We always want to make sure we are addressing real questions that you have about buying or building a home in Florida, so that our videos are relevant and informative. So, last week, we posted on our Facebook and Instagram accounts, which if you don’t follow us- you should! And we asked for questions you might have about home inspections, building, and just general living in Lakewood Ranch things.
Today, we are going to share those questions and our answers with you! Here we go..
Pest Control: Are the bugs that bad in Florida and how do we prevent them from getting in?!
I despise bugs, truthfully I don’t know anyone that likes them, so when we were talking about moving here this was a genuine concern for me, too. However, I had to remind myself that bugs are everywhere – not just Florida! In our experience (and everyone, everywhere is different) the bugs are not necessarily any worse here than where we came from. There are just more of them, and some I have never seen before LOL
So, how do you control & treat for them: definitely screen in your lanai or outdoor area so you can enjoy being outdoors without all the creepy crawlies. Also, as you would anywhere, if you are outside somewhere without a screen, use bug spray to help ward off mosquitos and no-see-ums. For your home, builders treat the wood they use in for your house with termite prevention and some builders install in-wall pest control tubes. Taexx was the original in-wall system and it is meant to create a barrier within the walls of your home to attack and prevent bugs before they penetrate those surfaces and get inside. It is not exposed to sunlight, nor is it released into your home in any way.
If you are consistent with Pest Control treatments, you shouldn’t have any issues in Florida!
Insurance: What insurance is required in Lakewood Ranch? Is it more expensive than other states?
The type of insurance you need will certainly depend on where you live in Florida. If you are on Siesta Key Beach, chances are you need flood, hurricane, and hazard insurance, which will be a higher cost. You can also add sinkhole coverage, fire & theft protection, and basically any type of insurance you want if it provides you more peace of mind. However, they all have costs.
Lakewood Ranch, specifically, is in the lowest risk flood zone "X", which eliminates that add-on because most lenders do not require flood insurance at that zone. The Sarasota/Manatee County area is also not very prone to hurricanes, as compared to other parts of Florida, so this could save you over $800 in insurance costs per year.
Older homes, built prior to 2001 are going to have higher insurance costs, while brand new construction is up to the most current codes and should not be very expensive. We have found in our experience with new construction, average costs are $700-1500/year depending on the size of the home and what you add on.
Things that can help to lower your home insurance costs are protective devices like security systems, hurricane impact glass in your home, residing in a secure gated community, and buying a new construction home versus an older one.
Home Inspections: Should you get one? If, so when? What does it cover?
As a buyer, and/or someone building a new home, you always have the right to conduct an independent home inspection on your property.
This can be done once, prior to your final walkthrough and closing of the home, or sometimes twice – once pre-drywall and again before closing. They might find issues the building subcontractors or county inspectors miss, so it is always helpful to have another set of eyes.
Home Inspections should cover all major areas of the home including roof, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, appliances, and major surface deficiencies. Some inspectors will also do another inspection prior to your Builder Warranty expiring to make sure you can get all issues fixed in time.
We are happy to recommend great companies we often use in the Lakewood Ranch area and encourage all of our buyers to get at least one inspection during their purchase process.
Closing Costs: How much does it cost to close on a new home?
Tourism is the biggest industry in Florida, by far, but lately real estate has been a big contributing factor to the economy, as well. Real estate closings in Florida tend to have higher closing costs than other states, comparatively, so it is something you want to prepare for and factor in to your home-shopping budget.
The main fees come from the loan charges, prorations for taxes, title charges and insurance, and recording & transfer charges. The Deed state/tax stamp is always the heftiest charge on the settlement statement. In a traditional resale transaction, this is usually paid by the seller. In new construction, the builder passes that cost on to the buyer, along with some additional builder fees, so new construction closing costs tend to be higher than resale. Also, paying cash eliminate some closing cost fees from the lender, if you go that route.
For a new construction house with a loan amount of $400,000, the closing costs could add up to over $20,000 including loan costs, other costs & builder fees, and no lender credits. As a comparison, a cash resale transaction for a sales price of $585,000 only cost the buyer about $13,000 in closing costs. Remember, the commission is always paid by the seller (or builder) so that is not factored in.
