The Virginia Homebuyer’s Guide to New Construction

Are you having trouble finding a home for sale that checks all your boxes? If your timeline and budget are not terribly strict, then opting for new construction can be beneficial in many ways. Building instead of buying is an especially attractive option when the market is hot. Spare yourself the scarce inventory and bidding wars. Read more about new home construction in Virginia to see if it’s right for you!

Why Choose New Construction Over Previously Existing Homes?

Deciding between new construction and a pre-existing home on the market comes down to what best fits your needs. Below are some initial thoughts to get you started:

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s look at the top benefits of choosing new construction:

  • New construction means the home will be up to the latest home standards of today.
  • Avoid the repairs and other issues that you would run into with an older home.
  • You will be less likely to have maintenance issues soon after moving in.
  • You won’t have to deal with outdated practices, such as the use of lead-based paint in the home.
  • Newly built homes tend to be more energy efficient as well, which can save you money due to newer windows, insulation, HVAC equipment, appliances.
  • The cost may be similar or even less than bidding on an existing home, while getting everything brand new and how you want it.

Cost of Building vs. Buying a Home in VA

For many prospective homeowners, budget and cost are a primary factor in making their decision. Continue reading to learn more about what prices you can expect for new construction vs. existing homes.

To pick up on the last point, let’s look at where the Virginia real estate market stands now with average prices for building vs. buying a home.


Buying a home in Virginia

  • The typical home value in Virginia is $345,592, according to Zillow.
  • Virginia REALTORS® predicts that home prices will continue to rise in 2022 but at a more modest pace.
  • The inventory shortage is expected to continue through 2022 and beyond.


Building a home in Virginia

  • The typical price range to build a house is $117,718-$449,113, according to HomeAdvisor.
  • The price of building a new home is partly based on the cost of materials and labor, which can fluctuate. However, you also have some control over the total cost based on the floor plan and finishes you choose.
  • The Shenandoah Valley offers plenty of open space to build a new home on, so you don’t have to worry as much about inventory shortages.


Building a New Home Step by Step

Wondering what goes into building a new home? Our list below can help you understand each step in the process.

Choose between a manufactured or modular home vs. “stick-built” new construction. F&M Mortgage offers construction loans for both types of new housing. Manufactured housing offers the same choices of floor plan and materials, but the home is built in a factory and assembled on-site. If you choose stick-built, you can expect the process to play out in the following sequence:

  • Interview builders and contractors to find the right one for you. Ask family and friends for recommendations and read online reviews. Contractors in Virginia should be licensed under the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR). The state also publishes some great guides for consumers, such as “What to Look For (and Look OUT For) In a Contractor”.
  • Obtain F&M Mortgage offers short-term construction or build loans that we will help you refinance into a permanent mortgage after the house is finished.
  • Find a land lot to build on. Unless buying into a planned subdivision, you’ll need to purchase a lot for your new home.
  • Prepare the construction site. Now, your builder will get ready to begin construction by getting permits, leveling the ground, installing a temporary foundation, and more.
  • Complete the initial framing and foundations. It’s exciting to watch the shape of your home go up.
  • Install rough plumbing, electrical work, and an HVAC system.
  • Put in drywall and interior fixtures and trim. This is a fun stage as you see the counters, flooring, cabinets, etc.
  • Finish with exterior fixtures, driveway, and flooring. Watch the rest of your home come together exactly as you envisioned.
  • Walkthrough the home with your contractor to make sure everything is finished as you wanted it to be. Once you get the certificate of occupancy, you can move in.


Choose a mortgage lender who is experienced with new construction!

Choosing the right lender for your home construction loan is just as important as finding a builder. A local partner like F&M Bank can help guide you in the right direction. When you apply for a construction loan from F&M Mortgage, you can expect a seamless and user-friendly construction loan process.

Our Approved Builder Modular Construction Loan Program minimizes your construction loan costs and offers low down payment options to qualified borrowers. F&M Mortgage and our parent company F&M Bank will handle both the permanent financing and the construction funding. We will work closely with your builder to help ensure a smooth process.

F&M Mortgage has been offering full-service home mortgages to the Shenandoah Valley and beyond since 1999. Along with parent company F&M Bank, our professional mortgage advisors have loan options and mortgages to meet your residential and commercial lending needs.

Contact F&M Mortgage to make an appointment with an experienced advisor and get started now!