of Homes, and having been named Custom Builder of the Year for the entire state of Texas... twice.
0 votes
Kristee Leon…, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Jan 14, 2013

Some builders that I suggest in the Lakeway area are Triton Custom Homes, The Master's Touch, and Zbranek. Please email me at kristee@theleadersrealty.com if you would like the contact information for these builders. I have a client who just recently chose The Master's Touch to build their waterfront home in the Lake Travis area. All 3 of these builders built in the Parade of Homes.


Kristee Leonard, Broker
The Leaders Realty, LLC
512-695-5144 Cell
0 votes
Bill Austin, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Jan 14, 2013
Hard to give a complete answer. Finish out is the unknown. I believe it would be benificial to do an analysis of both in detail. I work with a couple builders and can assist throughout the process.
0 votes
Victor Perez, Home Buyer, Austin, TX
Mon Jan 14, 2013
Just a correction, where I said "building a finished one" I meant "buying a finished one".
0 votes
Steven Nusin…, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Jan 14, 2013

The previous answers are spot on....It really does depend. A good back of the envelope calculation to start the exploration would probably be $100/sq. ft, and this should provide a nice finishout and features.

To answer your question, you will most likely save money if you buy a resale home. I would be happy to discuss your situation without obligation.

Steve Nusinow
0 votes
Melanie Damr…, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Jan 14, 2013
Hi Victor,
I spoke to a builder yesterday. The list cost of building is around $170.00 a square ft. That is not what it would cost him, but what he would charge his client. That is a conservative figure. Now, big box builders can build for less, but not on your lot. Resale homes in our area are selling for less than that a square foot. The quick answer is that you can buy a resale or a home built by a large repetitive company for less than a private builder can build for. Can I help you further? YOu may want to go into some homes just to see what they are like. Call me to open those doors for you. Warmly,
0 votes
JOSEPH E JAR…, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Jan 14, 2013
Victor, not only am I one of the top agents in the Lakeway area, I also live here and own a home-building company as well. In fact I have a new home going up on 203 Los Altos right now. To answer your question, the price per square-foot depends on you. It's like how much is a car? You could do a finish out for $80 per square foot or a finish out for $150 per square foot. Basically, how high is up?

If you're not yet working with a Realtor, I would be happy to talk with you and see what I could do to help. I can also refer you to my general contractor, Stuart, who might be able to assist you as well as he is one of the top builders in my opinion, which is why I hire him to build all of my homes.

Let me know if you would like some free, professional assistance and I will do what I can!

Joe Jarusinsky Realtor/Master Instructor Keller Williams Realty, Austin's #1 Real Estate Company, Ranked #1 by Buyers and Sellers (JD Power & Assoc. 2012)
Call 512-261-4415
0 votes
Ronald Culli…, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Jan 14, 2013
Victor, the only way to answer that question is to say "it depends." It depends on what is available on the market that fits your needs, vs what you would want to build and who you chose for your builder. The range of $/per square foot price depends on the following: Builder you choose, what their "basic" charges are and upgrades you must have in the home, over and above what they present to you in their basic plans.

I have quite a bit of experience with many builders in the area, and would love to help you make the kind of informed decisions you appear to be contemplating.

Please contact me to discuss all your options, and let's see what is best for you and your lady friend.

Ron Cullinan
Avalar Austin
0 votes
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