New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

How to Buy a New Home Lot in North Carolina

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jul 10, 2017 @ 13:07 PM

What is the Process to Buy a Lot for New Home Construction in NC?

Get the inside scoop on how to build on your lot in NC - with tips from custom home builder Stanton Homes.

We'll give you some very important questions to ask your Realtor, Custom Home Builder, and, most importantly, YOURSELF!

On Your Lot Builders | How to Buy a New Home Lot in North Carolina

Top Questions to Ask when Researching "On Your Lot Home Builders":

Building a new custom home can be easier than you think.  There are beautiful homesites - or "lots" available in new home neighborhoods and outside communities throughout the greater Raleigh Triangle area.   Here's how to get started.

Question 1: How much should I pay for a Lot? 

How much should I pay for a lot for my new Raleigh custom home?

Yes, the price you pay has a lot to do with location – but size, amenities and buildability are also important considerations. Custom home builders in Raleigh can offer guidance, but it’s really all about what’s important to you.

You’re going to have to prioritize, as you make choices. 

The Triangle area of North Carolina - consistently ranked as the "best place to live" on national surveys - has been growing for several years. Areas such as Cary, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Apex have been hugely popular for a long time - making lots more available and affordable in the surrounding areas (just minutes away in many cases) such as Fuquay-Varina, Hillsborough, and Garner.

On Your Lot Builders | How to Buy a New Home Lot in North Carolina

Question 2: What's my budget, and why do On Your Lot builders need to know, up front?

When building a custom home on your lot, there are really two budgets to consider.

1 - the home, itself

2 - the land you want to build on

If you're looking for help finding a lot, your home builder will need to know your general budget, to help guide you to choices that match the most common requirements of, for instance, your bank loan appraiser.

As a general guideline, the cost of your lot or land should be no more than 15-20% of your total "house and land" budget. 

$150,000 total budget = $22,500 to $30,000 lot or land cost

$200,000 total budget = $30,000 to $40,000 lot or land cost

$300,000 total budget = $45,000 to $60,000 lot or land cost

$400,000 total budget = $60,000 to $80,000 lot or land cost

$500,000 total budget = $75,000 to $100,000 lot or land cost

The formula can change a bit for a large amount of acreage - for instance, you might reasonably construct a home with a $350,000 construction cost on a 10 acre parcel which costs $150K. 

Do check that your planned home corresponds with other homes in the neighborhood/area so that your future resale value is protected.

On Your Lot Builders | How to Buy a New Home Lot in North Carolina

Question 3: How do I know that the price of a lot or land is reasonable?

Talk to custom builders in Raleigh or an experienced land agent about the lots or land you're considering.  That’s where size, amenities and buildability impact the price of the home – as well as its future value.

An experienced land agent will be able to compare your lot price with other lots in the area, and compare the type of home you plan to build with other Raleigh NC custom homes available in the area.

Question 4: What about Property Taxes?

Depending on the specifics of your loan, property taxes may be included in your monthly payment. If it’s set up this way, a portion of the total tax bill is added to your monthly payment each month, then paid to the city or county at the end of the year out of an escrow account. 

You’ll need to ask – because if it isn’t included in the loan, you may be responsible to pay property taxes in one lump sum at the end of each year.  This chart will give you an idea of what kind of taxes to expect on the property for your Raleigh, NC custom home: Guide to Raleigh/Triangle Property Taxes

Property taxes outside city limits will always be lower than taxes inside city limits.  As an example, Chapel Hill has some of the area's highest property tax bills. Outside the city limits, Chatham County has some of the lowest property tax rates in the Triangle. Raleigh’s property taxes can vary, depending on location.

On Your Lot Builders | How to Buy a New Home Lot in North Carolina

Question 5: Why do I need to get preapproved?

It is always a smart idea to have a financial institution appraise what you can afford to build.

You’ll have to have a bottom line in mind before you even begin to look at lots and land upon which to build your Raleigh NC custom homes.

