New Construction Home Buying Tips

Are you considering buying new construction, but you’re unsure if it is the right move for you? Well, it’s a very good question, and usually the answer is an emphatic YES!! But that’s not always the answer. In this blog post, we’re going to break it down for you.

The first rule of new construction is to HIRE A REALTOR TO REPRESENT YOU! The reason for this is the representatives that work in the sales center of the new construction sites DO NOT WORK FOR YOU. They may be knowledgeable, likeable, professional, and so much more, but you have to remember that THEY WORK FOR THE BUILDER. Therefore, it is in your best interest to have someone in your corner, with your best interest at heart, and The GCI Guys are the team that would work tirelessly to protect you during this process!

In no particular order, we will find you the right community, home model, negotiate extra’s or more closing cost credits, attend walk-throughs and meetings, and troubleshoot issues during the building process between you and the builder. And most importantly, we will share a part of our commission with you. We give up to 1% of the purchase price back at closing, saving you thousands! And if we have to sell your current home to purchase the new one, we will reduce our commission on that deal too, just to say thank you for allowing us to WORK for you!

The biggest question is why would a buyer NOT want those services? Protect yourself with an expert who does a ton of new construction. It is 100% worth it.

Now to part two of this equation. Why buy new construction? Why build? I say, why would you not? Granted, many folks want to be in great communities in cities like Winter Park, Winter Springs, or Maitland. They have solid schools, beautiful areas, etc. However, there simply is not a building boom. The properties hold their value, and are upgraded as the years go by and they are still solid buys. But for someone who wants a change, or must move, there are plenty of options where you can build and get even greater value.

Let’s use Horizon West as our case study. Located in Winter Garden, minutes from Windermere, the Magic Kingdom, Orange County National Golf Course, and the 429, this location is PRIME! This entire area is gorgeous and new! Good roads, new shopping, and excellent value. For just under $300k is the Waterleigh community by builders D.R. Horton. You can get a 2000+ square foot 4 bedroom home, 2.5 baths, a bonus area, granite, stainless steel appliances, 2 car garage, lanai, blinds—EVERYTHING! If you use the builder’s lender, you will get a major chunk of your closing costs paid by the builder. If you use THE GCI GUYS, you get up to 1% back at closing and next thing you know, you are moving into a gorgeous brand new home with WARRANTY for minimal out of pocket expense and a mortgage payment within your budget. Obviously, this only works with the right credit score, low debt-to-income ratio, etc. This is something a lender can and will help you with. Assuming you are qualified, you just opted for one of the best decisions you have ever made.

If you are thinking of moving, explore new construction. Many think it’s unattainable, but I promise you this: it is absolutely attainable! And when you do go down this road, please hire a realtor. It’ll be one of the best decisions you make. And an even better move… hire THE GCI GUYS!!

Deep Thoughts in Real Estate…

Hi friends… This month’s “Deep Thoughts in Real Estate….” I just came up with that title, but Jack Handey from SNL fame I am not. All lame attempts at jokes aside, there is one thing you should bring into your thought process when it comes to the home buying process, and that one little nugget is FLEXIBILITY!!

In almost a decade of selling real estate, I’ve learned many things. For buyers, nothing is more valuable than being open-minded. Otherwise, you set yourself up for disappointment, and nobody likes that.

When I meet with a new buyer, I get their list of wants and needs. They are two very different lists. The first thing I will say is this—if you have a list of 10 things you must have, just know 2-3 of those might not happen. And that goes FOR ANY PRICE POINT!! It’s human nature. We always want more, right? Not for all, but certainly for many. Here is a great example: We have an awesome client, single mom, special needs teacher, just an overall great person, even though she is an FSU fan (Go Canes!), but we wanted to help her as much as we possibly could. At first, she wanted only one specific area, and one specific neighborhood. The inventory was very low, and there was a price point threshold that she had to stay below, so options were tight. Was it a great area? Yes, but it was also a cookie cutter neighborhood with not much of a backyard or charm. We kept striking out, that’s when I said, “You know, we really should be open to other areas. If you are, I promise we will hit it out of the park.” And that’s exactly what we did.

So we went from Winter Garden to Winter Park.

Conventional wisdom would have one think that Winter Park wouldn’t have as many options in this buyer’s price point, but it sure did. We were able to find an even better home. Yes, it was older, but it had charm and a huge fenced in yard. It also sat beside a really cute serene, small lake. And did I mention the lot was bigger AND the home was redone and upgraded?!

