Home Buying in Santa Cruz>Question Details

Wayne, Home Buyer in Santa Cruz, CA

What is the ave. cost to build a home in the Santa Cruz area per sq. ft.?

Asked by Wayne, Santa Cruz, CA Tue Jun 3, 2008

Help the community by answering this question:


It's not doing you justice to give you an 'average' when considering the costs of construction here in Santa Cruz. Because Santa Cruz is not really an average run of the mill type environment. Almost any lot you compare nowdays are not really comparable because Santa cruz is mostly built out. You will see infill lots, lot split sell offs, or uneven rural lots and land. And the 'type of lot' you choose has many effects on the cost, as it can greatly change your 'building costs'.
If you speak with anyone who has tried to build a home for themself ( or major remodel), you'll get a different story. And for most unexperienced contractors (or contractors unfamiliar with Santa Cruzs' requirements, foundation work is the number one underestimated cost when it comes to 'the cost of construction'. There aren't many 'normal' lots left in santa cruz (level, post stamp type, etc..). So you'll need case by case advise. You may find that a postage, level lot, in which foundation is not a major issue, you would expect to pay approx $200- $300+ per foot, depending on certain ammenities. However most of the time, the 'ideal lot' for someone planning to build here has the uneven terrain to contend. Please make note there are two types of costs 'soft' and 'hard.'. How much the lot costs (hard cost), permits (soft costs) drawings(soft costs),construction loan fees (soft cost), take out loan fees (soft costs), carrying costs (soft), defferred interest payments during construction (soft),etc...all may come into play.
There are many details that in an area like ours is hard to give you an average and do your question any real justice.
Another major vairable, here in Santa Cruz ,are custom home costs because most of what is here is not tract housing. The contractor may be lower, in bid, however, they may be cutting some tof the finishing work that will ony avail themselves to you later. So make sure to see the overall materials list when a contractor bids on a specific project. If possible, get references (pictures and addresses) of other buildings the contractor has completed over 2 yrs old.
I have sold properties for some good contractors that I can connect you with, that have references you can see locally. ...or if you need to ask a professional builder some friendly questions, I can personally put you in contact with teh right one as a courtesy. If you have something in mind great, otherwise, I can help you find the right lot that would fit your needsa as an active Realtor here in Santa Cruz County. I might even be able to see you through to completion!

Warm Regards,

Dave Kaemmerling
Cypress Realty
(831) 239-3222 Direct
(831) 688-3088 Office
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2008
Big difference in the # of stories, I.e. 1 story ~ $250/ sq. ft., 2 -3 story, $150/ sq.ft.; also in finishing, garage costs ~$75/ sq. ft. As there is no bath, kitchen etc which cost a lot more.
This is in city of Santa Cruz, 2012-14 timeframe.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 23, 2015
Hello, the average cost to build a home in SantaCruz is between $200 to $300 per sq. ft. A
lot of factors to consider but this a good ball park. Be careful excepting hungry contractors. J.M. 831-459-8181
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 6, 2014
This is an often asked question and I have had several answers from reputatble contractors. The issue is the quality of the build. How is it framed? Radiant heat? Green materials? Roof material? Tropical hardwoods? Solid doors? A custom build can be upwards of $250.00 sq. ft. but it can be done for less
if you use linoleum (green), hardy board siding, commercial glass etc. Pick a solid contractor and discuss your options. Then go to the county to see where the permit costs lie hidden!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
Hi Wayne, Erica Pittman-Gaynor here with Keller Williams, Santa Cruz. I built my home in 2004-2005 and it was about $294.00/ sq ft. As both Curt and Wayne said, it highly depends on what materials you use. Our home is fairly upscale with Granite and Travertine, custom built-ins, wired throughout, Rosewood floors, etc. Wayne made a good point that a lot of contractors and their subs are not working as much as they'd like and are fairly easy to find. Hope this all helps. Feel free to contact me for more info.
(831) 818-4123
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
Hi Wayne, Michael McDonald, Coldwell Banker. I built my home in 2003 and paid roughly $225 per square foot at that time. Since then costs are higher, but it's also true that they've come down in the past 6-8 months because there is less building going on in general, which means that contractors are easier to find (hungrier for the work!) and building materials are more plentiful. Supply and demand at work! Costs can vary widely depending on the type of construction and the type of finish materials you choose. I hear $250-$350 per square foot quoted by some and up to $400 for a more "upscale" home.

Another thing to consider is holding costs - assuming the home or land is not completely paid for, there will be monthly costs to hold the property. And, if you're not able to live there, you'll be paying rent or a mortgage on another property on top of that. Don't miss these expenses in any calculations you do. Good luck and let me know if I can help in any other way.
Web Reference: http://MMcDRealtor.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
Wayne, Curt Abramson from Bailey Properties in Santa Cruz here. The range I hear most often from builders and homeowners is $250-300 a square foot, for decent quality construction and finishes. That doesn't include land, of course, or the improvements that might be needed depending on the site such as extensive grading, driveways, a well, etc.

Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer