Considering a New Build Home in Florida? What You Need to Know

Fueled by demand for the Florida lifestyle, there has been a surge of builders and developers bringing new homes and condominiums to the the market here. In addition, the healthy economy and recovering real estate market are other factors supporting the growing number of new houses for sale in Florida.


New homes are an attractive choice. Designed for the modern lifestyle, often featuring the latest innovations and gadgets, all wrapped up in a shiny clean interior. But when considering a new build, while you may be dazzled by the flashy brochures listing a multitude of amenities and features it would be hard not to like, it’s important to remember that there are other factors in play. The amazing simulation of the view from the master bedroom balcony is not necessarily the most important!

What is important is to ask if all this great marketing is just smoke and mirrors? Or can you trust developers to deliver on their promises? The answer is both yes, and no.

couple embracing in front of new big modern house, outdoor rear view back looking at their dream home

A Couple Looking at a Florida New Build

As Always, Make Sure You’re Protected First and Foremost

A new build contract usually has significant differences to a regular residential contact. Most  standard residential real estate contracts in Florida are designed to protect the interests of both buyer and seller. The contracts used by most developers and builders are designed specifically to protect their interests.

This does not mean you have to accept the first contract presented to you, however. There is plenty of room for negotiation and you can change the contract to one more balanced in your favor. This is where your Realtor comes in.

We believe that it is essential to have an experienced Realtor beside you when signing any new build contract. The developer actually bears the cost of the Realtor – you won’t have to pay anything – and when it comes to ensuring you get a fair deal, you can’t afford not to use one.

In fact, in our experience, using a Realtor not only costs you nothing – it can save you money. Having an experienced Realtor negotiate for you means you will get the benefit of their expertise in securing discounts, or upgraded features and fittings for the same money – ensuring you get better value. And their experience also often means they can negotiate the price down on your behalf, based on their knowledge of the market and the position of the developer.

As a buyer looking for a new home for sale in Florida it’s likely that you will be looking at all available developments on the market in your chosen area. Your Realtor should go above and beyond to help you compare specs, to make sure you are comparing like for like at different price points, and should help guide you as to which would suit your lifestyle and needs.

3 key things you need to know before buying a new build in Florida

1) You have a right to negotiate the contract

Whilst developers will always try to hurry you along, you need to ensure you understand everything you are signing and have requested changes where necessary.

There are laws in Florida that protect the buyer’s right to have enough time to review and negotiate contracts, without losing any deposit paid. There are also laws covering disclosures that must be made by the developers.

2)  You can negotiate on a lot more than you think!

You might be surprised at how much room there is for negotiation on the following areas:

  • The amount of deposit paid
  • The schedule for subsequent payments
  • How and when any changes are made during the build process
  • Finishing and upgrades -it may be more cost effective to handle any custom finishes yourself
  • How the snagging list will be handled.

Find the Perfect Realtor

We understand the uniqueness of international buyers’ needs and have created a system to personally match you with a local realtor that speaks your language, understands your needs, and can hand pick properties to fit your goals.

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3) Just Because it’s New Doesn’t Mean it’s Fault Free – Get an Inspection

New build houses are only checked to locally inspected building codes – similar to building regulations in the UK. A home inspector will complete a thorough inspection report which will form the basis of the snagging list. Much better to find out the the hot tap isn’t working or that the kitchen door is sticking before you move in, and get it sorted from their pocket rather than yours.

An inspection gives the builder or developer time to remedy the fault, and the report will serve as a useful tool to ensure the developer meets all their responsibilities under any warranty. Inspectors can also come out at various stages of the build to inspect the foundations, framework etc.

Don’t Forget – Choose the Best Realtor you Can to Facilitate the Process

An experienced Realtor will guide you through the contract negotiations, and help you find other good professionals, such as building inspectors, pest inspectors and appraisers when you need them. It’s easy to get dazzled by the flashy models and presentations, so having a good Realtor by your side when looking at new houses for sale in Florida will ensure that you make sound decisions and get the best value you can for your investment.

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