How Much Does It Cost to Build a Luxury Home Near Asheville, NC?

These days, it's easy to find a simple, cookie-cutter home with basic features and finishes, located in a neighborhood of identical houses. But who wants to keep up with the Joneses when you can set the tone, instead?

There are as many factors that go into building a luxury home as there are reasons for building one. Whether you're debating if you should buy or build, or are actively budgeting a home build, we can help. It's hard to predict the exact price of building a luxury home.

But we are able to offer you an overview of the factors included in the price tag of a luxury home build and the costs you can expect, as well as the ones that weigh in the most. Here's how much you can expect it to cost to build a luxury home in the Asheville, NC area.

Which Major Factors Influence the Cost to Build a Luxury Home?

From the property you purchase to the home design to the luxury finishes you've always dreamed of, many factors can drive up the cost of building a luxury home—if you let them. To stay on budget, it's important to understand which factors influence home building expenses the most. Then, you will be able to prioritize which factors mean the most to you, and where to dedicate your budget.

The big-picture factors that most influence the cost to build a luxury home are:

  • Property location
  • Home design
  • Home finishes
  • Luxury amenities and features
  • Mechanical features

Property location

REALTORS always say a home's most important feature is its location. And in many respects, this has become a cliche precisely because it is true. For one, the region and community in which you buy your property can significantly influence its cost. Sometimes, you can buy a dozen acres on the far end of the county for a similar price as a fraction of an acre in a city's center.

In addition, the terrain of a property can and will impact the cost to build on that land. For instance, every municipality has its own rules and regulations for many aspects of residential development. Most notably, Buncombe County's slope ordinances put limits on the amount of land that can be disturbed "on land higher than 2,500 feet above sea level with a natural slope of 35% or more.” Homes built in these locations must hire a geotechnical engineer.

Home design

One you've purchased your land and chosen the right site for your home, the design of the home begins to come into play. Obviously, the size and footprint of the home will influence its cost to build. A 5,000-square-foot home will require more time, man power, framing, and materials than a 1,000-square-foot home. And a home with a large foundation, particularly if you add a basement, will be more expensive than a home that builds up instead of out.

In addition, the shape and style of the home can also affect its cost. Home styles with more ornate finishes (see below), like Queen Anne, Art Deco, or Classical-style homes, make a home more expensive to build. Odd shapes also affect overall cost. As they say, "The more corners, the more expensive."

Home finishes

The finishes you choose for your home—inside and out—as well as the quality of each, will cause your home cost to tick upward. However, in the long run, you could benefit from some of these upfront costs. For instance, a brick or stone exterior will be more expensive to build than a home with siding. But over time, the brick will be less expensive to maintain. On the other hand, vaulted ceilings are both more expensive to build and to maintain.

In addition, the quality of materials you choose for your finishes can add up. As you're budgeting for your luxury home build, consider which standard construction materials you are ready to use and which you'd like to upgrade. Common features that can drive up a home's cost to build include doors, windows, roofing, flooring, and decorative details.

Luxury amenities and features

So far, we've discussed basic home features. But if you wanted a basic home, you wouldn't be designing one yourself. A variety of luxury home amenities and features can help you create the oasis you dream of, but each comes at a price, so it pays to prioritize.

Outdoor home elements, such as swimming pools, outdoor kitchens, and large decks can be expensive to both build and maintain. Spacious bathrooms, walk-in closets, and bonus rooms also add to the square footage of your home and its cost.

Technology can also drive up the cost of a luxury home build. Built-in surround sound in a home theater, smart home integrations, intercoms, and other technologies add to your quality of life. But many can also be added later if they do not fit into the budget for your initial build.

Mechanical features

It can be easy to overlook the "hidden" mechanical features of your home. But they should take priority when building a home. The sheer size of your home will influence the lengths of material you need to install your HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. Solar panels are an up-front investment that can pay off in the long run.

three season porch 668 Walnut Valley Parkway Arden

Luxury Home Building Cost Breakdown

At this point, you should have a general idea of the factors that will influence the cost of your luxury home build. But just how exactly do those costs break down? Let's zero in.

The precise expenses that all or most luxury homeowners must pay to build their dream home include:

  • Land/location
  • Labor
  • Site prep (e.g. demolition expenses)
  • Blueprints/design
  • Foundation
  • Framing
  • Mechanicals (HVAC, plumbing, electricity)
  • Insulation and drywall
  • Amenities (in-floor heating, thermal wall systems, intercoms, security, smart home, stereo, pools, etc.)
  • Appliances
  • Interior finishes
  • Doors and windows
  • Roofing
  • Siding
  • Stone/brickwork
  • Laying pavement
  • Landscaping
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Fees and permits

These expenses can be roughly broken into several categories:


Before a single board is cut or nail is hammered, there are "set-up" costs to building a home. These include buying the land, prepping the site, and creating the design of the home. This is also when you contract with your construction crews and begin securing fees and permits. The choices you make at this stage of your luxury home build will influence every stage of the process that follows.