There are many components that impact this final cost, so talk to your lender about options and credits. You can also ask them for a closing cost estimate up front to help you plan accordingly.
That’s it for today! We plan to follow-up with some “Expert Segments” from an actual Home Inspector and a Lender we work with often to give more specifics. Let us know what other questions you have that you want answered!
Contact us for all of your Lakewood Ranch, Florida real estate needs!
Park East at Azario Lakewood Ranch – The Newest Lakewood Ranch Village by Taylor Morrison
We have exciting news! Park East at Azario Lakewood Ranch is officially OPEN!
This brand new Taylor Morrison community is the latest to join the actively selling villages in Lakewood Ranch. Located in the northeast corner of Lakewood Ranch, between State Rd 64 and 44th Ave East, Park East is adjacent to the Esplanade at Azario village, but they have their own floorplans and amenities, without the golf-included lifestyle. In fact, there are 21 floorplans to choose from! Park East will have just over 300 homes sites to build on.
All homes in Park East at Azario Lakewood Ranch are single-family homes. They differ from the Esplanade at Azario Taylor Morrison products in their floorplan design, fit, finish, and pricing. The lot sizes include 42', 52', 62', and 76' homesites, depending on the floorplan. There are 5 models to tour in this brand new village!
Visit our village page to see all available plans:
Our first video showcases the Java model, but we will be sharing each of the decorated models with you and more updates on the village, as they come!
These floorplans truly have something for everyone, ranging from 1,790 square feet to over 4,200 square feet.
The base pricing ranges from $370,000 to $670,000 and the HOA fee is about $158/month. There is a CDD fee for each home in this village, as well, dependent on the lot size.
Park East at Azario Lakewood Ranch has some wonderful amenities planned, but is not gated and maintenance is not included, which is why the monthly fees are so low.
Some other things to note: This village is a completely different product than the Esplanade homes, as they use shingle roofs in Park East rather than tile, cement sidewalks and driveways rather than pavers, and offer a unique design option: Canvas Collections.
Taylor Morrison has design packages, or Canvas collections, for the interior that keep the pricing and decision making very straightforward, or you can go to a design studio and pick out every single thing you want in the home. Here are the current Canvas Collection options:
Future Park East Amenities will include:
It is zoned to Gullett Elementary, Mona Jain Middle, and Lakewood Ranch High Schools.
For more information on this BRAND NEW Taylor Morrison village in Lakewood Ranch, contact us today!
Courtney & Michael Chenkus
Lakewood Ranch Realtors
Call: (941) 348-2653
We often get asked questions about home insurance; what it covers, how you know what the cost will be, etc. But we are not in the insurance business, so, we contacted an expert to help us out with this one! Rachael Harper is the Content Marketing Strategist of Bennett & Porter, a wealth management and insurance firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona. She wrote the following article to share more about Home Insurance and the factors that can impact your rate!
Factors That May Impact Your Home Insurance Rates
Ever wonder why you are paying more for home insurance than someone you know? Insurers cover several factors when computing your home insurance rate. The factors can vary—some historical, some regional, others personal.
Insurance providers also have different ways of assessing risk. That said, it is recommended that you compare home insurance quotes to ensure you get the most affordable rate possible.
Factors that Can Affect Your Home Insurance Rates
The cost of home insurance will depend on many factors. Below are some of the critical elements that can affect home insurance rates:
Location is one of the most significant factors insurance companies consider when calculating your home insurance premium. Most insurance companies also track the number, types, and cost of claims in each postal code area. High-crime neighborhoods and earthquake and flood-prone locations have high insurance rates.
On average, larger homes will cost more to insure. This can be attributed to the fact that more space and more furnishings need to be repaired or replaced after a loss. Essentially, the more content, the more space, the higher the insurance premium, and the more insurance will be required.
A good credit history can reduce your home insurance premium. Statistics show that those with good credit history typically make fewer insurance claims. It is essential to keep in mind that any inquiries into your credit history or score will be recorded in your report. However, your credit rating won't be affected when done for insurance purposes.
When you renovate your home, your home insurance premium can also increase as the amount of insurance coverage also increases. In line with this, it is recommended that you inform your broker about any renovations you have done so you will be able to get adequate insurance coverage.
