Florida is a growing state and is now the third most populated state in the US. The economic downturn did curb the growth of our local area for a while, no question. However that has now passed and in the past 3 to 4 years we have started to see a noticeable increase in new residents and new businesses, inherently driven by us enjoying affordable prices for local real estate compared to the boom over 14 years ago. Many visitors will have noted the sudden upsurge of new construction sites throughout the Cape Coral/Fort Myers area to accommodate this continued increase in population. With world-class beaches and year round temperatures ranging from low 60’s to high 80’s, you can see why people continue to move here to enjoy a relaxing outdoor lifestyle unique to our local area.
Locally, new construction is presently enjoying a real upswing at the current time. Building permits in our key development areas of Cape Coral and Fort Myers have continued to show strong growth. The primary reason for this swell in building permits is lack of inventory locally of new built homes to satisfy the influx of buyers, whether seeking to relocate or a second home.
Buyers looking for the perfect home and the benefits of having a home built just for you are many. However buyers do need to be aware that there are some potential pitfalls with new construction that need to be considered before taking the plunge.
There are 2 ways a buyer can purchase a home via new construction. One way is for the buyer to purchase a lot in a residential area within a neighborhood of their choice. Once the buyer has purchased the lot, they engage the services of a reputable local builder to build a home either to the buyer’s own personal requirements (known as a custom built home) or the builder may have a selection of models the buyer can choose from. This will then be built on the buyer’s lot (known as a spec built home). This way of buying a home via new construction is more common in our local area when the lot is in a particular location of desirability such as prime Gulf access waterfront and the neighborhood is already built and established.
The other way of purchasing a home via new construction is through a developer who is planning to build a gated community. The builder purchases many acres of land that they then sub-divide into platted lots to form the community. These lots are then sold to buyers with the understanding that the builder will also build a home on the lot. The buyer selects the lot they would like to purchase and then selects the particular builder’s model they would like erected on their site. The developer then completes the contract by building the selected model home on the lot within an agreed time period between buyer and developer.
Literally thousands of new homes have been sold to local buyers over the years via these 2 methods. Many buyers have been extremely happy with their purchase and buying experience. However buyers considering this route should remember that, as in every profession, there are good and bad companies at work and the construction industry is no exception.
So how does a buyer find a reputable builder?
News of a bad reputation in new home construction will travel fast within the local real estate industry. This is where the services of a knowledgeable local buyer’s agent are invaluable. A professional agent should be able to advise you on local respectable developers. Likewise, a good agent will be able to steer a buyer through the rather intricate maze governing home purchase via new construction. Builders’ and developers’ contracts are usually different from the Florida Bar approved purchase contract and can have some clauses in favor of the developer and not the buyer. Buyers need to be aware of these sorts of details and take professional advice from a knowledgeable agent to ensure they have a happy new construction experience.