If you don’t have a lender in mind, ask a custom builder in Raleigh for recommendations. Contact us for a list of local lenders experienced with lot and land financing - there are plenty of great options available.

Talk with financial professionals about your total "construction and land" affordability.  Here are the questions you’ll need answered:

- What monthly payment can I afford?

- What total amount do I qualify for?

- Will my payment be affected if interest rates increase?


Contact Stanton Homes at 919-278-8070 or send us your questions, here, and we'll help you learn all you need to know about the On Your Lot Building Process.


Tags: build on your lot nc, build on your lot, NC build on your lot builders, on your lot builders, how to build on my lot

Raleigh, NC Basement Home Options | How Much does a Basement Cost?

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Dec 07, 2011 @ 10:12 AM

New Homes with Basements in the Raleigh, NC Area

How Much do Basements Cost in Raleigh, NC?


How do I find a basement home in the Triangle?

If you're looking for a basement home in the Raleigh NC area, chances are really good that you'll be considering a "walk out" or "daylight" basement

Because of the high water tables and high water content of the soil, many builders will not take liability for a basement that is fully underground.  Without drainage, water leakage is much more likely to occur at some point, even with extensive sealing.  

What is a daylight basement?

Daylight Basement Homes

A daylight basement usually has at least one fully exposed wall that looks just like a "normal" house.  

To build a daylight basement home, you'll need a lot with some slope to it - an ideal slope will have anywhere from 8 to 12 ft in height difference between the front of the home and the back of the home. 

Of course, a lot with more or less slope can also work - but the more the dirt needs to be moved around to accomodate the home, the higher the cost is likely to be. 

The front of the home will look like a standard one or two story home.  From the rear of the home, the basement will be visible as an additional story. 

Basement Homes Raleigh

French doors, sliding doors, and windows can provide plenty of natural light for the basement.

Many basements are unfinished at the time the home is sold.  The homeowner can finish the space later, and save money either by doing some of the work themselves, or by paying cash rather than financing the cost of the additional finish work. 


What type of foundation walls are used for basements in the Raleigh NC area?

asement Homes Raleigh NC - Daylight Basements - Superior Walls - Custom Homes Raleigh NC - Builders Raleigh NC

In some areas of the country, poured foundation walls are very common. 

In the Raleigh area, the most common type of basement foundation wall system is precast concrete, from a specialized subcontractor like Superior Walls (Basement Homes Raleigh NC)

A Superior Wall system is carefully calculated for each individual home. 

The type of soil, load bearing weight, load bearing columns, exterior finish, and locations of windows and doors can all have impact on the foundation wall construction.

How Much Does a Basement Home Cost in the Raleigh, NC area?

A few factors that affect the cost of building a basement home in Raleigh include:

- Basement size

- Is the basement the same size as the first floor, or is it smaller with a combined crawlspace foundation?Daylight Basement Homes

-Is the lot suitable for a basement home (ie enough slope for a daylight basement), or will some modifications be needed?

- Do you want a finished or unfinished basement?

- How many and what type of windows and doors are planned? 

- How large of a deck will be attached to the first floor, extending over the daylight basement?

We provide free building cost estimates, specific to your favorite floor plan from,,, or any other site.  Just contact us, and send us a link to the floor plan you love!

Don't have a floor plan yet?  We'll help you find one, from any of thousands of available options


You may also be interested in these Raleigh New Home articles:

Today's Ceilings Make Statements - Types of Ceilings and Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Next Home

New Home Trends and Ideas - What's the Latest?