The condition of your roof can affect your homeowners policy significantly. New roofs often mean reduced premiums. Homes with older roofs will also typically pay more. Most home insurance providers expect homeowners to keep tabs on their roofs and make repairs when required.
Type of Dog You Own
While many people love their dogs, home insurers are not as enamored. If you have a dog that's considered "aggressive," it would be a good idea to shop around for a policy. Some insurance providers will not increase your rates, while others might. The typical home insurance rate is .3% if you have a dog that’s considered an aggressive breed.
What Homeowners Insurance Covers
What does your home insurance cover? In rare instances when you need to file a claim, knowing the answer to that question can make a world of difference. While home insurance policies have standard provisions, what's covered can vary from state to state, depending on the policy you choose.
Specifically, home insurance policies will only cover perils that are listed as covered events in the policy. In other words, if a specific disaster is not listed as a covered event, homeowners will not be able to file a claim if it transpires.
Typical perils covered include:
● Smoke and fire damage
● Weather-related damage like hail or wind damage
● Water damage from internal sources, but not from flooding
● Theft of personal property
● Damage caused by ice or snow on the roof
● Explosions (i.e., gas explosions)
● Damage caused by motor aircraft or vehicles
Many insurance policies include provisions for contents (personal property that is not affixed to the house). This is the reason theft of personal property is usually considered a covered event.
Most home insurance policies also cover damage to outbuildings, fencing, and landscaping. The coverage is generally equivalent to up to 10 percent of the total policy amount.
There is also a provision that provides homeowners with temporary living expenses if their home has been damaged to the point where it is no longer livable. The insurance provider will reimburse homeowners their living expenses while their home is being repaired.
Lastly, most home insurance policies provide liability coverage if a family member, a third party, or yourself gets injured on your property. The same is true when your dog bites someone.
Several factors can affect your home insurance rate. That said, it is crucial that you carefully analyze your options before deciding. After all, your home is a massive investment, and you need to be able to protect it accordingly.
About the Author:
Rachael Harper is the Content Marketing Strategist of Bennett & Porter, a wealth management and insurance firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona. When not writing, she makes use of her time reading books and playing bowling with her family and friends.
Park East at Azario Lakewood Ranch is located in the northeast corner of Lakewood Ranch., between State Rd 64 and 44th Ave East. This will be adjacent to the Esplanade at Azario village, but they will have their own floorplans and amenities, without the golf-included lifestyle.
In fact, there will be 21 floorplans to choose from! Park East will have just over 300 homes sites to build on.
Homes will range in size from 1800 sq ft to over 4800 sq ft. There will be 4 different home site sizes, as shown on their Phase 1 site plan, with 42’, 52’, 62’, and 76’ lots. And there are some beautiful sites, as we show in our video! Homes will be priced starting around $375K to over $800K, depending on floorplan and options.
This village will be zoned to Gullett Elementary & Mona Jain Middle School, which are both A-rated and just over 3 miles away down 44th Ave E. It is also zoned to Lakewood Ranch High School.
There will be 5 models to tour, opening soon, and they will be starting some inventory home builds in the next few months.
The HOA fees will most likely be under $200/month per home and the amenities are set to include a pool, sports courts, volleyball, and BBQ spots for residents to enjoy.
More specifics and pricing are still being determined, so contact us to join our VIP list and learn more details as SOON as we do!
Florida taxes are a mystery to many, but today we try to explain a bit more about taxes, how to find tax bills for homes, and what the Homestead Exemption could mean for you as a homeowner. To download your Guide to Homestead Exemptions, click here!
When you are considering buying a home in Florida, one of the main questions you will ask yourself will probably be "what are the annual taxes?"
It is not a very easy mathematical equation to figure out, but we wanted to share some helpful tips on ways to find out what taxes are on similar homes and determine if you are eligible for any tax exemptions.
First of all, you want to figure out which county the home is located within because each county can have different tax systems and millage rates.
Our video above focuses on Manatee county, specifically.
The county Property Appraiser's website is going to be a wealth of knowledge for you as you explore different exemptions and tax information.
