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Why & How to Build a Barndominium in South Texas | 2023 Guide

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Have you ever wondered why more and more people are building barndominiums in your area? This is because many now see the benefits of building a barndominium. These unique structures are excellent alternatives to conventional buildings due to their versatility, affordability, and durability. If you are in South Texas and are planning your next build, a barndominium should be on the top of your list.

This article outlines the advantages of building a barndominium in South Texas. It also gives you a quick overview of some of the important factors to consider when building a barndominium to ensure you build your dream barndo without a hitch. 

Main Reasons to Own a Barndominium in South Texas

Let us look at some compelling reasons why building a barndominium in South Texas is one of the best decisions you can make.

Affordable

Building a barndominium and settling in South Texas can help you save money. According to a USNews article, Texas is ranked 33rd among the states regarding the cost of living. While other states fared better, Texas’ cost of living is still better than other states. Of course, the cost of living hinges on multiple factors, and you might encounter a higher cost of living if you decide to live in a thriving city like San Antonio. However, this also means you can choose a location just outside large cities and get more out of your money.

Texas is one of the states where there is no personal or corporate income tax. This means there are no income tax deductions on your wages, leaving you with more money to spend. If you are a retiree, there are no deductions to your pension or your 401k. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay taxes in Texas. You still need to pay sales and property taxes since these are essential for funding schools, health services, and other public services. 

Amazing Sceneries

Texas is blessed with amazing natural landscapes and breathtaking natural wonders. As a resident of South Texas, you can enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities. You can spend the weekend exploring the rivers, mountains, and lakes nearby. 

You are close to the Gulf of Mexico, where you can go boating or diving to explore shipwrecks. If you are not fond of the ocean, try the Rio Grande, Guadalupe, or San Antonio rivers. There are also amazing lakes, like Falcon Lake, Lake Corpus Christi, and Lake Casa Blanca. 

If you want something laid back, spend your days off exploring The Alamo, the San Antonio River Walk, SeaWorld San Antonio, or the USS Lexington floating museum. You can also spend time in the Rio Grande Valley, sightseeing around the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, or South Padre Island. The abundance of amazing sceneries can help ensure that your weekends are always eventful and that you can spend quality time with family and friends. 

Phenomenal Location

South Texas has a phenomenal location. Due to its proximity to Mexico, the area has a diverse culture, so you can experience various traditions, cuisine, music, and cultural activities. This presents you with the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in different cultures and traditions without having to leave the country. 

South Texas is also accessible with various means of transportation. For tourists, this means they can easily access South Texas’s many offerings. For residents, it means that they can easily travel to other locations if they need to. South Texas has eight international airports and several regional ones. It is also connected to the rest of the country via different interstates, US routes, and international bridges. 

Another aspect that makes South Texas an attractive option is its employment opportunities. The state’s employment rate grows at around 2.1% per year. The state also has one of the most impressive unemployment rates at below 4%. Aside from the countless farm jobs, there are also employment opportunities in healthcare, research, IT, hospitality, and finance. 

Building a Barndominium in South Texas

Let us now take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of building a barndominium in South Texas. We will also discuss the various aspects of owning a barndominium. 

Advantages

  • A barndominium looks unique – One thing that sets a barndominium apart is its looks. As its name implies, a barndominium looks like a barn on the outside. This means you will have a building that doesn’t look like every other house in your neighborhood. If you aim to build a house that will stand out, a barndominium should be right up your alley. Go for a custom floor plan to ensure a unique yet functional barndominium. 
  • A barndominium is easy to build – A barndominium is easier to build than a conventional house. By nature, barndominiums have simpler designs that make them easier to build. This means you need a shorter time to complete a barndominium compared to a traditional house. Another reason why barndominiums are easier to build is the existence of prefabricated barndominium shells. You can buy a barndominium kit with a shell, frame, and roof. This will drastically cut down the construction time. 
  • It is cheaper to build – Generally speaking, barndominiums are cheaper to build than conventional houses. As mentioned earlier, they have simpler designs and are faster to build, so the labor expenses are often cheaper. If you buy a barndominium kit, you can further reduce labor costs by finishing the structure yourself or doing a DIY build. 
  • It requires less maintenance – Barndominiums require less maintenance compared to other buildings. They have fewer concrete components, if any, that may crack and require repairs. Barndominiums often don’t have basements that require maintenance to prevent moisture build-up that may result in mold infestation. However, it would be best to keep looking for dings or holes in the metal shell after a hurricane or hailstorm. 
  • It is resistant to most pests – Metal structures are more resistant to pests. You don’t need to worry about termite infestation since termites don’t eat metals. However, it is still a better idea to treat any wooden section against termites. Rodents, like rats or mice, don’t gnaw or eat metals, so there’s no need to worry about rodents creating a hole in the side of your barndo to build nests.  

