St. Charles County is growing, thanks to a contingent of people leaving St. Louis for the nearby suburbs of Cottleville, O’Fallon and others. While not as affordable and roomy as Lincoln County, St. Charles County is cheaper than St. Louis, and this westward expansion is fueled by the desire for more space at better prices.
The average home in St. Charles County cost $192,900 from 2012-’16, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. (That’s about $50,000 more than the average home in Lincoln County during that same time period.) Zillow lists the average home price in St. Charles County as $223,300, with about 1,900 homes on the market right now. Lincoln County, on the other hand, lists the average home price as $163,700 with about 628 homes on the market.
Land is another major consideration in the cost to build. More specifically, in St. Charles County the average cost of a 3 acre home site is $135,974. In Lincoln County the average cost of a 3 acre home site is $43,938.
But home building costs can vary widely in a county — or neighborhood, even — depending on what type of property you buy, the type of home you build, and how high-end you want the final touches and accessories to be.
CMS Homes, like many design build firms, offers a “Build Anywhere” Option. Prices vary on which home design you choose, starting with options at $139,900 all the way up to starting prices at $258,000.
Some other things that could affect the cost of building:
Location & design
This seems obvious; nevertheless, it needs to be said. Where you build greatly determines how much you’ll spend. Lot size and location are the starting point, but where you build can also affect how your home should be designed. There may be certain architectural requirements, for instance, in some neighborhoods. Or homeowners associations may require you to use certain (often expensive) materials for your fence or backyard playground. These are things you want to know before moving in.
Say you have a location picked out, but the custom design you like doesn’t work with the lot’s location. Maybe you don’t want that picture window facing right into your neighbor’s backyard, for instance. Or maybe there’s a killer view, but the home’s design would only display that view through the bathroom window. While CMS does offer custom-design options, or modifications to existing designs, making a bunch of changes to a design mid-stream will almost certainly make your costs go up.
Size & style
Another perhaps obvious point, but the size of your home will greatly determine how much it costs. Bigger homes generally cost more, but the layout has an impact on cost, as well. Two-story homes typically require more construction and design, and are therefore generally more expensive than one-stories. One-story homes, on the other hand, may have a bigger footprint for the same square footage as a two-story — which would necessitate a bigger lot. In a fast-growing area like St. Charles, land is a hot commodity, and bigger lot sizes mean a much bigger expense.
At CMS, we offer one-story, two-story and village/condo home plans. As an example, the Harrison, our one-story, 1,857-square-foot home with three bedrooms would start at $209,250, while the Augustine, a one-story three-bedroom home with 1,173 square feet starts around $137,000.
The finishing touches
Here’s where changes and upgrades can really start to add up. Kitchens and bathrooms are among the most expensive rooms in the house, particularly when you start upgrading to expensive materials like granite countertops.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, cabinets and countertops account for 5.6 percent of a home’s overall cost. Appliances, like refrigerators, account for about 2 percent.
Eco-friendly appliances on the other hand, like refrigerators and washing machines, may be a big investment up front, but can end up saving you money in the long run. (Not to mention saving a little extra stress on the environment.)
Not knowing exactly what you want can lead to stalled decisions, or even expensive changes mid-build. Making too many changes to your design will drive up costs no matter when it happens, but making them once construction has started could add serious impact to your home’s final cost.
Still have questions on home building costs? We’d love to help! Contact us here.