LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada is one of only eight states where it’s actually cheaper to build your own home than it is to buy a new one.
A new study released by Today’s Homeowner indicates a 2,100-square-foot home can be built for $47,479 less than it would cost to buy the same new home on the market. The total cost, including the land, is estimated at $399,154.
Western states — except California — are about the only place where it still makes sense to build your own home. In order, Utah, Colorado, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon are the top states where you’ll save money. Conditions in Florida are still favorable, but the $12,000 margin might not be worth the risk:
Utah presents the biggest opportunity, with a potential savings of almost $100,000, according to the study.
In 28 states, it would cost $100,000 more to build than to buy, with New York, Vermont, Alaska and Hawaii at the top. New York is the wrong place to build, with the price more than $623,000 higher than buying a new home.
Caroline Jones of Today's Homeowner said cost of living is a major factor in trends that the study shows. It's more expensive to build in northern states where the cost of living is higher.
"Nevada, specifically, is sitting right below the national average price per square foot. The average is $158 per square foot and Nevada's right below it at $156 per square foot," Jones said.
Among the other factors that play into the equation: cost of materials, labor, land -- and availability, especially for labor and land.
"It really depends on what the market is like when you are currently trying to build your own home. It's never going to be exactly the same over a time period," she said.
New housing starts declined by more than 27% nationwide in 2022 as inflation and supply chain issues took a toll on construction.
Nearly half of the cost of a $332,397 project (average nationwide) comes from exterior costs including survey and engineering, foundation, framing, sheathing, roofing, windows and doors, siding, flatwork and driveway, deck and landscaping. Interior costs add up to almost a third of the project cost, with electrical, HVAC, insulation, plumbing, drywall/painting, flooring, appliances, utilities, trim and fireplace.
Some average costs across the U.S.:
For more information, find the full study here.