Tips for Building a Home in Missouri

Get expert guidance and tips to navigate the home construction process seamlessly in Missouri. Read on to learn more.

Real Estate
June 15, 2024
Tips for Building a Home in Missouri

Finding your dream home can be challenging. There’s the process of sifting through hundreds or even thousands of listings on every real estate website known to humankind. Then there’s the heartbreak of realizing that a home is so close to perfect –– with the exception of one glaringly absent feature. Maybe you even find your dream come true, only to have it snatched up in the great Real Estate Bidding Wars of 2024. Back to square one. 

Given the stiff competition and unanticipated roadblocks, some aspiring homebuyers might decide that the only surefire way to find their dream home is to build it. Roughly one million homes were built in April of 2024, compared to the over four million homes sold in the same month.1 This shows that, while not the most common way to buy a home, building is far from a rare occurrence. So, should you decide to build, where do you start? While the process of building a home is largely the same from state to state, there are some distinct characteristics found only in the Show-Me state. Here’s everything you need to know about building a home in Missouri. 

What to Know Before Building a Home in Missouri

One of Missouri’s biggest draws—especially to out-of-town builders and buyers—is that it’s a true four-season state. Summer, fall, winter, and spring are clearly defined, with color-changing flora and wide-ranging temperatures to boot. 

But this seasonal weather is also something to look out for when building your Missouri home. While Missouri isn’t a true member of Tornado Alley, the belt of U.S. states with the highest risk of damaging winds, residents do face an elevated tornado risk compared to other parts of the country. And with changing weather patterns across the country, this risk is higher than ever, especially from April through June.2

Severe weather is one of the biggest factors to consider when building a home in Missouri, as it will influence your choice of building materials and even your home’s features like storm shelters and mature trees on the property. 

Insight into Missouri's Home Construction Industry

Over the past several years, Missouri’s population has seen steady increases—over 160,000 people moved to the state in 2022. As a result, Missouri’s custom home builder industry has grown (and is expected to continue growing) while the same industry shrinks in much of the rest of the country. 

If you’re considering building a home in Missouri, these industry trends may serve as validation for your decision. But, given that there are only so many custom home builders, this upward trend may also raise concerns about how demand will impact the construction cost of a home in the state. Rest assured: Missouri is still a relative bargain when it comes to building a home. We’ll break down your specific savings later. 

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Planning and Designing Your Missouri Home

Compared to buying a home, building a home in Missouri requires far more preparation. And all in, the process can take up to nine months or more. First, you’ll have to get a loan, which is a different process than that of buying a house in Missouri. Then comes securing your lot. But once these details have been accounted for, the fun of designing your dream home begins. 


What backdrop do you have in mind for your dream? Is your Missouri forever home surrounded by the energy of Kansas City or the arts, architecture, and charm of Columbia? Your chosen location will determine things like land and construction costs, with housing demand greatly influencing both. But it can also impact the overall design of your home. If you’re drawn to the Lafayette Square neighborhood of St. Louis, you may want to emulate the historic brownstones that line the quiet streets. Building in Brentwood, on the other hand, may have you considering a cozy cottage. Pin down your perfect location, and your dream design will follow. 


As far as custom homes go, Missouri is a budgeter’s best friend: building a new home in Missouri will only set you back around $220,000 compared to the national average of $280,000.3 With that said, this number can fluctuate significantly depending on your chosen location and your desired features. You’ll still likely save compared to the rates in other parts of the country –– your grand total just might not come in as close to that $200,000 price tag. As you budget, think critically about what you need in your home. How custom do you need to go? Is that fifth bedroom an absolute necessity? These features may force your budget to balloon. If you can live without them, it may be in your wallet’s best interest to do so. 


Price aside, building your home from the ground up means no sacrifices when it comes to amenities. But because money is an object and space is, too, you’ll have to determine what amenities matter most when designing your home. According to Hedgefield Homes, a prominent Texas-based homebuilder, typical dream home amenities like oversized, walk-in showers can add up to $9,000 to your bill.4 Garages, walk-in closets, and pools can also impact your budget –– so think critically about your Missouri home must-haves when adding certain amenities to your wish list. 


“Custom” can mean different things to different people. In the world of home-building, seldom does it mean partnering with your own architect to draw up a completely unique set of blueprints. Typically, custom homes are based on a local builder’s set style. The homeowners then check boxes for floorplans, standard features, and amenities based on their budget and requirements. Aesthetically, homes from a given builder will be fairly similar, but their features do offer a uniqueness that can make a house feel more like home. 

When you’re building a home in Missouri, you’ll have to decide what level of customization is right for you. Are you comfortable checking boxes for bedrooms, baths, and amenities? Or do you want your fingerprints on every square foot of the space? There’s a price to pay for uniqueness –– now, and when you go to sell your home –– so take the time to make the right decision before the first shovel strikes the soil. 