It turned out that making this move actually put her closer to friends and family, upgraded her daughter’s school, and now she lives in an excellent peaceful, relaxing home where incredible memories will be made.

My point is, just be open. Trust the thoughts and advice of your realtor. This is what we do 24/7. We are a wealth of knowledge. We have seen it all. Pick our brain. And explore a good suggestion. You never know how it might work out one day.

Flexibility isn’t just for gymnasts. It might mean the difference of getting a nice home and getting an awesome home!

Take Care!!

Lee Goldberg of The GCI GUYS at Re/Max Prime Properties

Five Steps To Buying A Home

If you’re thinking of buying a home, but don’t know where to start, or what to do, or you’re scared, etc., don’t worry—The GCI Guys have you covered. We’re going to give you 5 easy steps to get the ball rolling, and at the end of the day, you’ll most likely save money investing in a home instead of renting. But more importantly, you are investing in yourself and your future, so get yourself ready to buy in the near future, or at least know what steps you will need going forward to set yourself up to purchase in 6 months or a year or two.

Five Steps to Buying a Home:

  1. Hire the right realtor – The right realtor for you will explain the entire process, will always be available, aggressive, and patient. Their sales record they show what they are doing. That is the realtor you want to put your trust in. Also, hire a realtor that will give you some money back at closing! Bottom line—choose a realtor with a great track record who will help you save money.
  2. Get a GREAT lender – Don’t just go to your bank for a mortgage loan because it’s your bank. In our experience, we find the big banks to have the most issues and take longer to close vs. private lenders or mortgage brokers. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to them, but you should shop around and get a few quotes to see who has the best deal for YOU! The AWESOME realtor you hire—wink, wink—should be able to provide to you with a list of solid lenders they’ve worked with and can service you well. You need the type of lender and realtor that will answer their phone after 5pm and during weekends. Will a big bank loan officer do that? It’s doubtful. And please, be sure to get the loan officer EVERYTHING that is asked of you in a timely fashion and DO NOT make a major purchase or open new credit lines BEFORE speaking to your lender. This could affect whether or not you get the home loan. 
  3. So you’ve found the area where you want to live in and the property you want to call home, now what? Listen to the advice of your realtor on these things – When to offer, what to offer, and please, follow their strategy. This is what we do every day of our lives. We know what it will take to get a deal done. If we say you need to jump on it right away, or the comps say X, but we need to offer Y, listen. If you want the home, don’t lose out because you didn’t follow the advice of the professional. Anyone can go on MLS, get showing instructions, and show you a home, but it’s the art of the deal that follows. Have a realtor that can negotiate correctly for you. I have seen some terrible realtors over the years, leaving money on the table for their clients, which means my clients came out on top. And I know there are times you want your family included, but I can’t tell you how many times a family member has cost a client a home they wanted. Keep them in the process, but let them know early on that this is your decision and you want to follow the advice of your realtor. Just because your dad has sold a few homes in Boston doesn’t mean he knows the Central Florida market. This is a touchy subject for some, but it happens. We get it—it’s a huge purchase and they care about your well-being, but so does your realtor, and they know what needs to be done to get you the home you want. 
  4. You’ll need to hire a licensed inspector – This is a cost to you, as is the appraisal. Both are ordered by your lender and are requirements the lender nor realtor have any effect on whatsoever. They are roughly $400, give or take. The inspector will look at EVERYTHING and give you a detailed report with issues the home may have. At that point, your INCREDIBLE realtor will negotiate with the sellers to get you what you need to move forward and address concerns. You get what you pay for when it comes to an inspector. Don’t skimp on cost, please. Find someone who is highly skilled, a veteran in the business, and comes HIGHLY recommended. Your realtor should have strong relationships with multiple inspectors and will be able to refer. 
  5. Relax – Put trust in the process. IT WILL ALWAYS WORK OUT HOW IT SHOULD, trust me on this. When it’s all over, you will have found the right home for you.

If you follow these five steps, you will have a great home buying experience. The GCI Guys, myself, Gary, and our team of Realtors, WANT TO WORK FOR YOU! If you or someone you know is thinking of buying a home, please give us an opportunity. I promise you won’t be disappointed. But if not us, these same steps apply, and we wish you nothing but the best!