Interactive Map Search

Use our Interactive Map Search tool to view properties directly on the map. Easily view listings in your favorite neighborhoods.

Search

Follow Me on You Tube.. New Videos EVERY Monday!
SubscribeToMyChannel

What's Your Home Worth?

Are you thinking of selling your home? Get a free evaluation and market analysis of your home with absolutely no obligation.

Get Valuation
 

Buying a New Construction Home-
Changes & Tips 2021


Buying a New Construction Home-
Changes & Tips 2021
 
You may have watched my prior video on Tips for a New Construction Home. But since the pandemic, a few things have changed.  
Today I’m talking about those changes and things you need to know when buying a New construction Home in the Greater Lakeland area and how you can make smart decisions in todays crazy Real Estate market.  

For todays blog on Tips when Buying New Construction, We’re focusing on planned development communities and larger builders.  
Some of the things we will be discussing today will not apply if you are building a high end, custom home. But stay tuned, I’ll be publishing another video very shortly about this special class of New Construction homes. 

The number one question I get from those looking at New Construction as their next home is: 
‘Is the price I see on the website, the price of the home?’ Or, What does it mean when the sign says “ Starting in the $200’s’?
 
You may have been driving around and saw one of these signs on a new Construction development and decided to pop into the model center. After speaking with the Builders rep, you discover that number is a bit higher in the end. But why?
 
Firstly, that “starting at” price is True because it is based on the lowest price floor plan that builder offers in that community, no upgrades and no premium lot.  
The good news is, there’s recently been a few changes that most builders have implemented to take the guess work of the available homes to be built and also to pare down the projected estimated completion date.  
Again guys, we’re talking about planned Development builders in the median, New Home Construction price range for the Greater Lakeland areas. 
 
So let’s talk about a few different costs you may have with your New Build....  
First, is the Base Price of the home. This commonly known as the floor plan you have chosen with No upgrades or Lot premium. 
*And just a side note..There is not an added cost for the ‘lot premium’ on every lot in the community. This is only for lots that the builder considers better than other lots. For example a lot than has a water feature or a conservation view would be considered a premium lot..Opposed to a lot that backed up to another home or main road.
 
Another factor that could increase the price of the home is the personal options you may choose.  
It’s important to know the difference between structural and cosmetic options. Those can add up fast and depending on your choices, and could price you right out of the home.
 
 For details about this and more, you’ll want to check out a few of my prior videos, where I talk about how to make the best choices based on your personal situation coupled with how long you think you plan to stay in your new build.
 
Stay with me, because some of the recent changes some builders have made will make this process a lot easier for you. Plus, you’ll know straight away what that particular home costs and a tighter projected completion date.
 
Some builders have elected to release homes or lots for sale based on the floor plan and pre-chosen finishes and in some cases, at a predetermined construction stage.  
You can lock in your lot and purchase price at contract time without wondering if the prices are going to increase....  
For example, a builder may advertise they have 4 lots or homes available for sale. On those homes sites, the builder has already chosen the  floor plan, and finishes that will go on those lots.  
So you know ahead of time what that home costs, what build stage that home is in and a much tighter projected completion date.
 
Personally I’m liking this recent change. My New home buyers know ahead of time what they are getting and for how much.
   
And before you start thinking...”Yea, but what kind of finishes are they putting in these homes”? And how do I know when these homes become available to try to avoid the stressful multi-offer situation? 
I will tell you this....Of all the builders I work with, I like what I’m seeing. But Not all builders are alike.  and they all have their own business plans as to how and when they release homes or lots to be sold.
 
Which brings me to the number one tip : Always Have your Own representation when buying a New Construction Home. If you follow my channel, you’ve heard me say this more than once. 
As a perspective New home buyer you may be confused when you go into a New home model center and the builders rep answers your initial questions and wonder why you need your own Realtor.
 

The answer is very simple. The Builders representatives work for the builder. Not you.
  

 You need your OWN representation, especially one that is familiar with the building process and who can be your advocate. 
 And most importantly, choose your Realtor prior to going to the model homes. 
The reason for this is because if you register with a builder without letting them know you have a Realtor, you will waive your right to your own representation.
 