Early construction

Once your home's foundation is laid and the frame constructed, your home will begin to become visible. Then pieces begin filling in, from the roof supports to the insulation and drywall to the doors and windows. At this point, the custom features you want will begin to take shape. You can still easily add amenities at this point, but remember to stick to your plan and budget!

Finishing construction

The heavy lifting may be done, but there is still much to do (and pay for) before your home is move-in ready. Appliances must be purchased and installed, lighting fixtures must be chosen, smart home tech must be discussed. Get excited! The interior of your dream home is almost complete.

Outdoor features

Many of a new construction home's outdoor features could be built and installed up front. Or, you could choose to push some projects back until you've had a chance to enjoy your home. Outdoor features and finishes can include, but are not limited to, driveways, walkways, hardscaping, landscaping, fencing, outdoor patios, outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, water features, swimming pools, and gardens or greenhouses.

How much does it cost to build a home in Asheville, NC?

In Asheville, NC, the cost per square foot of luxury homes varies significantly from downtown condos to golf community estates. In The Cliffs at Walnut Cove, the average existing luxury home costs $465 per square foot. This includes the value of the land and the home. New construction averaged $656 per square foot in 2021. This includes an average lot size of 1.39 acres and lot price of $336,000.

Is it More Affordable to Build a Luxury Home in a Private Community, or to Buy One?

We hope that we haven't soured you on the idea of building your dream home. Remember, if it was easy to achieve, it wouldn't be much of a dream.

As you plan your home build, keep in mind that what you are doing is accounting for each and every element that you would pay for in a finished home anyway. However, if you are still wondering if it would be affordable to just buy an existing luxury home, let's take a look at your options.

What are the pros of building a luxury home?

By building your home from the ground up, you are exercising complete control over both the process and the result. You can be sure that the quality of the materials and the craftsmanship are up to your standards. And you can be sure you're not paying for additional elements, features, or amenities that don't mean as much to you. In short, you can be sure that you're excited to take advantage of every square inch of your luxury home, because you're sure it's exactly what you want.

What are the cons?

Building any home takes a lot of attention, time, and funding up front. In addition, the costs of materials can fluctuate, even during the construction phase, making it challenging to stick to a strict budget. If your home needs are minimal, or if you don't want a lot of custom features in your luxury home, you may feel like you're spending time and money without getting much in return.

In situations like these, a luxury spec home may provide a convenient, expedient alternative to a custom home. The WCR Luxury Spec Home Program, for example, takes the endless design decisions off your plate while allowing you to personalize certain home features to suit your tastes, with the added benefit of an overall design intended to appeal to a range of home buyers, should the need ever arise to resell.

What are the pros of buying a luxury home over building?

Buying an existing home is the fastest way to start a new life in a new community. Especially if you're moving from far away, it's easier to move into an existing home than it is to coordinate the construction of a new one. If you're lucky, you may be able to find a home near where you want to be with almost all of the features and amenities you want. In that case, you may only need to complete minor updates or upgrades to get the home you want.

What are the cons?

In today's tight real estate market, it can be very difficult to find a home for sale with the features and amenities you want. What's more, buyers have to act more quickly now than in years past, which can be a challenge if you're shopping from out of town. And even if you do find a home that's close to your dream, you may still end up spending thousands to add luxury features you want or complete maintenance or upgrades on an older home. In the end, it could cost you more over time than building what you want from scratch.

Are You Ready to Build the Luxury Home of Your Dreams?

There are many reasons to consider the costs associated with building a luxury home in Asheville, NC. Maybe this is an additional home for getaways, and you don't plan to live there all year. Maybe you want something nice that doesn't have to be just so, and resale value is important to you. Whatever the case may be, there are measures you can take to control the cost of building your luxury home.

In the end, we're certain that you will love owning a finished home built just the way you like it!


Build Your Luxury Home Today with Walnut Cove Realty!

For more than 10 years, Walnut Cove Realty has been a trusted and valued partner for those seeking or selling luxury properties in Western North Carolina. With a wealth of industry experience, the trusted real estate sales team at Walnut Cove Realty has first-hand knowledge about each home, homesite, and the distinctive lifestyle at The Cliffs at Walnut Cove because several members of the team are not only members but live in the community. In 2021, Walnut Cove Realty participated in 108 (90%) of the 120 real estate transactions in The Cliffs at Walnut Cove for a record volume of $114.2 million.


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