Once there, type in the address of the property you want to look up and click "Search". This will bring up a screen with a ton of information about the home, including all of the tax exemptions listed. To download a free guide explaining more about tax exemptions, click here.
The Tax Bill will list all components of the total tax amount, including any non-ad valorem taxes- which in Lakewood Ranch, make up the Stewardship or CDD fees.
The totals listed indicate which amount you pay depending on how early you pay your taxes. For new construction, we like to estimate that the taxes will be about 1.5% of the purchase price of the home. That would include the CDD fee, and may be over-estimating in some cases, but it is a good starting point.
The Homestead Exemption essentially decreases your home value for tax purposes by $50,000, assuming your home is a primary residence.
Also, the “Save Our Homes” amendment limits, or caps, the annual increase in assessed value of property that has a homestead exemption. The increase cannot exceed the lesser of 3% or the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous year. The assessed value cannot be greater than the market value. These two initiatives combined help to save money on your property taxes as a Florida resident.
For more information and FAQs, download your guide.
Or contact is with questions!
A popular question from buyers out of state is: what neighborhoods are NEAR Lakewood Ranch, but not necessarily in it?
Today, we are going to share information about the neighborhoods, or developments, that border Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County, between State Road 64 and University Parkway, east of I-75. This includes Braden Woods, River Club, Rosedale, Eagle Trace, Serenity Creek, and Avaunce.
Braden Woods- The aesthetic of this neighborhood really lives up to its name, as the tall pines and forests scattered throughout the homes make it feel like you are far out in the country, when really you are easily accessible to everything. The developer’s intention for Braden Woods was to create a neighborhood where you could enjoy the natural beauty of Florida, without having to find a state park.
Even the smaller lots at Braden Woods measure at least half an acre and homes meet a variety of sizes and styles. Homes were built starting in the 80’s, so this is an older development, which contributes to the more mature landscaping. Prices range from the $300,000s to the $500,000s There are no CDD fees and low HOA fees. Also, this is the only neighborhood in the area (that we know of) where septic tanks may be used rather than public sewer.
Homes in Braden Woods are zoned to Braden River Elementary, Braden River Middle, and Lakewood Ranch high school.
River Club - River Club is a deed-restricted community located in Bradenton, just outside of Lakewood Ranch, with no CDD fees and low HOA fees. There is a semi-private golf club and restaurant that is also open to the public for select hours. River Club was primarily built in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, and has smaller sections within it including River Club North, River Club South, and River Club Sanctuary. Many of the lots are 1 – 3 acres in size, which is more than the average in this area.
Homes in River Club were originally built by well-known names such as Todd Johnston and Arthur Rutenberg. River Club accommodates a wide range of lots and properties, from maintenance-free villas to larger estates. The 3-5 bedroom residences start at $350,000 and extend to $900,000. The HOA fees are about $70/month for most homes and there are no additional CDD fees. The homes in River Club are also zoned to Braden River Elementary and Braden River Middle School, which can be found right within the neighborhood. Older students are zoned to Lakewood Ranch High School.
Rosedale - Rosedale is a gated golf course village located East of I-75, north of Sarasota in the Lakewood Ranch area. This location is very convenient for commuters and residents, with access to all Lakewood Ranch and the UTC area has to offer, as well as quick access to I-75. This maintenance-free community has no CDD fees and a private Golf membership for residents.
Homes for sale in Rosedale are a mixture of newly-built homes and resale. Lennar built many of the homes in Rosedale and offer floor plans ranging in size from 1,500 square feet to over 2,400 square feet. Ashton Woods is an additional builder in Rosedale with some homes still under construction.
Residents can choose to join the golf membership, but social membership is required for most homesites with an annual fee. Also included is a new clubhouse, tennis, pool, fitness center, and full service restaurant with no minimum spend.
Rosedale is zoned to Braden River Elementary, Braden River Middle School, and Lakewood Ranch High school.
For more information on golf or other membership, contact us!
Eagle Trace –
This neighborhood was built by Neal Communities starting in 2015. It is a small, gated enclave of just under 300 homes and villas, conveniently located right off State Rd 64. There are nature trails, dog parks, tennis courts, a playground, recreation center, and community pool within the neighborhood. Lawn maintenance is also included in the low monthly HOA fees and there are no CDD fees.