Some builders have implemented some recent changes where they no longer recognize Realtors as the buyers contractual representatives.  In my opinion these builders are shooting themselves in the foot.
 

I personally know many of the builders representatives in the Greater Lakeland area, and proud to bring my buyers to consider their builder. 
And honestly, there are a few that I would not recommend.  
You should never feel pressured when visiting a model center and speaking with a builders representative. If you have any doubts, step back and call your Realtor. 

My next tip is how we negotiate with builders. 
Firsty, Builders flat do not negotiate on their base prices. The price is the price.  
As long as we are in a sellers market and homes continue to sell, there’s no reason for them to negotiate the prices.
 

However, most large builders are open to negotiate add-ons or incentive credits.  
The biggest incentive most builders offer is to pay  a large part of your closing costs, essentially alleviating you from having to come to closing with the addition funds needed aside from your down payment.  
Sounds pretty enticing, huh? 
And this incentive can be a very good thing..especially if you have limited cash in hand to get into a home.  
In order to receive this credit from the builder, you have to agree to use their lender. Again, this can be an awesome incentive...But do your homework and shop lenders first.
 

Your Realtor can best advice you on what to ask for,  based your financial situation, your long term goals or your “must have” list.
 

Do you have a home you’re selling or in a binding rental lease? Of course, you’re probably going to  want a seamless transition from your current home to your New Home.
 

Building and closing on a New Home is not like when you buy an existing home and have a defined certain date you are taking possession.. New Construction is subject to many factors that are beyond the builders control.. 
Like inclimate weather. A builder has no control over bad weather causing construction delays.  
Nor do they have total control over material delivery delays or labor shortages. As a side note, these types of delays are directly tied to the pandemics ripple affects.
 

 The good news is,  I am seeing less and less of these type of delays here recently. 
Believe me, the builder does NOT want to delay your closing. They do not make any money until you close! 
There are just some things that are out of their control.
  

So what that means is,  if you're selling your current house or you have a lease, that's going to expire closer to your New Home closing time... Have a plan is place at least one month ahead. 
For example, If your renting and your current lease is expiring soon, Don’t sign a new long term lease..Instead  talk to your landlord or property manager about a  temporary month to month plan. 
And if you are selling you home, ask your Realtor to negotiate an extended closing or a lease back to bridge the time you need to close on your new Build. 
If these options are not possible, ask your Realtor to help you look into corporate rentals and put your things in storage. I know this seems like a big pain.. But it’s just a brief temporary solution...Don’t lose site of the big picture!
 

I Hope you found todays blog helpful. If you did, please tap the like button or share thoughts in the comments. 
And if you’d like instant access to my New Construction website just click here.  

There you’ll be able to learn about the builders, keep tabs on availability, set up your own customized property alert searches and more. 
I’m Lisa Kelly...And As the real estate market continues to evolve and change with all that’s going on in the world right now, I’ll be right here giving you the latest as it happens. 
Until then, I’ll see you on the next one. 

 

Contact Me

 

What my clients are saying  

My experience while purchasing my first home was the best experience I've ever experienced. With Lisa's guidance it was a stress free experience. She made sure I was comfortable and understood every step. She gave her opinion from the heart. You can tell she genuinely wanted you to have the home you desired. She is very personable and that's great when you are purchasing a large investment. I am forever grateful of her help. So if you are looking to have a wonderful experience while purchasing or selling any property Lisa Kelly Realtor is the way to go.

 

~ Candace Engram

Candace Engram ????? 18 weeks ago My experience while purchasing my first home was the best experience I've ever experienced. With Lisa's guidance it was a stress free experience. She made sure I was comfortable and understood every step. She gave her opinion from the heart. You can tell she genuinely wanted you to have the home you desired. She is very personable and that's great when you are purchasing a large investment. I am forever grateful of her help. So if you are looking to have a wonderful experience while purchasing or selling any property Lisa Kelly Realtor is the way to go.

