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10 Best Places To Build A House During The 2021 Building Boom

Victoria Araj6-minute read

August 05, 2021

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As the United States embraces normalcy again, a building boom has arrived as many people look to take advantage of lower mortgage rates and move into single-family homes. The housing boom accommodates for the rapidly growing population, which has risen by 24% in the last 25 years1.

Building your dream home can be a costly pursuit, so it’s important to analyze your finances, including checking your credit score beforehand. Keep in mind that lumber has soared in price, sitting about 30% higher than normal due to inflation.2 If you’re planning to build a house of your own this year, you may want to consider building in a city with cheaper construction costs to keep your total expenses low.

You may be thinking about choosing the cheapest place to build a house to save as much money as you can. However, finding the right place to settle can be influenced by several factors, from the cost of construction to the quality of the community.

To help with your decision process, we’ve analyzed the cheapest places to build a home across growing cities in America. We pulled data from the list of 678 fastest-growing cities in the United States, then ranked each city based on factors such as the cost of living, unemployment rate and crime index.3 Here’s what we found:

Key Findings

  • Is that a 10 I see?: Spring Hill, Tennessee is the cheapest place to build a home.
  • Avid academics: Harrison, New Jersey allocates the most school funding per student at $24,360.
  • Spend less for more: Conway, South Carolina has the lowest cost of living, sitting at 88.2 under the U.S. average of 100.

Table of Contents

Best Cities To Build Property

Check out these cities that not only provide the opportunity to build a house on a budget but are also safe communities for you and your family to flourish in.

1. Bentonville, Arkansas 

  • Population: 62,521
  • Average Cost to Build Home: $170,250
  • Cost of Living Based on U.S. Average of 100: 2
  • Population Growth from April 2010 – July 2019: 3%

Bentonville used to be known as the home of Walmart. Now, it’s a booming city that offers great music venues, forest trails and rich American history. The cost of living and the cost of constructing your home are incredibly low, allowing you to save your spending. 

2. Knightdale, North Carolina 

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  • Population: 16,001
  • Average Cost to Build Home: $327,770
  • Cost of Living Based on U.S. Average of 100: 7
  • Population Growth from April 2010 – July 2019: 5%

Just a few miles east of Raleigh, Knightdale is the perfect escape from the bustle of city life. Young families and couples are flocking to the southern suburbia to build their forever homes. Plus, the smaller population indicates that there is plenty of room to grow.

3. Clayton, North Carolina

  • Population: 21,681
  • Average Cost to Build Home: $327,770
  • Cost of Living Based on U.S. Average of 100: 8
  • Population Growth from April 2010 – July 2019: 4%

Another small city sitting near Raleigh, Clayton is rapidly growing across the board, making it an ideal location to move to during the building boom. Founded in 1869, Clayton is one of many idyllic small towns that are on the rise of becoming suburban hot spots in the South.

4. New Braunfels, Texas 

  • Population: 79,438
  • Average Cost to Build Home: $316,281
  • Cost of Living Based on U.S. Average of 100: 3
  • Population Growth from April 2010 – July 2019: 4%

New Braunfels is perfectly located between the major cities Austin and San Antonio, and allows you to enjoy the perks of quiet country life. The town is known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor recreation as it sits beside the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers and several wildlife parks.

5. Mount Juliet, Tennessee

  • Population: 34,377
  • Average Cost to Build Home: $167,213
  • Cost of Living Based on U.S. Average of 100: 2
  • Population Growth from April 2010 – July 2019: 4%

Just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, the country’s music capital, Mount Juliet is a quaint suburb that is quickly growing in popularity as many have moved out of the city to enjoy the open land and outdoors. If you’re looking for a city that is family-oriented and safe, Mount Juliet may be the place for you.

6. Cibolo, Texas

 

  • Population: 28,920
  • Average Cost to Build Home: $316,281
  • Cost of Living Based on U.S. Average of 100: 9
  • Population Growth from April 2010 – July 2019: 55%

Cibolo is another city in Texas that has significantly grown both its economy and population in the last several years. Not only is Cibolo becoming a great vacation spot with its abundance of outdoor parks, museums and breweries, but it’s currently being ranked as one of the best places to live in Texas, particularly in Guadalupe County.4

7. Spring Hill, Tennessee 

 

  • Population: 39,711
  • Average Cost to Build Home: $167,213
  • Cost of Living Based on U.S. Average of 100: 3
  • Population Growth from April 2010 – July 2019: 4%

Established in 1809, Spring Hill offers the perfect blend of rich American history and new commercialization. Not only is it conveniently located just 30 miles outside of Nashville, but it also has a very low crime rate and is family-friendly, making it an ideal city to build a forever home in.

8. Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina

  • Population: 27,426
  • Average Cost to Build Home: $327,770
  • Cost of Living Based on U.S. Average of 100: 6
  • Population Growth from April 2010 – July 2019: 3%

Fuquay-Varina, incorporated in 1909, has quickly become a secret treasure in Wake County, North Carolina. Known for its safe neighborhoods, great entertainment and dining options, Fuquay-Varina is an ideal spot to settle down. 

9. Holly Springs, North Carolina

 

  • Population: 34,874
  • Average Cost to Build Home: $327,770
  • Cost of Living Based on U.S. Average of 100: 7
  • Population Growth from April 2010 – July 2019: 8%

Holly Springs is another blooming city that is centered perfectly between larger cities like Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. You’ll enjoy the benefits of living in a smaller town while being a short commute away from the pleasures of the city.

10. Morrisville, North Carolina

  • Population: 26,280
  • Average Cost to Build Home: $327,770
  • Cost of Living Based on U.S. Average of 100: 5
  • Population Growth from April 2010 – July 2019: 2%

It’s not surprising that so many cities in North Carolina made the list of best places to build a home, as it's one of the states with the cheapest land. Morrisville is booming as the newest tech town and currently ranked as the top place to live in North Carolina, making it an excellent city to build a new home in.5 

Current Housing Affordability In The United States

As states have slowly started to release COVID-19 precautionary measures, the housing market and the need for rapid home construction have skyrocketed. Due to the growing U.S. population, a 60% increase in home construction is expected for the next decade.6

Real estate housing prices have blown up, and the median single-family sale price has risen 16.2% this year.7 However, building your own home allows you to pick out your ideal type of house in your ideal community.

Cheapest Places To Build A House

Moving to a new place to build your dream home is an exciting adventure that just needs a little risk-taking. Planning early while scoping out possible cities to move to will help you down the road, especially when it comes to mortgage approval. Knowing what the average home prices are in your new city will help you gauge how large of a mortgage you’ll be able to afford.

 

  • Spring Hill, Tennessee
  • Mount Juliet, Tennessee
  • Bentonville, Arkansas
  • Herriman, Utah
  • South Jordan, Utah
  • Harrison, New Jersey
  • Boerne, Texas
  • New Braunfels, Texas
  • Cibolo, Texas
  • Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina
  • Apex, North Carolina
  • Knightdale, North Carolina
  • Morrisville, North Carolina
  • Clayton, North Carolina
  • Holly Springs, North Carolina
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina
  • Happy Valley, Oregon
  • Little Elm, Texas
  • Forney, Texas
  • Frisco, Texas
  • Farmers Branch, Texas
  • McKinney, Texas
  • Midlothian, Texas
  • Fort Mill, South Carolina
  • Leander, Texas
  • Kyle, Texas
  • Hutto, Texas
  • Georgetown, Texas
  • Katy, Texas
  • Bluffton, South Carolina
  • Hanahan, South Carolina
  • Conway, South Carolina
  • Saratoga Springs, Utah
  • Eagle Mountain, Utah
  • West Haven, Utah
  • Washington, Utah
  • Heber, Utah
  • Meridian, Idaho
  • Lehi, Utah
  • Leland, North Carolina
  • Windsor, Colorado
  • Firestone, Colorado
  • Erie, Colorado
  • Queen Creek, Arizona
  • Buckeye, Arizona
  • Parkland, Florida

Methodology

When analyzing the best places to build your house during the 2021 building boom, we began with the cities with the fastest-growing population percentages. This data was pulled from the list of 678 fastest-growing cities in the United States.8 We then looked at five factors that are important to consider when moving to a new city and weighed each factor accordingly:

  • Cost to build a home9 (50%)
  • Cost of living10 (30%)
  • Unemployment rate10 (10%)
  • Violent crime rate10 (5%)
  • School funding per student10 (5%)

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Victoria Araj

Victoria Araj is a Section Editor for Rocket Mortgage and held roles in mortgage banking, public relations and more in her 15+ years with the company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in political science from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan.

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