Home » Your First Step to a Custom Home

Build on Your Lot in Austin

Technically speaking, all custom homes start with buyers building on their own lot. You can either buy a lot on your own or directly from a custom home builder like Paradisa, if they carry a property inventory. If your custom home builder does not have a lot in the area you want or you would like to select a lot on your own, you will need to think through finding a lot, planning out costs, deciding what kind of custom home you want, and of course actually getting it built. Below, we describe these steps in more detail so that we can be by your side every step of the way.

How Do I Select a Lot?

When you start the process of building a custom home in Austin, you are likely in one of two camps:

  • You already have land. If you already own the lot where you plan to build a home, Paradisa can help you begin the process of planning the next steps for bringing your dream home to life.
  • You don’t have land yet. If you want to find a lot and build a custom home, we can also help. Many clients have yet to find the right place to build their home, and we can find options that fit their criteria. If your specifications match land in one of our two developments, Scenic Point or McCormick Ranch, we already have lots available. If not, we can help find lots almost anywhere in the Central Texas area.
front of a house in austin texas

What Should I Look for in a Lot?

Because there are several factors to consider when looking for a lot, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the process. The team at Paradisa can help you prioritize your criteria and avoid burnout so you can stay sane while you build a home on your land. The first step in this process is to determine how the features of your lot will impact your quality of life and what land practicalities will facilitate or create barriers to the home of your dreams.

Quality of Life

Consider the amenities that you want for your quality of life. These must-haves are important for determining whether a lot will fit your needs. Include such items as:

  • Neighborhood atmosphere
  • School districts
  • Commute times
  • Traffic levels
Land Practicalities

Land varies from lot to lot even in the same development, so it’s necessary to carefully consider how much each of these factors weighs on your planned costs and home plans. Think about how these elements could be potential deal-breakers:

  • Topography
  • Utility hookups
  • Cost of area
  • Lot availability

Do I Need a Realtor to Buy Land?

This varies by the situation, but because buying land is far less complicated than buying a home, it can typically be done without a realtor. Paradisa does have a team of real estate professionals who can help you search for and secure the perfect lot for your needs, however.

How Do I Choose a Floor Plan?

Having a rough idea of your floor plan ensures that when the time comes for your house to be built on your land, your property fits your expectations. We can assist in discussing these elements:

  • How many bedrooms/bathrooms do you want?
  • How much square footage do you want or need?
  • How many floors are ideal for your needs?
  • Do you want a multi-generational layout?
  • Special features, such as:
    • Outdoor kitchen
    • Swimming pool/spa
    • Patios/decks
    • Raised ceiling/loft area
    • Walk-in wine room

How Much Does It Cost to Build on My Lot?

The costs to build on your own land in Austin will vary depending on multiple factors, but no matter where you decide to build, you will have to pay impact fees as well as municipal and/or county license fees for your project. You should also be ready to cover costs for your land to be evaluated by a professional surveyor to ensure that the foundation of your home is built in a safe area. A basic surveyor can be called out to inspect for things like floodplains and measure topography.

Depending on those findings, you may have to take additional steps to prepare your land for your building project, like adding retaining walls or regrading for water drainage. Other costs may include:

  • Lot development, such as utility hookups, well digging, and septic system installation
  • Driveway and other lot access improvements
  • Land clearing and grading

Can I Finance a Home That I Build on My Land?

It is possible to finance new homes built on your land with a construction loan or a construction mortgage. Lenders differ in their construction loan offerings, but some generalities exist. Construction loans usually have higher interest rates and often require larger down payments than traditional home mortgages because new construction projects carry more risk. You’ll most likely find construction mortgages with a timeline of one year, with the option to convert to a traditional loan at the end of the term.

The process to apply for a construction loan is similar to that of a traditional mortgage, and it usually includes a review of the homebuyer’s income, assets, and liabilities. Where the application process differs is that the lenders also require information and materials from your home builder. Because they have to review more information, lenders frequently take more time to evaluate construction mortgage applications than they might for a home mortgage.

If your application is approved, most interest payment plans for a construction mortgage begin immediately. As opposed to a traditional mortgage lump sum, construction loans are usually drawn by building phases. In most cases, the lender will release the funds to the homebuyer to pay the builder. Because of this system, it’s vital to keep all parties in communication about changes or disruptions to the project timeline so funds can be made available as necessary.

If you have questions about construction loans, Paradisa can offer recommendations for lenders that we have collaborated with on past projects.

front of house interior kitchen backyard of a house

What Happens After I Get My Lot?

Once your lot and funding are in order, we can move to the next phase of making your custom home dreams a reality. Paradisa’s full-service custom home process differs from many other companies that build houses on your land, as our team handles every aspect of your project — from architectural drawings to adding the final finishes on your home. Depending on where you are in your financing and planning process, next steps could include:

Pre-construction Paperwork and Contract Finalization

  • Plan and draft custom home drawings
  • Review preliminary plan and finalize price
  • Sign paperwork and contracts
  • Complete architectural drawings and plans
  • Submit paperwork and drawings to lender, and seek necessary state and local approvals
  • Hold interim finance closing at your title agency
  • Meet your project team and review homebuyer responsibilities

Breaking Ground and Construction Steps

  • Prepare and pour the foundation
  • Build the frame for your house
  • Install roofing, rough mechanical, and electric systems
  • Install walls and fixtures, and finalize mechanical systems
  • Complete finishes and finalize details

Walk-Through and Closing

  • Do a walk-through of your completed property
  • Schedule handover of your keys
  • Provide a full overview of our Paradisa Homes warranty

Ready to get started building on your lot? Let Paradisa help you with every step of the way. Contact us for a consultation today.