 

~ Candace Engram

Greg Raymond ????? 43 weeks ago Finding and buying the right house can be a difficult and daunting process. When my wife and I found our home online, we needed someone local to the property to assist us as we were out of state. Lisa came recommended by a local acquaintance and she was quick to respond to our call. She was collaborative and professional throughout the process, and was attentive to our needs and questions through closing. I would certainly recommend her!

 

~ Greg Raymond

I had such a positive experience working with Lisa. Not only is she a complete professional, but such a compassionate human being. Her knowledge guiding me through the Florida real estate process was so helpful as a first-time Florida homebuyer. She was always prompt and responsive while going above and beyond. She attended all key inspections in person and kept me informed throughout the entire process. If you are looking for a great real estate experience, look no further. Lisa is your gal to get the job done. I will definitely be working with her again in the future.

 

~ DJ Bradley

I had such a positive experience working with Lisa. Not only is she a complete professional, but such a compassionate human being. Her knowledge guiding me through the Florida real estate process was so helpful as a first-time Florida homebuyer. She was always prompt and responsive while going above and beyond. She attended all key inspections in person and kept me informed throughout the entire process. If you are looking for a great real estate experience, look no further. Lisa is your gal to get the job done. I will definitely be working with her again in the future.

 

~ DJ Bradley

We can’t say enough good things about Lisa Kelly! From the moment she stepped through our front door, she demonstrated all the characteristics you want in your realtor: integrity, friendliness, optimism, thorough knowledge of her field, state-of-the-art technical savvy, unflagging energy and sensitivity to all our own needs and feelings. Our house sold in four days and we are certain this success was largely due to Lisa’s skill and hard work. We highly recommend Lisa Kelly to anyone looking for a top notch realtor!

 

~ Tom and Kim Manske

We can’t say enough good things about Lisa Kelly! From the moment she stepped through our front door, she demonstrated all the characteristics you want in your realtor: integrity, friendliness, optimism, thorough knowledge of her field, state-of-the-art technical savvy, unflagging energy and sensitivity to all our own needs and feelings. Our house sold in four days and we are certain this success was largely due to Lisa’s skill and hard work. We highly recommend Lisa Kelly to anyone looking for a top notch realtor!

 

~ Kim Manske

Kim Manske ?????Aug 21, 2020 We can’t say enough good things about Lisa Kelly! From the moment she stepped through our front door, she demonstrated all the characteristics you want in your realtor: integrity, friendliness, optimism, thorough knowledge of her field, state-of-the-art technical savvy, unflagging energy and sensitivity to all our own needs and feelings. Our house sold in four days and we are certain this success was largely due to Lisa’s skill and hard work. We highly recommend Lisa Kelly to anyone looking for a top notch realtor!

 

~ Joanna Grizzard

Sidney Wyland Lisa Kelly was our realtor that helped us with our move from Utah to Lakeland. She is a very good resource for us in Lakeland and helped us buy our new home. We found Lisa on the internet. She has helped us with all the contacts and scheduling to insure all things here went smoothly. The closing on our home was completed on time which was very important as we had are household goods being delivered from two different states. She also continues to be there for us for any referrals or help we may need here locally. I would highly recommend her to anyone buying a home.

 

~ Rick and Sidney Wyland

Just wanted to thank Lisa for a job well done. I worked with Lisa on 2 of our homes this past year. We sold one in June and another late in the year. Everything went smooth and all details were handled in a very professional manor. Thanks again Lisa; nice working with you. Lee Brown

 

~ Lee and Frankie Brown

We had been looking for a new home for about three months. We changed Realtors and began working with Lisa. She showed us a couple of places. We talked about limits on price and location. We looked again on a couple. We did not care for those. She emailed us about a home that was being restored for a flip. We met her at our current home. We liked the location and made an offer which was accepted. She did a great job getting the seller to accept and a wonderful job from there. The closing took about fifteen minutes. We have been very happy from that day on. Patricia and Bill Crabb

 

~ Bill and Patricia Crabb

We had been looking for a new home for about three months. We changed Realtors and began working with Lisa. She showed us a couple of places. We talked about limits on price and location. We looked again on a couple. We did not care for those. She emailed us about a home that was being restored for a flip. We met her at our current home. We liked the location and made an offer which was accepted. She did a great job getting the seller to accept and a wonderful job from there. The closing took about fifteen minutes. We have been very happy from that day on. Patricia and Bill Crabb

