Home Builders Guide to Southern California

Are you dreaming of building a new home in Los Angeles, Riverside, or Orange County California? Well, there's good news, because we have all the information you’ll need when looking into Southern California home builders. Read on to find out which builder is right for you.


With some Southern California home builders, your new home comes with a beautiful community and lavish amenities beyond the typical new house. Many of these communities are upscale, trendy, and centrally located. Add to those perks, the quality of a well-built energy-efficient new home, and you've got something far better than a comparable existing home. This guide explores the ins and outs of new construction homes in Southern California.


Types of Homebuilders

The first thing to know is that while there are many Southern California home builders, none are created equal. The differences stand out in the price and quality of what you build. The following is a brief outline of the types of home builders

  • Community Home Builders - Large developers not only build new homes, but they also create a vibrant community packed with amenities, security, and a sense of belonging. Initially, they purchase a tract of land and then subdivide it into smaller lots. Although some tract homes can be somewhat similar, with larger builders, you'd be surprised at the amount of customization available. One substantial advantage of a home in a community is value. With the massive buying power of established builders, you can get significant upgrades at a fraction of the cost of retail. With hundreds of custom features, a new home in a planned development can cost substantially less than a custom home.


  • Spec Home Builders - Speculation homes are usually built one at a time by a smaller builder. They buy the lot, construct the house, and then sell it. Although the contractor isn't building the home for a particular buyer, they may have a favorite model and floor plan that is popular for a specific price range. When the real estate market is active, you'll find more spec homes. That's the case in Southern California where home builders are confident they'll sell the home quickly and recoup their cash. Once in a while, you can find an incomplete spec house and can add your unique finishing touches. But most of the time, what you see is what you get.


  • Custom Home Builders - When you build a custom home, you're creating a one-of-a-kind property unique to your specifications. You choose everything, including the materials, fixtures, flooring, windows, and doors. What people don't realize is that with selecting the design, floorplan, specifications, and materials - in many cases, you have to develop the land. That can include bringing in utilities, clearing the property, creating roads, and in some cases drilling for wells or adding a septic system. These can raise your price tag substantially as compared to buying a new home in a community where the developer does that for you.


Building in Southern California

The next thing to know is that building in Southern California has specific building standards, including new earthquake codes. So, it’s essential to have a contractor who has experience in SoCal.


As you might expect, vacant lots and parcels are harder to find, making for a competitive market. That’s where going with a large developer can be the way to go, especially if you want to settle down in:


Most home buyers will opt for Southern California home builders that offer a large selection of modern floor plan designs. A fun way to see what design style would be best is to visit lots of open houses. That’s especially true if you’re a first-time homebuyer and weighing buying vs. renting. By visiting several new home communities with your family, you’ll discover which house is best for your situation.


Current Homebuying Landscape

Although the Southern California housing market has slowed from where it was a few years ago, it’s still active. Because it's more of a buyer's market now, you’ll be glad to know you won’t have to deal with bidding wars. As far as mortgage rates go, they’re still low, and home builders often have their own closing cost incentives. 


Some areas, like Riverside, California, have a surge of first-time home buyers trying to enter the housing market. That's because the lure of affordable housing in the area has drawn them away from the expensive markets in locations like Los Angeles and Orange County, California. Instead, many of them have moved to the Inland Empire and commute to these other areas. Others have taken up the newly created jobs in the region.


The one constant thing to keep in mind is the market is always changing–but homeownership is always desirable. One way to make sure your new home is a good investment is to include features that increase home value.


What's your dream? Urban living with low maintenance, modern homes close to LAX for the frequent traveler, or a large and luxurious new home with every customization you can imagine? Let Pulte Homes in Los AngelesOrange County, and Riverside make your dreams come true.



Contributed to Your Home blog by Carol Youmans

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Published 10.14.19

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