Homes in Eagle Trace are zoned to Lakewood Ranch schools: Gullett Elementary, Mona Jain Middle, and Lakewood Ranch High.
Serenity Creek – This gated neighborhood was built by Meritage Homes and is a small section of energy-efficient, larger two-story floorplans (primarily). All homes at Serenity Creek are equipped with special windows, Energy Star appliances, water-efficient fixtures, spray-foam insulation, smart HVAC system, and other features that translate into monthly utility bill savings.
Inside the community, residents can enjoy a dog park, playground, and trails to walk, run, or bike for an HOA fee of under $100/month. This neighborhood was built within the last 5 years, so resale homes are relatively new and modern. Most homes in Serenity Creek are zoned to Lakewood Ranch Schools – Gullett Elementary, Jain Middle, and LWR High School. There are no CDD fees in Serenity Creek.
Avaunce - Avaunce by KB Home is a gated community in Bradenton, FL, right in the heart of Lakewood Ranch yet without the CDD fees. This commuter-friendly location is just minutes from I-75, Hwy. 70 and Hwy. 64. With 8 floorplans to choose from, families can find the space they need without the extra fees.
This community does not offer many amenities, but there is a pool and cabana for the residents to use. It is not maintenance-free, but all of these options help to keep the HOA fee and cost of living down for homeowners.
Homes for sale in Avaunce were built by KB Home and range in size from 1,200 square feet to over 3,000 square feet. The largest floorplan can have 6 bedrooms and pricing on homes starts in the mid $200,000s. They are also zoned to Lakewood Ranch Schools: Gullett, Mona Jain, and LWR High.
If you are interested in learning more about the homes in these neighboring communities, contact us today! We would love to help you find your dream home in the Lakewood Ranch area.
'Tis the season for spreading some cheer and here in Lakewood Ranch, this is as much a priority this year as it ever has been (in the safest ways possible!)
Main Street's halls have been decked, the tree looks beautiful, and the elves are hiding! (I’ll explain, below)
Today, we share some fun activities happening in and around Lakewood Ranch this holiday season so you can get a taste of what life on the Ranch is all about!
1. Spot the Elves on Main Street!
Nineteen mischievous elves are hiding throughout Main Street. Can you find them all? Find at least ten elves to enter the contest for a chance to win $500 in Main Street gift cards.
The contest ends on January 1, 2021. Winners will be announced on January 8, 2021.
2. Carriage Rides on Main Street
Take a relaxing carriage ride down Main Street and celebrate the Christmas season with us! Free to the public. Pickup and drop off is at the Christmas Tree.
Thursday, December 3rd – 6:30-8:30
Wednesday , December 9th -6:30-8:30
Thursday, December 17th – 6:30-8:30
Rides will be limited to two adults or one family at a time. Seats and carriage will be disinfected after each ride. Social distance will be in effect while waiting.
3. Virtual Lakewood Ranch Holiday Art Project
Create a fun craft with Kori! Saturday December 19th at 3PM (online)
4. Hunsader Farms Country Christmas
Visit the farm for Country Christmas this year! They will have over 300,000 lights, hayrides, train rides, pony rides, food, Christmas music, petting zoo, snow tubing, and more!
12/11/20, 12/12/20, 12/13/20, 12/18/20, 12/19/20, 12/20/20
5. UTC Holiday Festival of Lights
This year’s reimagined holiday experience – UTC Holiday Festival of Lights – is aimed at inspiring awe and wonder in the hearts of friends, families and communities through millions of lights over 44 nights.
Take in the sights and sounds of the season with fresh-air festivities including:
Light shows choregraphed to music
Nightly | 6:30-9:30 PM, every 30 minutes | Viewing areas around Cattlemen Drive
Holiday movies under the stars
Fridays & Saturdays | 7 PM | West District, parking area across from DSW
Saturdays | 9 PM
Horse-drawn carriage rides* ($5 per passenger)
Thursdays-Saturdays, 6-10 PM | Sundays 6-8:30 PM | Pick up/drop off at Mall at UTC valet area
* Rides provided on first-come, first-served basis
Outdoor holiday market
Nov. 21-22 & Dec. 5-6 | 11 AM - 7 PM Saturday and 11 AM - 6 PM Sunday | Mall at UTC, parking area adjacent to Brio Tuscan Grille
Ugly Sweater Alley
West District, between BurgerFi and Ethan Allen
Giant holiday greeting card displays, decorated by local schools
Plus so much more magical, memorable experiences!