5 Steps to Buying a Lot

Wake County Property Tax Rates 2011

Tags: new home builders in nc, basement homes Raleigh, nc new home builders, build on your lot, Custom Homes Raleigh

How to Convert a Three Bedroom Septic to Four Bedroom Septic

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 @ 14:07 PM

What to do when your lot is rated for a 3 Bedroom Septic System

"I have a septic rated for a 3 bedroom home.  How do I build a 4 bedroom home on my lot?"
NC build on your lot | expand septic systemThis NC build on your lot builder hears questions like these quite a bit.
Some homebuyers are surprised to find how common septic systems are in North Carolina.
Most lots larger than .5 acres will require a septic system. 
But knowing the right questions to ask, up front, will keep you comfortable.
When buying a lot in the Raleigh area, there are two important septic system questions that need to be answered. 

First - does the lot perk?  If the answer is yes, great! If not, ask your builder to go over the options with you, during our free lot inspection.

Second, how many bedrooms is the lot rated for?  You'll want to make sure the rating supports the number of bedrooms you want to build.

But what if you've already purchased a lot that is rated for a 3 bedroom septic system?

If you're looking to build a four bedroom home but have purchased or are considering a three bedroom septic lot, there are several options.

1.  Septic Options:  Rethink Your Floor Plan

Probably the least expensive option is to rework some of the interior areas of the home.

If you're planning to use that fourth bedroom specifically for an office, a few little changes could allow your custom home plan to be approved by the county.

In general, a room is determined to be a bedroom if it has egress window (a window you could open and leave the room from in case of emergency), a closet, and a door.  Another factor is access to a bath - a bedroom may also have direct access or be close to a bathroom.  

How to Expand 3 Bedroom Perk Septic System | NC Custom HomebuildersBut if your builder converts the bedroom to an office by removing the closet and expanding the doorway to either a wide opening without a door or possibly even a pair of French doors, this could allow you to gain approval to build the floor plan. 

If the fourth bedroom is upstairs, your builder may be able to convert it to an open bonus room or loft.  You'll still have all the same square footage and usable space, but the room will be much more open. 

2.  Septic Options - Panel Block Septic System

If a floor plan change just won't do, you might consider a panel block septic system instead of a standard septic system. 

A panel block system can expand the capabilities of a standard septic system to support at least one extra bedroom. 

But it can also add 25% to 75% to the cost of installing a septic system, depending on how close the original septic system layout came to supporting that fourth bedroom.   

A panel block septic system does need to be approved by the county, and a lot of factors can come into play, such as soil type and requirements that vary by county. 

Every lot is unique.  To best determine your options, have a trusted NC build on your lot builder review your lot and your septic system permit.  They might just have some great ideas for you.

Wake County NC Build On Your Lot Floor Plans

Whether you choose a plan from our gallery of favorite floor plans, or from any architect, Stanton Homes can add special features you won’t find in the house next door.

Browse through some of our favorite available floor plans here. Ask us about thousands of additional options, or even design/build ideas.

One Story Homes

Main Floor Master Homes

Mother in Law Homes

Here’s a look inside our featured custom homes, to give you an idea of how we build.

Ask us how many Signature features come standard. You may be surprised!


Tags: three bedroom septic, septic systems, build on your lot, NC build on your lot builders

How Much Do Septic Systems Cost?

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, May 05, 2011 @ 15:05 PM

How Much Do Septic Systems Cost? Building a Custom Home in the Raleigh area.

Septic System Cost

Whether you already own a lot, or need help finding the perfection location for your new home, you may be considering the cost of installing a septic system.

Septic systems are extremely common in the Raleigh area. In fact, most lots larger than 1/2 acre will require a septic system. 


Septic System Cost Can Vary 

Septic systems can also be one of the biggest variables in cost for building on your lot, depending on soil conditions, size of system, type of system, county requirements, and more.  

An experienced home builder like Stanton Homes can look at your septic permit and plot map and give you at least a good idea of what the system is going to cost


Typical Septic System Cost in the Raleigh Area

Septic System Cost Raleigh

A typical septic system in the Raleigh area can be anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000, with most conventional or pump systems falling in the middle range. 

Is a septic system more expensive than sewer?  The alternative to a septic system, connection to a city or county sewer system (if available), can be more or less than a typical septic system, depending on the jurisdiction and how close the connection is to the proposed homesite.

