Buying a New Home in South Florida In the wake of COVID-10, South Florida home buyers have recently shown a strong preference for residences that can accommodate their new normalcies, such as working from home and virtual schooling. It comes as no surprise that these buyers are finding new Construction homes to be an ideal solution, as they offer privacy, space, and a certain degree of customization. As a result, new construction homes are in high demand locally, and builders can barely keep up. If you are considering purchasing a new construction property, it is essential to develop a strategy prior to looking. There are many layers to the new construction sales process, and The Pearl Antonacci Group is here to help you cultivate a deeper understanding of what is to come. Strategically Choose Your South Florida Real Estate Agent There is a significant difference in a real estate agent's approach when it comes to buying resale versus new construction homes in South Florida. An experienced new construction real estate agent will look out for your best interests, protecting you from builders that only focus on what is best for their company's' profits. Buying a home is likely one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime, so why would you not rely on an expert? Builders have been known to easily manipulate and withhold information from potential buyers—yet adept agents will make sure they ask the hard questions that might be neglected when relying on someone with less experience. Differentiate Between Home Builders Not all home builders are alike, especially when it comes to their quality of construction, customer service, and reputation. It can be easy to fall in love with a home immediately, however, it is an experienced agent's job to point out any flaws or potential problems with the builder to the client, including any known complications or negligent reports. A local new construction real estate agent should already know a builder's reputation and where they rank compared to others in the area. For example, GL Homes has had an incredible reputation for delivering quality construction at a reasonable price and has stood by their work in both good times and bad. Take a look as some of their recent communities here: https://www.pearlantonacci.com/gl-homes.php The degree to which a builder is involved with the sale process varies. Some builders will simply hand you over to the construction manager, making it extremely hard to receive pertinent and necessary information. Others will be there for you every step of the way, providing updates and check-ins with both the agent and client. Taking the reputation of the builder into account when buying a new construction home is important, as it will have a direct effect on how smooth the sales process will be, and ultimately your level of happiness in your new home Keep in mind that it will serve you well to perform your own research into the character of the potential builder. If certain criticisms are frequently mentioned, make sure you talk with your agent to see whether those aligns with what he/she knows, and take that into account when making your decision. Acknowledging Supply and Demand Potential buyers should be aware of the high demand for new construction homes in South Florida. With the flexibility of working remotely, many people are picking up and moving to a more spacious and customizable residence. Buyers should prepare themselves to have fewer choices than normal, which will require more watching, waiting, and following up with the builder. Buyers shouldn't forget that there is also the option to build your home from the ground up. Vacant lots may require extra work, but if that means you don't have to settle for something you don't love, it's worth it. Expect Price Increases With an increase in demand and short supply throughout our area, builders will most likely begin to raise prices on their available new construction homes. As a result, buyers can’t make decisions based on what they looked at a month ago, as it may no longer be on the market or is now too expensive. Real estate prices are expected to continue to rise, so those who choose to purchase new construction home now will most likely end up making money via equity before the sale is even closed. Less Room for Negotiations It doesn't make sense for new construction builders to give significant price reductions considering current high demand. However, there may be some wiggle room when it comes to incentives such as upgrades and closing costs. Keep in mind that while it is always worthwhile to try, builders are typically consistent with what they are willing—or not willing—to do. Spec homes or less desirable lots have the best chance for stronger negotiation. New homeowners should weigh the pros and cons of such properties. For instance, if the lot is less expensive because it is near a highway, will that outweigh what it will resale for? At The Pearl Antonacci Group, these are all questions that we take into consideration when guiding our South Florida buyers through the process. Sales Process Expectations Similar to their reputations, different builders have varying stipulations/rules in place during the sale and construction processes. It is important to ask questions upfront, so buyers do not run into any issues later down the line after the contract has already been signed. Site visits, third-party inspectors, workmanship, and even paper versus electronic documents are all things that need to be addressed. Any proficient new construction real estate agent will prompt you with these inquiries so that you feel as prepared as possible Possible Construction Delays Due to COVID-19 The construction industry has not been immune to the effects of COVID-19. Those who are building from scratch should expect certain delays when it comes to selecting finishes and cabinetry as materials are taking longer than usual to arrive to our area. Managing your expectations and slightly extending your timeline would be wise so as to not set yourself up for disappointment or frustration. Sale Contingencies When it comes to new construction homes, a builders' willingness to accept contingencies is far lower than with a resale home. Currently, most builders will only proceed with the sales process if the new buyer's current home is already under contract. Our suggestion for anyone who finds that they need to sell in order to buy is to already have listed your home on the market before looking for a new construction listing. Hire An Experienced New Construction Real Estate Agent Understanding the current climate of South Florida’s new construction market will give potential buyers a better idea of what they are up against. The complex process, including the fast-speed decision making, requires help from an experienced agent with your best interests in mind. At The Pearl Antonacci Group, we're here for you during these trying times. When you're looking to buy new construction home, or information on the real estate market in general, please contact us anytime. It is our pleasure to be here as a resource for you as we navigate these difficult times.