Let today be the start of something new…
St. Petersburg, Florida is an interesting place for residential real estate. We have single family homes, high rise condos, duplexes, townhomes, 55+ communities, waterfront communities and more. This area is a big peninsula so there is not room to build out with the vast majority of land being already occupied. That’s why new construction homes here are a relatively rare thing. You either need to build on a vacant plot of land or tear down an old house to build new.
New construction homes come with a few noteworthy benefits, especially ones that pertain to living in this area. First of all you need to understand that the vast majority of neighborhoods in St. Pete were built in either the 1920’s or the 1950’s.
The homes built in the 1920’s many times have unique historical architecture however they typically come with higher maintenance and insurance costs. Termites eating up wood is a big problem in Florida and takes some work to maintain and treat on a regular basis. Luckily in St. Pete we aren’t extremely hurricane prone however if/when we do get the big storm, your wood frame home may not do too well in 150+ MPH winds. In fact it will probably destroy it or damage it beyond repair. This is the reason for higher insurance rates with wood frame homes.
The vast majority of new construction homes are block construction with new windows rated for hurricane force winds. Instead of having to budget for potential repairs in the near future, new construction homes cut down on your expected expenses by paying for everything up front. Instead of requiring a 4 point inspection to insure a home, a new construction home requires what’s called a certificate of occupancy which requires all systems in the house to be up to code. It is typically significantly cheaper to insure a new construction home since everything in the home is guaranteed to be in good shape by this certificate of occupancy.
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Maintenance and operational costs will be lower and less frequent as well. Imagine having brand new windows to insulate your home that’s being cooled by a high efficiency HVAC system. Also a new roof with the latest technology to deflect sunlight and material that will keep your home dry in even the strongest Florida hurricanes and rain storms. Having plumbing that is made out of materials that will not need replacement in your lifetime and brand new up to code electrical that will allow you peace of mind from potential electrical fires that happen with older systems are also other features you may benefit from.
In my humble opinion new construction homes are the way to go. Yes they may be a bit more expensive up front, but why not have brand new everything ready to go and rolled into your mortgage payment? Instead of having to budget for future repairs right off the bat, it allows you time to build equity in your home while you simply pay your predictable monthly payment. Many of these builders will also let you customize your home before it gets built.
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