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!