Help us spread cheer, not germs!
6. Rye Road Giraffes Christmas Celebration and Circus
The Christmas Carol Circus, featuring their caroling ringmaster that will be singing some of our favorite Christmas songs live, will be performing on scheduled Saturdays and Sundays throughout December.🎉🎄🎅
There will also be optional children's activities happening before the show, such as Pony rides, camels rides, face painting, bounce houses, and of course animal feedings that will be available for all ages.
The farm will be decorated for the holidays, so don't forget your camera 📸
Choose one of the following🎟️
Saturday Dec 5th at 11am or 3pm
Sunday Dec 6th at 11am or 3pm
Adult tickets - $15
Childrens tickets - $5 (ages 4 - 10)
(a non refundable deposit may apply)
7. St. Armand’s Circle Holiday Night of Lights
Friday December 4 at 6:00PM
Kick off the season on the circle as they light the largest tree on the Gulf coast!
8. Sarasota Christmas Glow Run 5K
Saturday December 19 at 6PM
This family friendly event at Nathan Benderson Park features Christmas lights and music to get you in the spirit (and make you run faster!)
9. Holiday Splendor Drive-Thru Experience: The Ringling will hold a drive-thru version of its Holiday Splendor event, with holiday decorations and a toy drive. Cars can drive through Central Campus Gate, complete the loop around the Museum of Art, and exit via the South Gate. Guests who donate unwrapped new toys will receive a coupon for $5 off their next museum visit, with free cocoa and cookies served by Metz Catering.
6-8 p.m. Dec. 3
10. Sarasota Trolley’s Holiday Tour of Lights
See homes decorated for the holidays from the comfort of the Sarasota Trolley with tours departing nightly at 6:15 and 8:15 p.m. Dec. 4-30.
Guests are welcome to bring along a beverage and a snack. The trolley departs from the parking lot at Burlington Coat Factory at the corner of Cattlemen and Bee Ridge roads. Tickets are $15 per person.
Reservations and masks are required and trolleys are sanitized between each tour.
11. A Taste of Chanukah:
The 10th annual event will feature a snow slide, BMX performers, kosher food by Michael’s on East, a helicopter Chanukah gelt drop, Latkes by Sam, Kona Ice and more.
4-6 p.m. Dec. 13; Phillippi Estate Park
....and more! 🎄☃️🎁☕️🎅🏼💫✨
We live in Lakewood Ranch and love sharing local events and news with you because we truly do love it here!
If you’re considering a move, let us help you find the perfect spot. Contact us today! Give yourself the gift of a new home and Florida lifestyle for the holidays! 😎🌴
Michael & Courtney Chenkus
Charles Rutenberg Realty | Lakewood Ranch
There are many do's and don'ts when it comes to real estate. Buying new construction may be something you have never experienced before, and there are a few ways to make the process easier. One of those things, is working with us! 😉 There are also a few things you want to avoid, not do, and not be fooled by throughout this process. Today, we share 5 of the things you want to not do when buying or building new. If you have any questions on this information, we are always here to help!
1- don’t sign anything or fill anything out
When you visit model home sales centers, there is usually a form that the salespeople want you to fill out in order to register. This form captures your personal contact information and might ask some general questions about your home search. Don’t feel pressured to fill it out!
If you have a realtor with you and they explain the form so you feel comfortable completing it, then go ahead. If you are on your own and just beginning your search, say you’d prefer not to fill anything out just yet. Sometimes, if the forms are completed on your first visit and you didn’t bring a realtor with you, it makes it difficult to get them involved in the transaction later on. Also, the salespeople may send you emails and text messages about the community and the information can get overwhelming. Let your agent do the research and weed through all that info for you!
