If you can't find the house that meets your needs, then buy land and build. It's really not that hard. You'll need the following (1) a loan officer that is familiar with land and new construction that will explain the entire process to you. See https://jyannetti-citizens.mortgagewebcenter.com/ (2) A real estate agent that tells you the truth about the lot you're considering buying. See Jeff Pearl (3) Blueprints of the house you want to build. (4) A licensed and experienced builder like http://www.paulmcmichaelbuilder.com/index.html if you are custom stick building. (5) If you need a modular, contact Chuck Owings at http://shorthill.net/modular-homes.html
Other expenses will be lot clearing, utilities, well drilling, septic system, driveway, misc.
So how do you start? Meet with loan officer to see what is max you can spend for entire project. Once you know this amount, you can work backwards to get an idea of what you can spend on a lot.
Let's say you're approved for $525,000.00. You can usually figure $16,000.00 for a convential septic system. Figure another $16,000.00 for well. Ok, so subtract $32,000.00 from $525,000.00 = $493,000.00. Check with your local building and development dept about permit fees. Let's just say $6000.00 for permit. $6000.00 for lot clearing up to 1/4 acre, and $6000.00 for utility line to house. $1500.00 for an underground 1000 gallon propane tank. $1000.00 to install it. Ok, that's 6 +6+1+1 = $14,000.00. $493,000.00 - $14,000.00 = $479,000.00. Now let's say the builder is charging you $280,000.00 to build the house. $479,000.00 - $280,000.00 = $199,000.00. Don't forget closing costs and overruns. I'll just guess $20,000.00 ballpark. $199,000.00 - $20,000.00 = $179,000.00
So, in this example, look for lots priced at $150,000.00 or less in the areas you would like to live. Avoid overspending on upgrades. Some builders will let you save money by letting you doing some of the work after you move in. Look at all the ways you can save. Carpet, paint, trim, cabinets, counter tops, tile, etc. If linoleum will work in laundry, use it instead of hardwood or ceramic tile. don't go overboard on appliances. Hold off on building a deck. Gravel driveway is fine. Maybe you can save $ by clearing the homesite yourself.
Just discuss options with your builder up front so everyone knows what to expect. Build your new home on this 3.8 acre lot betwen Lovettsville and Poing of Rocks!
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