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Old 01-07-2020, 07:48 PM
26 posts, read 42,425 times
Reputation: 20


Hi, Our family is looking to relocate to the Spokane area, We would like a plot of land but I'm wondering if it's a better idea to buy land and build or buy a home already made. I want at least 1-3 acres and 5 bedrooms.. Price range under 500K Hoping to stay in the Mead High School/Mt. Spokane High School zones. Is this something that can be done ? Or am I asking too much ?
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:15 PM
Location: Nine Mile Falls/Spokane, WA
1,000 posts, read 4,507,751 times
Reputation: 781
Building is usually the more expensive way to go vs buying an existing home. There are a lot of variables that go into the building process, especially with acreage. If it's vacant land, you'll probably also need to drill a well and install a septic system along with the land clearing and bringing in power to the property. And that's before you even start to build a home. A 5 bedroom house is probably going to be pretty big and construction costs are up right now around here, if you can even find a builder and sub contractors to do the work. Most people are expecting it to take up to a year to get a home built on their own land.

Buying a resale home is usually easier if you can find one that meets your needs. Inventory levels are low right now - should be going up in the next few weeks/months but there will also be more buyers competing as the weather gets better. I just secured a home for some buyers in the Mt Spokane district on just under 2 acres priced just over $500,000 - it had only been on the market for a day.
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:54 PM
Location: WA
3,833 posts, read 4,840,959 times
Reputation: 4967
My brother is a contractor who works in the Spokane area. They are pretty booked up right now and there is a shortage of skilled labor. I wouldn't count on being able to build without running into a lot of delays and cost overruns right now. As a one-off consumer building a custom home you have basically zero leverage. If you are DR Horton or Lennar building a 50 home subdivision that is different. Contractors will get around to doing your place only when they have time between the bigger jobs.

Washington also has a lot of environmental and regulatory issues with building on virgin land that are more complicated and expensive than in a state like say Texas. If you ask around you hear horror stories.

If it were me and I were relocating to the area I'd definitely buy some existing home. If you want to build your dream home then do that after you have already moved to the area and settled in because it might be a multi-year process. The exception would be if you are moving to a subdivision that is already under construction by a major builder and you can pick a lot, floor plan, finishes from their range of options and get something built up while the subdivision is being built. You can usually get that done pretty fast if they are already banging out new houses on the same street.
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Old 02-04-2020, 10:29 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
26,166 posts, read 43,916,783 times
Reputation: 29664
I prefer to buy a 'legally placed' trashed Mobile Home on a view acreage.

4 hrs with a bulldozer can be a lot of fun.

Get your future permits BEFORE you doze the home.

I usually build a huge shop with RV hookups and a tiny apartment. (<2 months < $50k)
1) the kids have a place to play
2) you can store 'treasures' (used building materials) so you can build your dream house (if you so desire)
3) shop apartment is a place for your future caregiver or boomerang adult kids to stay. (or you as you age) .

Be sure to check for build-a-bility... whether you can even legally build where you want. WA has a huge list of restrictions.

Impact fees? Converting a 'vacant' parcel to one that is going to utilize Fire Dept, Public Schools, Libraries, Sheriff, Roads... can cause up to $50k in 'impact fees' in some counties / jurisdictions in WA. (before you get to the permit stage).

Well, Septic, Power, Roads, fences, Landscaping, internet or TV, window treatments, erosion control?... new places built from scratch can add up to a bundle.

Many WA friends move to MT if they want to build from scratch.
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