 

~ Bill & Patricia Crabb

Just wanted to thank Lisa for a job well done. I worked with Lisa on 2 of our homes this past year. We sold one in June and another late in the year. Everything went smooth and all details were handled in a very professional manor. Thanks again Lisa; nice working with you. Lee Brown

 

~ Lee & Frankie Brown

01/03/2017 - shunter317 Bought a Single Family home in 2016 for approximately $175K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa is an exceptional agent as she knows real estate law and the local market. She communicates and is extremely responsive to her clients questions and needs. She walked us through a complicated contract. We consider Lisa a new friend.

 

~ What Others Had to say

Highly likely to recommend 08/09/2016 - HappyBuyerNEOH Bought a Single Family home in 2016 for approximately $225K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: I highly recommend Lisa Kelly! She was awesome to work with through the whole process. Her communication and promptness went above and beyond my expectations. Working in the mortgage industry, I see all types of realtors, if you want a genuine, awesome, go getter- she is your girl!

 

~ What Others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 10/27/2014 - jessbparker Bought a Single Family home in 2014 for approximately $75K in Auburndale, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: I cannot say enough about Lisa Kelly. She helped my husband and I buy our first home when we had limited funds and difficult circumstances. She is extremely knowledgeable about homes, market, taxes- anything you could want to know. She is also an excellent advocate for her clients during negotiations, which really came in handy when you're a nervous first-time home buyer.Less

 

~ What others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 02/22/2014 - par167 Bought a home in 2014. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa Kelly is the hardest working woman I know! If you are in the market to buy or sell take it from my personal experience she delivers results!In Polk County or anywhere else for that matter you will be hard pressed to ever get better service. Paul Renner.....

 

~ What others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 02/25/2012 - user027478 Bought and sold a Single Family home in 2011 for approximately $275K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa is the most professional realtor I've ever worked with... she's direct, honest, highly-knowledgable, very responsive and a consummate professional. She played fundamentally important roles in helping us to sell our house in a tough market. She's a hard worker and also gave us great advice and we were able to sell after listing for about 30 days. She then helped us find and close on our dream home. Her persistance and negotiating savvy helped us buy a house that was not a very convential listing. If we'd had an average realtor, we'd have been a lot less successful with both our deals. I'd recommend Lisa to anyone who wants to work with a genuine professional. She could write a book on what it takes to be an outstanding service provider.

 

~ What others had to say

02/09/2012 - Alyson7707 Bought a Single Family home in 2009 for approximately $125K in Bartow, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: We absolutely loved our experience with Lisa.. She is incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated to finding the home of your dreams. We couldn't be happier with the home she found us or the time we spent with her--she made the experience exciting and easy. We do not hesitate to recommend her to friends and family and will absolutely work with her in the future. Thanks again Lisa! -Michael & Alyson Elrod

 

~ what others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 02/08/2012 - AimeeWeed Bought a Single Family home in 2010 for approximately $100K in Auburndale, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa was always quick to respond to my questions. I honestly think that my family and I would not be in this wonderful house without her hard work. She is honest, not afraid to give her opinion in a helpful way, and she is very knowledgeable in all aspects of her job.

 

~ what others had to say

Wonderful wonderful experience. Lisa is what I call a dream maker. I had the dream, and she made it a reality.Lisa's hard work, her quick response, her compassion in knowing I was a single mom purchasing my first house, has earned my loyalty in using her as my realtor for life.

 

~ what others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 03/09/2011 - reedswife11 Bought and sold a Single Family home in 2011 for approximately $75K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: This woman is amazing, we have run into every road block imaginable and she has negotiated our problems quickly and effectivly everytime. Always available and Always puts her clients first

 

~ what others had to say

More Reviews

Want to Know How Much Your Home is Worth?

Get Your FREE Home Market Analysis Report Right Now!

YES, SHOW ME NOW
G-YV0FBRN5V5