Navigating Construction Processes and Timelines

Buying a house takes 50 days on average –– but that’s just to go from contract to closing. The whole building process can take six months or even a year.5 All this is to say, if you were debating building a home because of the extended timeline, buying an already-built home might not end up being the quicker option after all. But what does the timeline for building a home in Missouri look like? While the home building process may vary, here’s a step-by-step look at what you can expect, assuming all goes according to plan: 

  • Month 1 – Finding a Lot: As we mentioned earlier, the first step is to find a lot. This can be done through a broker or on your own using sites like Zillow. It can take as little as a couple of weeks or as long as several months. 
  • Month 1 – Hiring a Builder: While you’re shopping for a lot, you should also be researching builders in Missouri. Read reviews, request consultations and quotes, and do your due diligence to ensure your builder is right for the job. This process should only take a couple weeks, but take your time to find the perfect fit. Plus, it will include the design process –– which may feel less like work and more like fun. 
  • Month 2 – Foundation and Framing: Your home builder will handle things like permitting, which can take a great deal of stress off your shoulders and red tape–cutting off your plate. With the green light, your construction team will begin work on the foundation and framing –– the bones of your dream home. Depending on whether your lot needs to be cleared of debris or existing structures, this part of the building process can take three to five weeks. 
  • Month 2–3 – Mechanical Feature Installation: With the framing in place, things like HVAC and plumbing fixtures or systems can go in, as well as insulation. Expect two weeks to a month for this step. 
  • Month 4 – Building the Exterior: While interior features like flooring go in, the walls of your Missouri dream home go up. Flooring and trim will also be installed at this stage, with the whole process taking anywhere from four to six weeks.
  • Month 5 – Interior Finishes: Now that your house has taken shape, coats of paint, countertops, light fixtures, and other interior finishes are meticulously installed. 
  • Month 5 – Landscaping and Inspections: As builders finish the job inside and inspectors check their work, your home’s exterior begins to unfold as walkways, driveways, and landscaping are added. At this point, your home resembles the sketches and renderings you’ve been staring at for months, and you’re almost at the finish line. 
  • Month 6 – Final Walk-Through and Closing: Finally, the day has arrived. After months of waiting patiently (or not so patiently), your home is ready for a final walk-through and closing. Much like buying a home, you’ll be responsible for mortgage closing costs and other fees before you can collect the keys. 

Once again, there are many variables that can influence your home-building timeline –– but having an idea of what to expect can help you keep things on schedule (and on budget.) 

Budgeting and Financing Your Missouri Home Build

Now that you know what to look out for, what to consider, and what to expect, it’s time to figure out how to fund your dream. But while the home building process versus simply looking for one that’s already built could not be more different, the financial aspects are in some ways similar.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two approaches is that building a home in Missouri often requires a construction loan. This loan can be used to cover the purchase of your plot, the labor and building materials, and even the necessary permitting. On a short-term construction loan, your loan only covers the building phase. But with a construction-to-permanent loan, your construction loan automatically converts to a mortgage once the home is finished.6

While the most common method, a construction loan is not the only way to fund your dream home build. Consider these alternative approaches to building a home in Missouri. 

Home Equity Loans and HELOCs

If you’ve lived in your current home for a while, or if the value of your home has gone up, chances are you’ve accrued a great deal of home equity. This home equity becomes yours when you sell your home, but it can also be accessed without selling a house in Missouri–– through a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). These approaches allow you to borrow against your home equity, and then pay it back over time. You won’t be able to access all of your home equity, but the amount you borrow can help shrink your construction loan. 

Sell Your Home, Rent While You Build

Another way to fund your home build is by selling your home and becoming a renter. This approach would see you move out of your existing home into a rental property while your home is being built. The proceeds of your sale would fund your construction project and (hopefully) your rental costs, allowing you to avoid a construction loan. The biggest downside of this approach is that, in many cases, homeowners who decide to sell and rent have to endure the process of moving multiple times. To make matters worse, moving into a smaller rental property while your home is being built may mean paying for storage –– which can quickly eat into your home equity. 

Exploring Truehold's Sale-Leaseback Solution for Homeowners

There is a way to sell your home, access your valuable home equity, and become a renter –– all without moving. Truehold’s sale-leaseback lets homeowners sell their homes and then continue to live in their familiar spaces while paying rent for as long as they need. For those building a home in Missouri, this solution means accessing your home equity while still having a comfortable place to live until your new home is move-in ready. Whether this takes six months, a year, or more, Truehold provides flexibility while you wait for your life’s next chapter to begin. 

Building a home is an exciting journey. With Truehold, it’s one you don’t have to embark on alone. Whether you’re looking for a St. Louis sale-leaseback or Kansas City sale-leaseback, our team is ready to help. Connect with a Truehold advisor today to get a cash offer on your home and see how we can make building a home in Missouri just a little bit easier. 


  1. Bankrate. Existing-home sales dip, but prices approach all-time high. 
  2. Policygenius. When is tornado season in Missouri? (2024). 
  3. NewHomeSource. How to Build a House in Missouri. 
  4. Hedgefield Homes. How Much Do Custom Home Upgrades Cost? 
  5. Bankrate. How long does it take to buy a house? 
  6. Bankrate. What are construction loans, and how do they work? 
  7. Yahoo! Finance. 163K people moved to Missouri last year, and 94K to Kansas. Where did they come from?
Lucas Grohn headshot
Written by
Lucas Grohn
Senior Manager of Sales at Truehold - A Thought-Leader in Real Estate
Lucas Grohn brings over a decade of real estate expertise to his role, where he guides a team dedicated to innovative sales strategies. Known for his thought leadership and diverse experience, from managing brokerage operations to training agents at top firms, Lucas covers a broad span of real estate content for Truehold.
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Truehold's blog is committed to delivering timely and pertinent insights in real estate and finance, purely for educational and informational purposes. Crafted by experts, our content is thoroughly reviewed to guarantee its accuracy and dependability. Although designed to enlighten and engage, our articles are not intended as financial advice and should not be the sole basis for financial decisions. Our stringent editorial practices ensure the integrity of our content, empowering our readers with valuable knowledge.

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