Mountainside lodge porch by Sineath Construction

Is Now the Time for Building A Custom Home?

Given the extraordinary supply chain issues, lumber and materials prices that went through the roof, and a volatile housing market, the last two years in the construction industry have been unprecedented across the country. If building a custom home here in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a dream of yours, you might be asking, “Should I build a house right now?” or whether it’s even worth pursuing that dream.

Should I build a house right now is a fair question to ask. There’s a lot to consider when deciding what’s best for you, including:

  • What function does your home need to achieve?
  • How energy efficient do you want it to be?
  • How long will you live in your home?
  • Do you need to buy land?
  • How will you pay for it?

Should I build a house right now, or should I wait?

You might think that because we’re custom home builders, we’re going to say yes. Of course. Now is a good time to build a custom home. The truth is, yes. If building a custom home in the mountains is part of your plan, then yes, build it now, especially if you have the land. But we understand the back-and-forth discussion you might be having with yourself: should I build a house right now or should I wait?

Supply Chain

As supply chain constraints have eased, material costs are easing a bit, too. But don’t expect those costs to drop to pre-pandemic levels. Supply is slowly catching up to the demand, so price increases are less dramatic and disruptive. However, prices will likely continue to rise for some time, so it makes sense to get ahead of additional increases.

Available Land

If you already own a lot, then you’re at an advantage. Land value is increasing. Buildable lots with views, acreage, or other topographic features near Asheville and other towns in the region are in limited supply. If you wait to find the perfect lot, you may have to go well outside the Asheville area to find it.

Keep in mind, mountainsides with steep slopes can make building a home cost-prohibitive for many people because of the additional engineering and foundation costs associated with steep slope building. Level lots, even on a mountainside, are becoming harder to find in Asheville.

Invest in You Future

If you’re ready to invest in your future, then now is a good time to build a custom home. While it generally takes three to five years to make the financial transaction of building a home worth it, the fact that we are in a historically popular tourist destination has generally insulated the real estate market.

Also thinking of their futures, many of our clients are building homes that need little if any modification to allow for aging in place. They plan on staying in their homes until they absolutely can’t before passing them on to future generations. They’re also building homes that require less energy to heat, cool, and operate, incorporating green features that help keep their home’s operating costs low.

History Tells Us

While we don’t have a crystal ball and can’t predict what the future holds, history tells us:

  1. Homes in Asheville and the surrounding areas are in high demand. While a popular second home destination for decades, the area is in especially high demand now for primary residences with people who work remotely. They want to live where they like to play, disconnect from the frenzy of a big city, or try someplace new.
  2. Because of its popularity as a tourist destination, homes in Asheville and the surrounding areas have historically been reasonably insulated from wild swings in the real estate market. While many homes in the region lost value in the 2008 housing crash, the scale was much less dramatic than in many areas of the country.

Paying for It, Is Now the Time for Building a Custom Home

While many of our clients don’t need a construction loan to build their home, some of our clients do get them. It’s a fair assessment that interest rates are likely going to increase in 2023. Rates are rising as a means slow the economy just enough to curtail inflation, which is also impacting builders, contractors, and suppliers. If you need a loan, it may be best for you to lock it in now before interest rates go up again. Building now could save you money over time.

While you may pay more for materials now, you may be able to save in other ways by adjusting your plan. In fact, adjusting your plan might be the best way to answer your question, should I build a house right now?

Many of our clients have reimagined their custom home plans to keep their vision on budget. An obvious place to adjust is the square footage. Depending on where you are in the design process, other savings can likely be found. Many green features will pay for themselves many times over with energy and material savings.

To wrap up

We get it. When you ask, “Should I build a house right now?” we appreciate that you’re weighing your options carefully. It’s a lot to consider, especially when building a custom home in a popular tourist destination. While from our perspective it’s a good time to build a custom home, it may not be the right decision for everyone.

As you consider your plan, please reach out if you have questions. We’re happy to provide you with an overview of what we’re seeing in the market to help you weigh the pros and cons. An informed decision is the best decision.

And when you’re ready to build your dream home, we’d love to talk.