Have you been considering purchasing a new construction home in Orlando, Florida? If so, this article is for you!
Purchasing a new construction home in Orlando has tons of benefits I feel like no one is really talking about. Especially right now, Orlando builders are giving away CRAZY incentives to buyers to purchase new. Many builders were forced to roll over a lot of unsold inventory from 2022 into 2023. It's imperative they get this excess inventory off their books ASAP so the deals and incentives being offered are pretty crazy!
So let's break down the benefits and some things to keep in mind when purchasing new construction.
Okay so let's state the obvious: new construction is NEW! You'll be the very first person to live in that property. If you aren't super handy, or really don't like second hand things, new construction might be for you! New construction homes are full of the trendiest interior colors, styles, floor plans and overall aesthetic. If you hate the idea of living in a home with outdated oak cabinets, Formica countertops or brass bathroom fixtures, new construction really might be for you! Most new builds right now feature light, bright & white kitchens with quartz countertops, open floor plans, coordinating bathrooms, walk in closets, and tons of features that feature the Florida lifestyle.
In addition to everything being shiny & new, you also get some pretty great warranties. Keep in mind, every builder is different, but typically we see 1 year whole house warranty, 5 year large appliances, and a 10 year structural warranty. The 1 year whole house alone is fantastic because let's say 6 months into homeownership, the tile in your bathroom starts to chip- the builder will come out and fix it! Basically anything that goes wrong in that first year can be referred back to the builder for repair.
Not only is everything new, but you'll get the absolute cheapest home owners insurance rates in Florida. Insurance rates are based on things like the age of the roof, age of the home, if you're in a flood zone or not, etc. Typically the rule of thumb is the newer your home and roof are, the cheaper your insurance will be. But a quick disclaimer here: the home insurance situation in Florida right now is a bit of a mess. The rules change daily, so consider my words with a grain of salt (water.)
Amenities are huge in new construction communities- especially in Orlando! Some communities don't have much- think a gate, maybe a playground, and a mailbox area. Others here in Central Florida, have been built out into luxury resort style attractions with gyms, pools, clubhouses, dog parks, schools, grocery stores and more. This really comes down to lifestyle: if you see yourself picking up the kids from the bus stop and immediately diving into the community pool for after school Florida fun, this sounds like the perfect community for you. OR, let's say building a pool in your backyard isn't in the budget, then purchasing new construction with a community pool is an excellent option- and you'll be thanking me for the advice come August, because the weather here in Orlando is HOT in the dead of summer! If you cannot fathom hanging out in a community gym or pool, then maybe looking in a community that offers these extra amenities isn't for you. A smaller community will likely mean lower HOA fees since there's less upkeep.
Now let's talk incentives. Builders want to entice you to sign their contract by offering things like $20,000 in their design studio for upgrades, upgraded appliance packages, they might cover your HOA or CDD fees, and most coveted of all, offering closing cost credits and rate buy downs if you use their lender- this literally could save you upwards of $5k, $10k, $15k- even more, depending on your financing abilities, and what the builder is offering of course. Keep in mind here, you have to use their in-house lender to receive most of these benefits. And in full transparency, most of the time, it makes sense to use the builders lender when purchasing new construction in Orlando, Florida.
I want to pause here and quickly talk about my role as your Realtor when you decide to purchase new construction in Orlando. First and foremost, you WANT an agent backing you up! Remember, we are your advocate during this process. Because we do this everyday, we know the things to look for, the questions to ask, and have tools and resources at our disposal to make sure the process goes as smooth as possible. And remember, we're a FREE resource to you. The builder pays us to represent you!
So let's talk about that contract. Builders typically always use their own contracts, and they've paid lawyers a lot of money to make sure they are ironclad. Number 1: never sign anything without consulting with your Realtor. Us Realtors are NOT attorneys, however, we're really good at picking out language that could make you stuck. We can't offer legal advice, but we can point things out that you may want to take into consideration before signing. Reminder! We are your advocate through this process! Number 2: When you sign a contract with a builder and submit your initial down payment, consider yourself the new owner of your Orlando dream home. Unless the deal falls apart because of financing (like, you literally no longer qualify to purchase the home because you lost your job or the interest rate kicked the home out of your price point) you will be closing on the property. You absolutely cannot put down a deposit on new construction "just in case" and continue to look at other homes- if you back out, you will lose your initial deposit, and maybe even more depending on how the contract is written. It's super important that when you decide to purchase new construction, you are 100% comfortable with the home, timeline and community.
Speaking of timelines, it's best to not get too attached to the proposed timeline of completion. Despite what the sales associate may tell us, construction has a tendency to pretty much always get delayed (I'm looking at you, hurricane season!) The more flexible you can be during this process, the easier it will be. If we need to sell your current home before you buy new, we need a backup plan of where you can stay in case there are delays (family, friends, Airbnb works wonders in these situations, etc.)
So that's pretty much the gist of new construction- everything is shiny and new, you could have access to incredible Florida lifestyle community amenities, the warranties ensure you'll basically never have to stop foot into a Home Depot (at least your first year of ownership anyways!) and the builder incentives can save you literally tens of thousands of dollars. Things to consider are the iron clad contracts, the always shifting timeline of completion, and being sure to find a Realtor to be your advocate in the process.
If you have questions on new construction in Orlando, Florida, I'd love to sit down and chat!