Custom Home Dry Creek Ranch

Greg Earl Real Estate

In the Treasure Valley, we have a wide range of options for home buyers. They are all viable, but you need to know the pros and cons of each of those options. Based on where you are in life, budget, timeline, and patience level you can make that decision after reading through these facts regarding each. Whether you’re looking in Eagle, Boise, or want to be a little further from the hustle and bustle in an area like North Middleton or South Nampa, this article will help you work through the nuances of the Treasure Valley real estate market. Greg Earl Real Estate has experience in each one of these areas.

Building a Home in the Treasure Valley –
Starting off with Building a New Home or what some call an Idaho New Build. Every builder and every development in the Boise area will have difference processes. Some builders or developments will allow the buyer to buy the land and bring their own builder and some require you to use the builder who owns the lot. If you are looking to bring your own builder, you may have to be prepared to pay the land cost up front. In this option, construction loans are more common to fund the build. Going this direction allows you to work with a builder who fits your needs and style. You will most likely be able to ensure greater customization than if you were in a development with set builders.

In many Boise, Eagle and Star Idaho developments you will see builders that allow customization within their individual scope. In these developments, most builders will not allow floor plan variations outside of the set structural options they have laid out. This option may simplify the process compared to full custom, and still allow the buyer to choose things like colors, floors, faucets, hardware, stone, etc within the builder’s options. Choosing a lot is very important with new construction in Idaho because you should be aware of what may be built behind your lot, lot size, home direction, and where the home will sit on the lot. With Idaho setting sun in the summer, a Boise summer afternoon can bake the West facing side of your home. Many homeowners look at open fields behind their home as a “view home” but keep in mind that an open field today could be a development next year. Lot size is important not just because you want some elbow room or a great yard, but it’s crucial if you are considering a large single story home or RV garage. Single story homes and RV garages in the Treasure Valley are very popular, but they do take up a large footprint of a lot, so ensure the lot you are considering is wide enough for what you are wanting to build.

Treasure Valley Real Estate

Eagle Idaho Real Estate

Base prices can be tricky. Builders may advertise a price online, but keep in mind this is before lot premiums, structural upgrades and design upgrades. Can you build a home close to this base price? Yes! But be aware of the builder’s standards and how those standards fit within your expectations. Lot premiums could be $5000 or $100,000, so they must be considered when building and choosing where you want to be in a subdivision. Many builders will allow certain things like an upgraded exterior elevation, extended patios or RV garages that would be considered structural upgrades that are chosen early in the process. Design options come after contracts are signed and costs associated are added to the contract.

Financing timelines in this option is per the builder. Many builders in Ada and Canyon Counties will have you pay for a lot reservation up front, this may or may not be refundable. Next step would be finalizing the floor plan you want to build on that lot and maybe even structural choices, then pay a percentage of the build cost along with lot premium as a deposit, most builders have this deposit as non-refundable. Next step would be sitting with the builder’s design team for selections. After your selections meeting, there is usually a percentage of the selections cost above the “builder’s standards” that would be due before ground breaking. When getting a loan for a build like this, keep in mind that it wont fund until the home is complete. With interest rates being volatile, it may be beneficial to get a rate lock with a local lender so you know what the rate will be a year from the time you enter into contract. 

What’s the timeline? There’s quite a range of timelines between the builders in the Treasure Valley. Builders with more standardization could be as quick as 7 months while others may be as long as 18 months because of their process or because there’s a back log of builds in the queue. Make sure your timeline and expectation lines up with the builder’s timeline. Another thing that could push timelines is if the plat is recorded with the county or not, the builder may allow you to put a lot reservation down before the plat is recorded, but you cannot go to contract until the plats have been recorded with the county.

Buying a New Build – 

Star Idaho New Build

Star Idaho New Build

There are builders in the Treasure Valley who build what we call a “Spec Build,” which is a build that the builder or builder’s designer chose the colors, finishes, and upgrades to build the home with.  There are entry-level builders who release the homes to the market when they are complete or almost complete. Some of these homes could be very similar to each other. While other mid-level or high-level builders may list the home for sale at any point during the build, but will show the buyer what the selections will be so you know what you’re buying. This spec builds are typical built with nice quality touches and differentiation from the neighboring homes. One example of this is a neighborhood in Star, Idaho called Hope Springs. This subdivision has multiple different builders that have built quality spec homes that are available to purchase prior to the home’s completion or at completion.  Buying a new build simplifies your process, allows you to possibly occupy the home within 30 days and allows you to secure a loan now without having to pay for a rate lock for a completion of a custom build. In this scenario, you would typically not be able to make any customizations because the builder has already made all of their selection and style choices.

New Build – Treasure Valley

When purchasing a custom build or a completed new build, the builder will supply the new owner with a one year warranty. No one else has lived in the home, which can be reassuring for a buyer. Keep in mind that new construction and newer developments have a lot of perks, but you lose the maturity you may find in many older neighborhoods like what you see along the Boise River in Eagle surrounded by large, full grown trees. One other positive of purchasing a completed new build vs a custom job is you can better see what the neighborhood, streets and neighboring homes look like to ensure it’s to your liking. 


Buying a Resale – 

This may be what most consider as a traditional home purchase. Pros of going this route will typically get you a more mature neighborhood and a home with more character. The characteristics of this traditional way of buying vs buying a new build are things like age of home, seller’s disclosures, possible cost of upgrades, age of utilities or roofing, etc.  But the home is done and the neighborhood is established! No builder warranty with this option, but you can purchase a home warranty to protect yourself from potential unknown issues that may come up after purchasing. The other positive I see in purchasing a resale is the opportunity to negotiate. Many builders don’t leave room to negotiate terms, but when you’re buying a home from a traditional seller, we can negotiate terms to help both sides win in different ways. For example there may be a trade off of sale price with a rent back or maybe negotiating credits for items found during an inspection.

Custom Home Dry Creek Ranch

Eagle Idaho Estate


Difference in potential equity gain is an important factor here too. When you purchase a new build, the builder has set pricing where they think the market is, so you’re usually buying at the current market value. If you purchase a resale that could use some upgrading means that if you if you made quality and popular upgrades, you would usually put yourself in a place of positive equity.


Banbury Acreage – Eagle, Idaho

No matter which option feels best for you, Greg Earl Real Estate can help you navigate the Idaho real estate world.  Greg Earl has experience in negotiating with sellers and builders alike. The relationships he has built with builders throughout the Treasure Valley is vital to knowing about upcoming lots or home releases. His sole focus is representing his clients to ensure the best experience possible while fighting for the best terms that are most important to his clients. If you have any questions about buying or building in these cities, please contact via call, text or email!



Cities in Idaho that Greg is happy to service: Eagle, Star, Boise, Meridian, Middleton, Nampa, Caldwell, Emmett, Kuna, and Horseshoe Bend. There are many developments Greg has experience with, here’s just a few: Dry Creek Ranch, Avimor, Hidden Springs, Stags Crossing, Creighton Woods, Sky Mesa, Legacy, Homestead, Riverstone, Spurwing, Lakemoor, Banbury, Two Rivers, Mace River, Williamson River, The Preserve, River Walk, Hope Springs, Silver Springs, Star River Ranch, Arrano Farms, Wild Rose, Eagle Mountain Estates, Syringa, Park Lane Estates, The Colony, Castlebury, Cartwright Ranch, Henry’s Fork, Cavallo, Brookwood, Thunder Ridge, Lakes at Talega, Timber Hills, Quail Haven, and many more!