Tampa’s home prices are steadily increasing. Homes are also flying off the market and placed under contract faster than being listed for sale. In the current market, inventory for residential real estate is low and if you are looking for a specific home with all of your wish list items checked, you may find it hard to come by.
For that reason, Tampa has seen an increase in new construction homes. An option for Tampa residents to secure a home and in the time frame needed (and with all of the shiny and new features) is to build a newly constructed home. You may find new construction homes are priced the same or a little higher than already developed residential homes. However, there are a few areas you need to consider first.
Does building a new construction home seem like the right fit for you? Take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a new construction home in the Tampa Bay area.
1. It’s New
Pros: It’s a Brand New Home
- You are able to customize the home.
One main perk of a new construction home is that you have a brand new home that no one has lived in before. You and the builder are able to customize the home with personalized design touches like paint color and flooring options before construction is complete. Also, new construction homes come with design elements that today’s lifestyle demands, like a large and open kitchen, walk-in closets, and an open floor plan to name a few.
- You can live repair & maintenance free for a few years.
A big financial benefit of new properties is that you won’t have to do much maintenance. With brand new appliances, plumbing, heating, and air, you should be repair free for at least a few years.
- Utility bills are lower.
With new construction homes comes new technology, making homes more energy efficient. That means potentially lower utility bills.
Cons: The Neighborhood Is Too New
- You may be living in a construction zone.
Buying a new construction home often means the new neighborhood will be under development for a while too. If you are wanting a neighborhood lined with mature trees, that won’t happen for a few years. You may be living in a construction zone until all of the homes are completely built. Getting your personal mail might be a burden in a construction zone, as well as lack of guest parking might be an issue.
- It is unknown how the neighborhood will develop or what will develop around it.
Builders may also have you sign a disclosure stating that they are not responsible for any issues or inconveniences to you that might result from increased traffic, outdoor lighting, noise, or unpleasant odors (For example, a landfill or sewage treatment facility that might develop nearby.) surrounding your property.
- Smaller lots and closer neighbors.
If you’re looking for lots of space between your house and the next door neighbor, you may not find it in a new construction home. The current trend for new neighborhood developments are smaller lots and closer neighbors.
- You may not be able to install a pool.
Sometimes, builders have you sign an agreement that you will not build a pool until the the builder has completed its construction of the neighborhood. By that time, you will realize that you don’t have room for the pool company to access your property. You might need to work out an agreement with your neighbor to pull up their new landscaping and agree to replace it once your pool project is complete.
2. Houses are Bigger
Pros: New Homes are Bigger
The new homes are bigger in square footage and have more bedrooms (4 to 6 bedrooms) to accommodate large families.
Cons: Not Enough Parking
- Tampa is a commuter city.
That means most of the household members (typically around 2 to 3 people) generally own a car or will own one in the future.
- No street parking or overnight parking allowed.
New construction homes are built on smaller lots than most older residential homes. There’s not as much driveway space to accommodate each resident’s automobile. Additionally, some neighborhoods also don’t allow street parking or overnight parking.
3. Better Amenities
Pros: Community Features
Almost all new construction homes come with a community pool and a community center. Some neighborhood communities also add an extra level of privacy and security by being gated.
Cons: HOA Fees & CDD Fees
However, all these nice amenities come at a cost. These are usually paid for by monthly HOA fees and annual CDD fees. Oftentimes, CDD fees have to be paid by the community for up to 30 years. These are additional payments to prepare for and budget for.
4. Builders May Help Pay Closing Costs
Pros: Down Payment Assistance
If you don’t have money to contribute towards a down payment, considering a new construction home might help your situation. New home buyers may be able to take advantage of mortgage financing perks made available through their builder.
Builders have their own mortgage companies or they will offer paying points/or closing costs to buy down certain rates for you. This is an option a residential home seller will not be able to offer to a buyer.
Cons: Higher Interest Rate
However, this kind of financing help usually means a higher interest rate on your home loan.
Buy a New Construction Home
Buying a new construction home can be intimidating with many aspects you’ll have to consider along the way. However, if you contact me, I can guide through the process. I can help you see past what is shiny and alluring and see what’s behind these properties.
While it may seem like new construction is the perfect choice, there’s lots of lifestyle factors to consider first. After all, you’re not just buying a house – you’re buying a home and a neighborhood!