Communities and condos in the pre-construction phase or already under construction are “hot” in South Florida. After years of no development, the builders are experiencing a boom amidst the pent-up demand from buyers for new homes. Our office has represented buyers in the most popular Boca Raton and Delray Beach area new construction communities and condos including Tower 155, The Bridges, Seven Bridges, Royal Palm Polo, Valencia Cove, Parkland Golf and Country Club, and many more.
The trend towards new construction is strong for several reasons:
- New homes offer greater energy efficiency, many incorporating “smart home” features.
- Homeowner’s insurance is less expensive.
- The buyer gets exactly the finishes desired without having to live through a renovation.
Here are some important facts to keep in mind when you consider buying in a new construction development:
- You need your own agent when buying new construction. Please understand that builders’ on-site sales representatives work for the builder and represent his interests. It is important to have someone looking out for you.
- It does not cost more for representation. The builder pays the REALTOR® commission whether you are represented by an agent or not. You will not receive a price reduction or any kind of credit for the commission that the builder “saves”. Why? The REALTOR® commissions are paid out of the marketing budget for the project. If there is not an independent agent, either his in-house sales agent or he will pocket the extra money.
- Agents are the first to know about special deals and incentives being offered by the developer.
- Your REALTOR® must accompany you on your first visit to the sales office. If you visit on your own, then the builder will not honor your relationship with your agent and you will not have the benefits of having your own agent looking out for your interests in the transaction.
- Agents understand builder pricing. Most builders have a list of prices as well as costs for upgrades if you so choose. In a single-family home community, you may have to pay for a lot upgrade as well (for instance if you want a water view). Builders generally do not negotiate from the list price because they do not want to set a precedent for lowering their prices. If they want to generate more sales, they are more likely to offer incentives, such as closing cost credits or design upgrade allowances. So don’t expect to go in and negotiate on the price like you might on a resale.
- Your home won’t look exactly like the model home. Most models - at least in single-family home communities - have every upgrade imaginable and professional decorating including wallpapers, paint, window treatments, lighting, etc. These “extras” really add up. Developers generally have a list of upgrades that you can choose from and their prices, so you need to decide what is most important to you. Many people spend an additional 10-20% on upgrades.
- Do your research. Let your agent show you some other homes for sale in different communities, both resale and new construction, so you are educated about the market and values. Your agent will also know the reputation of the builder and other projects that they have completed and how they fared.
Gloria Singer is the Broker of Boca Expert Realty, a boutique Boca Raton real estate company with a focus on professional service and an unparalleled customer experience. Our select agents are amongst the top performing professionals in the field. Visit www.BocaExpert.com for information on Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Highland Beach real estate and to connect with an expert in the local market.