Building a house around Columbus? Here’s what you need to know

Nathan Law

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Finding a home in the Central Ohio real estate market is more like a shell game. Nearly as soon as a house enters the market another buyer has put a contract on the property before you even had a chance of knowing it was for sale. […]

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Finding a home in the Central Ohio real estate market is more like a shell game. Nearly as soon as a house enters the market another buyer has put a contract on the property before you even had a chance of knowing it was for sale.

Some buyers are giving up on the house search and are choosing to build instead. Joan Dye and her husband Ken had looked for a long time and decided to build.

Builders are overwhelmed with clients approaching them to find a neighborhood, a lot in which to build, and any customizations.

Fischer Homes has more than 20 subdivisions that sell sites and are building homes as of this writing.

In Grove City, the Farmstead subdivision off of Jackson Pike (SR 104) south of SR 665, has 70 homes built and expects close to 500 when complete.

(Photo by Tony Mirones) GROVE CITY, Ohio–Building materials set on a recently sold lot in the Farmstead subdivision.

Carrie Rogiers is part of the marketing arm with Fischer Homes. She suggests walking through and touring as many model homes as possible. This process can help you figure out what is best for your needs.

“See if you can visualize yourself I that space, and your current furnishings,” Rogiers said.

When you are going to use your current furniture, definitely bring pictures of your current items. That way interior designers can help you figure out what flooring, cabinets, and hardware will work best.

If you still are not quite sure what type of home you need or want, Rogiers suggests talking with a builders sales counselor. If you are working with a realtor, they can help you with the same process.

The most important aspect of buying a house is to be sure you have your financing in order. Knowing what you qualify for monthly and for how long will help narrow the size and price of a house.

(Photo by Tony Mirones) GROVE CITY, Ohio–Newly built houses line a street in the Farmstead subdivision.

Perspective

According to Nasdaq, lumber future prices have dropped considerably since their peak on May 7 at $1,670. As of July 16, the prices were $574. That’s nearly a 66 percent drop.

The Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio (AHACO) estimates the current need for new homes is about 14,000 a year. Currently, the area is building about 8,000 annually. AHACO considers affordable housing to be a payment totaling less than a third of a household’s income.

Considerations

When looking for a home or a place to build one, there are considerations to review before signing a contract. The list below is a starting point and not exhaustive.

  • Access to shopping
  • Commute to work
  • Entertainment
  • Property Taxes
  • Scenery
  • School District

To figure out the taxing prices in the district, a great tool to utilize is the County Auditor’s website.

To find the county auditor’s site of your choice simply search the name of the county and type auditor Ohio. This will take you directly to the county of your choice.

Depending on your county, you can find recent sales on the street, houses, and similar properties in the area.

new house home construction
(Photo by Tony Mirones) GROVE CITY, Ohio–A house under construction with lumber in the foreground waiting to be constructed into a home on a recently sold lot in the Farmstead subdivision.

Finding a builder

The National Home Builders Association (NHBA) suggests making a list of possible builders once you have narrowed down the type of house you want to build.

  • Look at the real estate section online
  • Local real estate agents can help your search
  • Ask friends and relatives for any recommendations

Here’s a handy list of questions to ask the builder.

The Better Business Bureau® of Central Ohio has a similar list.

Common builders around the community

From personal experience, when visiting a model home, be sure to take a tape measure. While an empty room will look huge, that changes quickly when your oversized furniture is moved inside. The eye can be tricky, if a room has furniture in it, measure anyway. The staging products may be smaller or larger than what you own.

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