2 - don’t share any personal info or opinions
When looking at the models (or any home) don’t share your personal information or opinions in front of the salespeople. You want to put yourself in the best position to negotiate and revealing all the details about your financial situation, timing, and thoughts about the house could weaken that position. Definitely share that information with your realtor privately, but don’t have those candid conversations until you are alone. Let the salespeople wonder what you think about the house!
3 - don’t expect the traditional real estate contract
If you have bought or sold real estate in a traditional resale transaction, there was probably a common state-wide or commonly used contract that all realtors were familiar with for those residential transactions. However, when you go the new construction route, each builder has their own unique contract that they utilize. Your realtor should be able to review this with you and point out the important details and differences at this phase in the transaction. It may be much longer than a residential resale contract, so use them as a resource to make sure you understand it before signing!
4 - don’t be fooled by the “base price” & don’t expect your home to look like the model
We have mentioned it in previous videos but to recap, the price listed on builder websites and advertised on signs around the community is the “base price” of the home. If it were delivered empty with basic interior finishes and floating in the air, that would be the price.
If you want to actually build on planet earth, there are additional costs like the lot fee, interior options and upgrades, pools, etc. So that initial price is very misleading. Along those same lines, the detail and finishing in the model homes can be deceiving. Your home will be built with standard walls, basic ceilings, paint, floors, cabinets, and maybe appliances. Any fancy trim or detail, as well as nicer floors and finishes, are all upgrades that cost more money. Keep that in mind when considering a budget!
5 - Don’t discount the element of timing and how important it is
Real estate transactions follow a process and have many steps. From start to finish, timing is very important. That includes the timing of finding a community you love, building the house, selling your current house, making design choices, moving in, and everything in between. All of those steps are like dominoes and if one gets stuck or doesn’t fall in the right order, it de rails the entire process.
You want to start by talking to a lender and figuring out finances. Can you even buy a house? When can you sell your house within the process to make it work? Most builders won’t take a contingency on a sale, so that is a very important timing element.
Then, decide on the community and if you need to build or buy inventory. Building takes at least 6 months, sometimes up to a year with a custom builder. All of that timing needs to be considered!
All in all, the process of buying or building new can be confusing and overwhelming, so it helps to work with a great realtor who understands it, can help make it less stressful, and has your best interests at heart. This video shared some things to NOT do, but one of the most important things you CAN and should do is find a great agent to work with.
If you’re looking for a home in Lakewood Ranch, we would love to be that agent for you!
Shoreview at Lakewood Ranch Waterside – Pinnacle Model Tour
Waterside at Lakewood Ranch is one of the newest and most popular spots in Lakewood Ranch. It currently consists of two villages, Shoreview and Lakehouse Cove, with room for more! Then there is Waterside Place, which will be the new hub of activity in Lakewood Ranch slated to open in the spring. We have talked about the models and amenities at Lakehouse Cove in previous videos, so today we wanted to show you some of Shoreview and give a tour of the Pinnacle model.
Shoreview at Lakewood Ranch Waterside is developed by Pulte. They offer 9 floorplans to choose from with a variety of structural options to customize the home for your needs. They also have some of the most impressive water views in all of Lakewood Ranch – but those home sites definitely come with a bigger price tag! This Natural gas community with approximately 246 single family homes centered around 144 acres of existing lakes is 3 Miles from Interstate 75 and walking distance to Waterside Place.
These homes range in size from 2,000 square feet to over 4,000 square feet with one and two story plans. Their base prices start just under $500,000, not including the lot or interior choices/options and pools.
Shoreview at Lakewood Ranch Waterside has its own beautiful amenity center including a beach area with hammocks and chaise lounges, fire pits, heated resort-style pool & spa, Kayak launch, outdoor bar & BBQ grills, Tennis & pickleball courts, Multi-purpose turf lawn, Clubhouse with community gathering room & kitchen, and a State-of-the-art fitness center.
For more information on their amenities, check out this video: https://youtu.be/Q7zq8Dk3-FU
Interested in building in Shoreview at Lakewood Ranch Waterside? Contact us for more details and to help you get started!
We would love to talk to you about Lakewood Ranch, Florida real estate!
