New Construction in Southwest Florida
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Buying New Construction in Southern Florida
A lot of folks are considering new construction these days, primarily due to the lack of inventory. If you can't find a house, might as well build one. There are a lot of subdivisions and new developments popping up all over southern Florida in places like Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Naples, and surrounding areas. If you're looking to build a home, there are available homesites that can start less than $200,000.
Here are 10 things to know about buying new construction homes in southern Florida.
#1. Educate yourself.
While building a home may be different than buying a home, you're still negotiating with the developer or builder and purchasing the lot. It's important to understand the new home buying process. Understand the neighborhood, future plans, find the right community for you, and figure out the right builder that develops a home that's practical for you and your lifestyle.
#2. Make sure you use a lender that understands new construction mortgages.
New construction mortgages are slightly different than a traditional home. Team up with a lender on a mortgage that works for new construction. There's a lot that goes into choosing the right mortgage and the right lender so you'll need to find one that not only helps you purchase the land but the house in general. A construction loan or an all-in-one loan might be ideal.
#3. Find a builder you like.
Not every builder will construct the home you want. If you're doing a complete custom home on your own lot away from a subdivision, the skies the limit. But if you're choosing a builder in the development that requires specific builders, make sure you like the way they build. Is the home practical for you? Do you like the layout? Do you like the materials and finishes they use? Make a list of do's and don'ts, things you'll tolerate and things that are deal-breakers to make sure you find the right builder that builds the home to your specifications.
#4. Get creative on negotiations.
Just because you're building your own home doesn't mean you can't negotiate. Having your own real estate agent represent you during negotiations may help you get exactly what you want or add in things that you may not have thought about. Your agent gets paid from the builder of whichever home you choose so let that agent work for you and negotiate for your terms.
#5. Make sure everything is in writing.
Get everything in writing. The last thing you want is to move in and realizing you didn't get what you ordered. Did the builders say that they were going to install that specific tile? Get it in writing. That particular color on the walls? Get it in writing. They said they were going to take $10,000 off the price? Get it in writing. You get the drift.
#6. You are buying a new house, not the model home.
There's only one model home in a subdivision and typically it's the last home sold. The model home the builders have their prospects walk through our full of all the upgrades and amenities that you possibly could get so keep that in mind when building out your own home.
#7. Get the upgrades now.
If you're thinking that you're going to add on the upgrades after the fact, remember that they will cost out of pocket money right away. Think of it this way. If you're buying a $500,000 house and its $10,000 extra to get the tile you really want and that can be added into your mortgage payment, it may only add a few dollars to your monthly payment. However, if you spend $10,000 out-of-pocket after the fact, that will come directly out of your pocket and might hurt a little bit more. If you really want those upgrades, ask for them at the time of building.
#8. Get a home inspection.
Just because it's a brand-new house doesn't mean that a builder can't make a mistake or cut corners. People make mistakes and it's possible to make a mistake in building a new construction home. Choose an inspector that is well-versed in new construction so that they can look for issues that are fairly common in new construction homes. And don't hesitate to call the builder out on mistakes or issues that may be a problem. It's harder once everything is finalized.
#9. Does the house come with a warranty?
Even on a perfect house, things can go wrong. Ask the builder if they have a home warranty. Ask what's covered in the warranty and if it's a third-party that's involved in the home warranty. Make sure you understand what's covered by the builder or other companies that are involved in the building of the home. And, always do a final walk-through to make sure it's something you plan for prior to closing on the home.
#10. Consider the neighborhood.
Are you buying the very first home being built in the neighborhood? Remember that you'll probably have to hear construction noises for the next year or maybe even to depending on how quickly the neighborhood will be built out. This may or may not bother you.
Buying new construction in Southwest Florida is a great option, especially for buyers that are having a difficult time landing in existing house. Start browsing all the available listings above and contact my office if you'd like to know more information. I can represent all homebuyers with new construction builds and provide tips and secrets to getting exactly what you want when building a new home.