New Home construction Cost?

User Forum Topic
Submitted by trips123 on June 28, 2021 - 10:45pm

Does anyone has good insight into what are would be the construction cost per sqft for new homes in San Diego these days. Nothing fancy, just basic standard home.
Thanks!

Submitted by XBoxBoy on June 29, 2021 - 7:05am.

Are you asking what it would cost you or what a builder pays to build a house in a new subdivision? The costs for building a single custom house are higher for a homeowner trying to build a custom house then a builder building a bunch of houses at the same time, same location. Are you talking about building in the Coastal Zone and thus need to pay for a coastal zone permit? Are you including costs of architect or do you have plans? Are you assuming current high lumber prices and steel prices will have fallen back down to normal before building?

Submitted by trips123 on June 29, 2021 - 7:24am.

Thanks for your message.
I am trying to assess how much it would cost me as an individual to get a rental home constructed in area like Escondido/Chula Vista/City Heights if I am able to buy a land there. So not a coastal area.
We can assume lumber/steel prices back to normal levels and yes it would need architecture plans.

Submitted by XBoxBoy on June 29, 2021 - 9:38am.

Needless to say, prices can vary a lot depending on what you do, what obstacles you have to overcome and what problems you run into. But the ballpark number I hear for this kind of thing is around $300 a square foot. Can vary substantially from that though.

Submitted by gzz on June 29, 2021 - 2:25pm.

Unbuilt lots in those areas usually have issues that kept them unbuilt.

Now if you're talking about a teardown, that's different.

Honestly I would drop the idea of developing something unless you are well financed and willing and able to devote 20+ hours a week to it.

I know two incidents personally in San Diego where amateur housing development was a financial disaster.

In general, in business, the successful founders learned their industry as employees of prior successes first. True in my case and industry and many others.

Submitted by gzz on June 29, 2021 - 2:28pm.

I don't think $300 sq foot is happening in 2021, not all in costs at least.

I actually got a quote from a coastal small complex developer circa 2016. It was $500 sq foot.

Saying it doesn't have to be "high end" doesn't actually save you much. Nice fixtures barely add to the cost, which is why mid-range apartment complexes intended to rent for under $1000 a month in the midwest still have granite countertops.

Submitted by sdrealtor on June 29, 2021 - 3:56pm.

I have heard that $300 figure over and over for ADU custom construction. If you built a lot more there should be some economies of scale but Id use that for a single small house of say 1200 to 1600 sq ft. There are lots of fixed costs so the smaller you build the higher the cost per sq ft.

High end custom finishes are actually very expensive. Cheap imports from China have lowered the cost of stone and cabinets that have a high end look for not much more. Higher end finishes could easily add another $100K+ to the cost of something once you start dealing with custom cabinetry, high end flooring, appliances, lighting and plumbing fixtures etc. But I guess it all comes down to what one considers high end.

Submitted by Escoguy on June 29, 2021 - 7:59pm.

trips123 wrote:
Thanks for your message.
I am trying to assess how much it would cost me as an individual to get a rental home constructed in area like Escondido/Chula Vista/City Heights if I am able to buy a land there. So not a coastal area.
We can assume lumber/steel prices back to normal levels and yes it would need architecture plans.

A few years ago, a builder told me $80K for permits, $50K for a sewer connection if the line is close.

Submitted by sdrealtor on June 29, 2021 - 10:10pm.

An existing structure even if it's a tear down is a huge benefit as the utility services are all on site already, school fees have been paid and it's been graded at least partially.

Submitted by Hobie on June 30, 2021 - 4:44am.

Especially if the teardown can left be partially intact thus making it a remodel rather than new construction. Saving on fees!

Submitted by olegy on July 4, 2021 - 10:04am.

We built or single family residence in 2008-2009 after the fire. Existing lot had all communications available.
About 3500 sq. ft. Permit fees waived. Did cost us about $650K - close to $185 per sq. ft. Very high end - ICF (concrete) house, metal roof, metal clad wood windows, etc.
And we did not have a general contractor plus we did some things ourselves - flooring, tiling.
And it was ten years ago.
If you chose low end materials you can end up with less than $300 per sq. ft.

Submitted by gzz on July 5, 2021 - 11:41am.

Olegy you had the beat case scenario: no existing structure to work around, no permit fees, no expansion of utilities, and building in a deep recession that hit construction especially hard. And when you add the value for all your labor and no GC markups, you’re still above 200 per sf.

$300/sf might have been possible even in 2018. Not 2021 in San Diego single infill projects.

Submitted by Escoguy on July 5, 2021 - 8:38pm.

gzz wrote:
Olegy you had the beat case scenario: no existing structure to work around, no permit fees, no expansion of utilities, and building in a deep recession that hit construction especially hard. And when you add the value for all your labor and no GC markups, you’re still above 200 per sf.

$300/sf might have been possible even in 2018. Not 2021 in San Diego single infill projects.

Lumber is coming down some.

In some ways, it does beg the question if a forum like this could turn into an actionable set of options.
I.e. find a lot with buildable lots. I've seen a few.

Submitted by an on July 5, 2021 - 11:36pm.

I've gotten several rough estimates in 2019 from several design and build firms in San Diego to build a 4k sq-ft house from an existing 1100 sq-ft SFR and they came in anywhere between $185/sq-ft on the low end to $350/sq-ft on the high end. Assuming 2020-2021 was/is a fluke in term of material prices, I'd expect us to get back there once supply for materials free flow again.

One have to also remember that there are fixed costs regardless of how big/small you build. So, $/sq-ft will increase from the numbers I stated above if you build smaller.

Submitted by yipla on September 19, 2021 - 10:18pm.

an, I'm looking into a potential project like this. Just PMd you for firm names, if you're able to recall!

Submitted by sdduuuude on October 2, 2021 - 11:26am.

Are you still interested in an answer to this ?

Submitted by flyer on October 2, 2021 - 6:24pm.

To the OP. We've built/expanded on many lots over the years (not at today's costs) and have always gone with pros, and only with those with references from friends. The last time was several years ago, and the market has really changed since then, but, personally, I'd consult with at least one pro, if possible. Of course, go with whatever works for you, and I wish you the best.

Submitted by XBoxBoy on October 4, 2021 - 4:43pm.

sdduuuude wrote:
Are you still interested in an answer to this ?

I can't speak for the OP, but I'm always interested to hear about what prices people are able to get for construction.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.