Are you ready to purchase a lot or even a teardown home, with the intention to build your dream home yourself?
A lot of people get to a point where they're tired of dealing with other people's architecture and layout decisions, and they decide it's time to build their own custom home. It's the best way to get everything set up exactly the way you want it!
Building your own home is a big decision and is a long process, and you want to make sure you work with a great builder. You also need to connect with an experienced local realtor who can walk you through the process of selling your existing home and help you start looking for a lot to build on.
Here's what you need to know to get ready for a custom build, along with the top 10 custom home builders in Iowa.
The first step to any custom home is getting the right land. In Iowa, your land costs can vary significantly depending on whether you're buying in an already-residential area or further out in a rural part of the state.
When you start looking for land to build a house, you probably want to focus on improved land. These properties already have some amenities, such as water, utilities, and driveways. This saves you a lot of steps and money when it comes to building your home.
The most important point is to make sure the lot is buildable. This means that the subdivision regulations, zoning ordinances, building codes, and permits required fit with what you plan to build and will not interfere with you creating your dream home. You'll also need to look into regulations that might affect your land, including endangered species, water quality, and other environmental issues.
Arranging Financing & Permits
Getting financing when building a home can be a challenge, but it's helpful if you're able to sell your current home to provide cash or a down payment for the venture.
Remember that a custom home costs between $100-$400 per square foot, depending on the options you choose. These costs may be lower in Iowa due to the lower cost of living overall, but if you're building in a remote area you'll have additional costs for transporting materials to the site.
The most common type of financing is a construction-to-permanent loan. This way, you can have a single lender and a single closing. It's convenient and it will save you a lot of money compared to having multiple closing fees.
The loan covers the cost of building the home and converts to a permanent loan once the house is built and has a final inspection.
To get permits, you'll need to choose your custom builder and have building plans created. These plans need to be taken to a local building inspector, who will let you know what permits are needed. Be sure you budget for these permits, which can be around 1% of the total cost of the home.
Top 10 Custom Home Builders in Iowa
Now that you know how to prepare and what costs to expect, who should you work with? Here are the top 10 custom home builders in Iowa.
Mond Group, Des Moines Area
If you're looking for a top home builder who creates stunning modern designs, take a look at Mond Group. This firm also creates excellent homes that are contemporary, transitional, and traditional. The firm has over 30 years of experience designing and building homes and focuses on creating a property that compliments your lifestyle.
Beaver Builders, Rock Island
For those looking for affordable new construction, take a look at Beaver Builders. They have floor plans listed on their website and you can work with them for a completely custom build as well. They have over 35 years of experience in residential development and focus on innovative and affordable design.
Stebral Construction, Iowa City
For construction in the Iowa City area, consider contacting Stebral Construction. This family-owned business is run by John, who has over 20 years of experience as a custom home builder. Stebral is committed to customer service and high-quality homebuilding.
Integrity Construction, Ames
A local grad, Brad Heemstra started Integrity Construction over 10 years ago and brought 24 years of experience in the industry. They build homes throughout Iowa and can provide you with anything from a starter home to a mansion.
H&H Homebuilders, North Liberty
This custom homebuilder focuses on creating high-quality energy-efficient homes along the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids Corridor. They build in six counties in the area and create mid- to upscale homes that are energy efficient and use recycled and renewable materials.
Rocca Custom Homes, North Liberty
If you're interested in seeing engineering and artistry come together, contact Rocca Custom Homes. They build in the Iowa City area and surrounding communities, and you'll work directly with the Roccas during your entire home building experience.
Madden Construction, Des Moines
Madden Construction has been in business for over 60 years. As a family-owned company, they focus on building top-performing energy efficient homes and offer both existing floor plans and full custom builds. You'll have a fully personalized home that matches your vision.
Flynn Homes, Cedar Rapids
Flynn Homes offers you the ability to build on your own lot or in one of their existing developments. Both of the principal builders has been in the business since the mid-1970's, so they have decades of experience giving customers high-quality custom homes.
Highland Home Development, Waukee
Highland Development has a motto: “If you can dream it, we can design it, so you can live it.” They work with any ideas you have to create your dream home in central Iowa. You can start with one of their existing plans or completely from scratch — it's up to you!
Classic Builders, Ankeny
Ranked among the top 200 building companies by Builder magazine, Classic Builders in Ankeny can help you create the new home you've dreamed of. They have existing floor plans for ranch or two-story homes, and they can work in your ideas so that you end up with the home of your dreams.
Sell Your Current Home to Prepare for the New Build
Before you move forward on purchasing the land and hiring the builder for your dream home, you'll need to sell your current property! Be sure you focus on selling at the right time so that you can move quickly while still getting a great price.
Working with a Clever Partner Agent can help you time the market and price your home at exactly the right level while still leaving more of the profit in your pocket. You'll pay a low flat-fee listing commission of $3,000 or 1% if the home sells over $350,000.
Having full-service help selling your home will help you make crucial decisions like what month to sell and what price to offer. The agent will also take care of marketing and fielding inquiries so you can focus on what you need to do — which is daydream about your new custom place!