Disadvantages

  • Can be prone to rust – Rusting is one of the main enemies of metal buildings, so be sure to use an anti-corrosion paint or spray to prevent corrosion or rusting. It would also be best to immediately repair holes on the metal siding that might let in water or moisture because water or moisture can encourage rusting. 
  • You cannot build anywhere – Some counties prohibit the building of metal structures within the city limits. Some counties only allow barndominiums in agricultural areas. So, how do you know if you can build a barndominium on your property? Head down to your local zoning and building office to check if you can build a barndominium on your property. Knowing about the specific zoning laws of your county can help you avoid penalties or violations that might cost you money or result in construction delays. 
  • You might experience poor cellular reception – Cellular signals often have difficulty penetrating metal walls, resulting in poor reception inside your barndominium. As a result, you might experience dropped calls, delayed messages, or poor data connection. A cellular signal booster system is one of the best ways to remedy this issue. This can improve cellular signal and data connection inside your barndominium. Join our Facebook group to connect with other barndominium owners who can share their best practices in improving cellular reception inside their barndominiums. 

Taxes

Although you do not need to pay personal income taxes in Texas, you still need to pay property taxes for your barndominium. The good news is that barndominium taxes are often lower than those of regular houses. This is because property taxes depend on the assessed value of structures. 

Counties also have different property tax rates. For example, Uvalde’s property tax rate is 1.4%, while Cameron’s is higher at 1.76% of a property’s assessed value. Since barndominiums are often cheaper than traditional houses, you can expect to pay lower property taxes when you have a barndominium. 

Insurance

Although the government cannot force owners to insure their barndominiums, it is something that you need to consider. However, it is required that you get one if you are getting a loan or mortgage to finance your barndominium. 

Barndominium insurance can help you repair any accidental damage to your barndominium from hailstorms, accidents, or fires. In some instances, when a barndominium is deemed beyond repair, an insurance policy will cover the rebuilding of the entire barndominium. If you’re wondering how much home insurance may cost you, the average cost of insurance for $250,000 in dwelling coverage in Texas is $1,967

Financing

Just like conventional houses, you can finance barndominiums. Barndominium financing is available through banks or mortgage companies. 

There are many options you can explore in financing your barndominium. You can go with a conventional construction loan from a private lender. Examples of such companies include Texas Farm Credit and The Texas Mortgage Pros. You can also go with government-backed loans like the VA Construction Loan, USDA Construction Loan, or FHA Construction Loan. 

Local Builders & Kit Providers

Let us now look at some of the best local barndominium builders and kit providers to help you build your dream barndominium. 

Builders

Builder NameSpecializationLocation
Carl Patteson ConstructionCarl Patteson Construction is a full-service general contractor that builds barndominiums, ranches, shooting facilities, and hunting lodges.Moore, Texas
Rafter J ConstructionRafter J Construction builds conventional homes, barndominiums, pole barns, hay stalls, carports, metal garages, and metal shops.Victoria, Texas
SCT Building SystemsSCT Building Systems builds custom homes, shops, and barndominiums.Victoria, Texas
Fortress Metal BuildingsFortress Metal Buildings is a design and build company specializing in metal buildings, including barndominiums.Rockwall, Texas

Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in South Texas

Before you start building your barndominium in South Texas, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. The first thing you need to consider is how you want your barndo to function. Do you intend to use it as a residence, a commercial space, or a mixture of both? You need to keep this in mind because it will play a crucial role in developing a floor plan

Another consideration is your budget. Your budget will dictate how large your barndominium will be. It will also influence your barndo’s features and finishes because some features might be too expensive for your allotted budget. Talk to your builder about cheaper alternatives so you still get a great-looking barndominium without breaking the bank. 

Conclusion

If you plan to build a barndominium in South Texas, now is the right time to start. South Texas has amazing sceneries you can explore to have a perfect balance between work and recreation. It has a diverse population, so you can get exposed to a multitude of cuisines and traditions that you might not see in other states. South Texas also has many modes of transportation, so you can easily visit another state if you need to travel for business or a vacation. 

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