Make sure to speak with your builder about the septic system allowance for the unique requirements of your lot and floor plan. The number of bedrooms allowed is determined by a Perk Test.

A special system can run many tens of thousands more - particularly if your lot is rated "No Perk" (i.e. unsuitable for a conventional septic system). 

Make sure your lot is a great choice - talk to your builder about getting a free lot inspection to avoid unexpected costs.


Building a Custom Home is Easier Than You Think

Free Lot Inspection

 Building a new custom home on your lot (or ours) does not have to be complicated or expensive.

Contact Stanton Homes to receive a free building cost estimate and free lot inspection.



Tags: buying a lot, new homes raleigh, building a home, raleigh new home, septic systems, build on your lot

Custom Master Bath Trends: More Drawers, Fewer Accents

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Mar 21, 2011 @ 06:03 AM

Custom Bath Trends: Designing A Retreat

Choosing Cabinetry, Storage, and Tile for the Master Bath 

By Andrea Enns, Design Coordinator, Stanton Homes

Keeping things neat and clean is another part of the spa-look trend seeing as an uncluttered and orderly space is definitely more soothing and tranquil. 

2011 Master Bath Trends | NC Custom Home Builders Master bath vanities have become larger and if you are not thinking about upgrading to more drawers in your vanity then you really should.  Drawers are a small ticket upgrade that pay off tremendously in the long run as they make the best use of all the space available in your vanity. 

We will continue to see a strong shift to warm wood tones like Maple Nutmeg and Cherry Spice mixed with the same warm neutral grays we are seeing in the kitchen, along with white and also soothing ethereal blues for accent. 

Currently wood grain vanity cabinets have a stronger following than white cabinets but we are seeing varying soft shades of white mixed with warm grays and tans appearing on laser printed porcelain tiles that portray the beautiful look of natural stone.

When considering your new tile work, once again spa-like features come to mind as the design trend is towards simple design with a strong focus on convenience.

2011 Master Bath Trends | NC Custom Home Builders Built in cubbies and built-in corner shelves should definitely be on your list of affordable and practical upgrades to your new bathroom as they provide handy, much needed storage.

Gone are the days when it was only your teenage daughter who could be sited for stowing several bottles of “goup” in the shower. Nowadays, I am asked more often to incorporate two cubbies or two corner shelves into the shower design as “he” seems to have just as many grooming products as “she “ does…..the funniest conversations do often occur around this topic!

2011 Master Bath Trends | NC Custom Home Builders Planning for the storage and organization of one’s shower grooming products is simply an extension of the idea of more drawers the vanity and designing for “his and hers” vanities for that matter—everyone wants a place for their own “stuff”. 

For tile work, the spa look is most often displayed through tranquil natural stone looks creating an even more restful environment by using the same large tiles on the floor and on the shower walls.

Accents today seem to follow the “less is more” theory but nonetheless they are still very, very popular.

Amongst the most popular for tile accent is the use of natural stone or glass mosaics or often even a combination of the two.

2011 Master Bath Trends | NC Custom Home Builders We are seeing a thin sliver of  wall accent to create something very subtle, however, thinking along the terms of creating a more luxurious and inviting look, consider taking the same mosaic and using it on your master bath tub deck—not the sides and the splash—just the deck. 

This creates visual interest in an unexpected location, and in practical terms, the tub deck is really the smallest overall surface in the bathroom, making tiling this area in an eye-catching, exotic or shimmery mosaic, an affordable touch of luxury.

You can think “soothing and tranquil” on a budget and choose warm wood tone cabinetry, lime-stone look porcelain tiles installed in a simple design, and paint your walls a warm neutral gray.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to consider adding more drawers in your vanity and adding built in cubbies and corner shelves in your shower as these are affordable and smart upgrades.  

After weighing all of the available options and making your final decisions you will be able to look forward to finally relaxing in your private retreat—your new spa-look bathroom.  