Email us: Contact@chenkus.com
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Have you read a description of a home in Florida and wondered what half of the words meant? Have you Googled the phrases “lanai” and “lot premium” to try and better understand what it all means?
Search no more, we are here to help!
If you are moving to the area from out of state, there might be some Florida-based real estate/house lingo that sounds foreign. Today, we explain what the most commonly used terms mean, how it relates to real estate, and provide examples of that specific to Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
Let’s get started!
Types of Homes
Villa (detached) - this is a single family, one story home, possibly with a side entry to the house. The layout tends to be longer and narrower than traditional Single-Family layouts.
Paired or Quad villas - these will be attached and share one (or two) walls. The end units usually have more windows versus an interior unit, and these will have
In many communities, Villas are treated as a single family home in the sense that you can add a pool or extended enclosure area. For example, the Ibis paired villas in Esplanade at Azario allow homeowners to extend their lanai and add a small pool/spool. However, they charge a bit higher of an HOA fee because they take reserves to cover roofing and exterior painting, kind of like a condo..
Condo - in Florida, a condo is usually a single story unit in a high-rise or multi level building. Sometimes there are detached or attached garages and storage space, sometimes just carports or cars in front.
Townhome-this is a multi-level, single family home. Usually the garage is the first floor and then the main living space is in the middle with the bedrooms upstairs. Mallory Park at Lakewood Ranch has unique townhomes with the garages in the back through an alley between homes, so the front of the home has a porch and standard entrance.
Apartment - a rental unit in a larger building with its own amenities and rules
Single family homes- I think this one is pretty self-explanatory..
Features in Florida Homes
Lanai- this is a Hawaiian term used for a veranda connected to the main house with roof on top and open sides. It can be used as a living area and promotes natural air circulation. Lanais are best for tropical weather that allows people to sit outside, which is why they work so well in Florida. This is generally the covered area connected to the roof in the back of the house, screened in. You can extend your lanai to include your pool and additional decking, then cover it with your screen..
Screen/Cage enclosure- this becomes an extension of your lanai because you can include the pool and additional decking, then close it in with the screen or cage.
Hurricane impact glass (windows and doors) – Seems self explanatory, but also means that you don’t need to worry about hurricane shutters, as this does the job for you. If you have the option to upgrade to this when building, I highly recommend it. Most builders include hurricane impact glass on front windows and doors, but add the back, as well, if you can!
Elevation – Generally, this term refers to the height above sea level, however, in the context of new construction in Florida, this refers to the exterior look of the home or front façade. Builders offer different elevations to make the homes look different from one another, and sometimes there are additional costs involved with choosing one elevation versus the other.
Maintenance Free -A funny term because it is definitely not free, but this is the term used in communities where the HOA fee covers all of your lawn and yard maintenance. Maintenance included might be a better way to describe it! Homes that are not maintenance free require homeowners to do their own yard and lawn care, or hire a landscaping company.
How Pricing Works
AC square feet - on a floorplan, this is the number to pay attention to. It will include all of the living space under the roof within the A/C, excluding the lanai and garage spaces. The "total living area" includes all of those extra spaces.
Base price – If you were to build the house floating in space with basic finishes in it, this is the price. It does not include the land, pool, or any interior finishes and upgrades.
Lot premiums- Now, you have to put the home on land somewhere, so the lot premium is the cost of the land you choose. A water view lot is going to have a higher premium than a preserve lot, although both beautiful. A corner lot or one that backs up to a wall, busy street, or another home will have a much lower premium. Add this to the base price of the home, as a starting point.
Design options – Now, you need to add the interior finishes to the home to make it what you want! These design options range in price for each builder. Some builders, such as Lennar, offer a few options and upgrades that would keep your design options limited, but also super affordable. For a more custom design, like with Homes by Towne, you can estimate that you will spend about 15-18% of the base price of your home on options (which on a $500,000 is at least $50,000).
Add your base price + lot premium + design options (estimate) to get a better idea of the full price. Then, add the pool if you plan to put one in! (Average pool would be about $50,000 for easy estimates)
I hope this was helpful to better understand the commonly used terms associated with new construction in Lakewood Ranch and home building in Florida.
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Phone: (941) 348-2653