Send us YOUR design questions to "Ask Andrea", and look to Stanton Homes for the answers you need.


Tags: bathroom design trends, nc custom home builders, custom design trends, build on your lot, design series

Fireplace Trends in New Homes: Disappearing Act

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Feb 22, 2011 @ 10:02 AM

New Home Trends - Are Fireplaces Disappearing?

Number of New Homes with Fireplaces Hits 23 Year Low

Wondering if fireplaces are going the way of the formal dining room?

The number of new homes that include fireplaces is decreasing.   According to the Census Bureau, the number of new homes built without a fireplace reached 49% in 2009, the highest percentage since 1975. 

NC Custom Home Builders | New Home Fireplace Trends

According to data from the Census Bureau, the number of new homes built without a fireplace in 2009 hit 49%, following a steady trend over the past 15 years.NC Custom Home Builders | New Home Fireplace Trends

The year 1990 saw the most new homes with fireplaces since the Census Bureau started tracking in 1973 - only 34% of new homes built in 1990 did not include a fireplace.  Since then, the number of homes with fireplaces has been on the decline. 

The years 1980-1983 saw another increase in the number of homes without fireplaces, after which the number homes with  fireplaces steadily grew until to their peak in 1990.

NC Custom Home Builders | New Home Fireplace Trends

What could be causing the decline in the number of fireplaces?

Just a few factors that could be impacting the "fireplace decision" could include:

- Cost effectiveness

- Fireplaces no longer used as a heat source

- Entertainment centers as focal points instead of fireplace

- Changing restrictions on woodburning fireplaces

- Low maintanence lifestyle choices

Will your new home include a fireplace? 

As an NC custom home builder, we'll work with you to make the decision that's right for you, and can design a home that includes the features that will make your lifestyle exceptional. 

Want to get started?

Browse Floor Plans

More Custom Home Tips and Trends:

NC Custom Home Builders | Build on Your Lot | How Many Bathrooms

Fireplace Surround Ideas

Craftsman Floor Plans: Our Favorite Craftsman Architects

Small Changes Make Big Differences - Floor Plan Modifications

Tile Tub Surround Design Trends and Ideas

Cabinet Wood Types: Compare and Contrast


Tags: fireplace trends, nc custom homes, building a home, certified green home builders, nc custom homebuilders, build on your lot, custom home builder

Are Three Baths or More Still Popular in New Homes? Custom Home Trends

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Feb 08, 2011 @ 05:02 AM

Number of Bathrooms in New Homes

New Home Trends and Tips from Custom Home Builders

Wondering how many bathrooms your new home should have?

The number of bathrooms is decreasing in new homes, after rising for several years.  This represents a greater trend towards smaller, more cost efficient homes.

NC Custom Home Builders | Build On Your Lot

According to data from the Census Bureau, the number of new homes built with three or more bathrooms peaked in 2007 and 2008.  2009 and 2010 saw a 14% decrease in the number of homes built with 3+ baths, moving from 28% of total homes built to 24% of total homes built.

NC Custom Home Builders | Build On Your Lot | How Many BathroomsThe number of homes with three or more baths in 2010 matched 2004 levels. 

However, the number of homes built throughout the United States with three or more baths is still significantly higher than in the year 2000, which saw only 20% of new homes with three or more baths.

Homebuyers today are more cost conscious, which is reflected in both the size of the home they purchase and the number of bathrooms they are choosing to include in their new home.

Browse Floor Plans

More Custom Home Tips and Trends:

NC Custom Home Builders | Build on Your Lot | How Many BathroomsNew Main Floor Master Plans Just Added

Craftsman Floor Plans: Our Favorite Craftsman Architects

Small Changes Make Big Differences - Floor Plan Modifications

Tile Tub Surround Design Trends and Ideas

Cabinet Wood Types: Compare and Contrast

Tags: how many bathrooms, number of bathrooms, nc custom home builders, new home trends, build on your lot