7 Tips for Working with Your Realtor on Finding a Luxury Home

If you have made the decision to buy a luxury home, such as the exquisite high rise condos in Bonita Springs like The Colony, it’s time to get started looking at potential properties that could be your next luxury home. Buying a luxury home is an exciting time — you’re about to make your dreams come true! But before you get started looking, read these seven tips for working with your realtor that can make the home-buying process a breeze.

Read on to learn how you can simplify the process and make it as stress free as possible!

1. Know Your Affordability

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it sadly, there are people who just don’t realize that this is the first step in the home buying — and even just looking — process. There’s no sense in getting your heart broken by falling in love with a property that’s outside your budget. There are plenty of luxury homes that can accommodate budgets anywhere from $400,000 to $1,000,000+, so don’t worry that you won’t find a perfect match. However, it’s important to know your limitations. If you’re buying with cash, this should be a no-brainer, but don’t forget to account for closing costs and fees and any minor changes you may want to do to your home, such as getting it painted in the color you like best or upgrading countertops or appliances. If you’ll need a mortgage, get a preapproval letter before you start looking — then you’ll know exactly what you will be approved for. It’s best to have a realistic approach, especially when it comes to major financial purchases.

2. Determine Your Must-Haves

There are some options that will be deal breakers for you, and there will be some things that would be nice, but that you can live without. Create a list of must-haves so your realtor won’t waste any time showing you properties that don’t meet your luxury home-buying criteria. With this list, add things that really matter and aren’t easily changed/upgraded. For example, if having an extra bedroom available for loved ones to stay is critically important to you, put that on your must-have list. Make your must-have list about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the floorplan, the amenities, and things that can’t easily be changed.  With that said, keep in mind that things like light fixtures, appliances, and countertops can be changed. If you’re not handy, you can hire someone to do these things for you — just be cognizant of that with your budget.

3. Try to Be Realistic

With that said, you may have a list of must-haves to the moon, but that property might not exist. Try to be realistic with your expectations and not include deal-breakers that could be easily added. For example, if you don’t want to have to remodel anything in a home, you might want to still consider a home that has a paint color you don’t care for because that’s an easy fix! Getting your home painted in the colors that fit your personality will likely be something you want to do anyway, and it’s typically not something that will break your home-buying budget. Additionally, if you’re looking at homes that have every high-end option available, expect a high-end price tag. You aren’t going to be able to buy a diamond for the price of a rock.

4. Keep Appointments & Be Punctual

Five minutes late isn’t going to upset your realtor, but not showing up for appointments or expecting a realtor to wait for an hour is unrealistic and isn’t the best way to start your relationship with your realtor. While it’s true that all realtors are in the business of working for their clients, be sure to stay respectful of their time just as they will of yours. I work very hard to meet the needs of my clients, but in order to be respectful of every client’s needs, I have to work on a schedule. This is important for appointments.

5. Know What You Want, Where You Want It

Location! Location! Location! This phrase has been uttered by probably every real estate agent in the country, and the reason is that it’s crucially important. You can change things about your home, but you can’t change the location. So, if you want a highrise condo that overlooks the beach and not a golf course, be sure to communicate this to your realtor. This way you can be sure to only see the luxury homes that meet your needs. Similarly, if you’re looking for a luxury highrise condo and not a villa-style, it’s important to let your realtor know. Keep in mind that if you’ve never been in a highrise home, you may want to check one out. The breathtaking views like the ones The Colony luxury highrise homes have to offer just might captivate you!

6. Understand It’s a Process

Buying a home, whether it’s a luxury home or your first home, is a process! There are a lot of steps, financial documents needed, and paperwork to be completed. Expect that you will need to amass financial records, and get

your hand ready to sign, sign, sign!

7. Don’t Be Off Put by HOAs and Maintenance Fees

Living in a luxury home with amenities is one of the most sought-after life experiences that individuals hope to attain. From talking with my clients, many are retiring to a luxury highrise home to experience the good life. With that said, some clients aren’t aware of the fees that come with owning a luxury home. You’ll have access to excellent health clubs, the golf club, private beaches and more when you buy a luxury home, but it will be something that you pay for outside of your mortgage.

Get Started with Your Luxury Home Search in Bonita Springs: Contact Jill Kushner Today

I hope you’ve learned a lot about the luxury home-buying process — you’ll see it’s not that far off from buying any property, but there’s a lot more at stake. This can make things more stressful, but if you take these tips, you’ll be sure to close on your luxury home without worry and with ease!

As a realtor and resident of The Colony in Bonita Springs for several years, I know all the residences in and out. I am passionate about helping my clients find the perfect luxury home and would love to help you get started. Contact me today by calling (239) 691-5505 or by clicking here.

Are You Retiring? Consider Downsizing Your Home

Retirement is an exciting time, and if you’re at that point in your life, it’s time to examine your current situation, financially and in terms of real estate, to determine how you want to spend your golden years. When you’re ready to retire, downsizing from a single family home to a highrise condo can be an attractive option— after all, it’s finally time to relax! Read on to find out how downsizing may be the right move for you!

Downsizing Doesn’t Mean Downgrading!

When you’ve invested in a single family home, you’ve got a lot of things. You might have an in-home office, a garage, a yard. When you trade all of that in for a highrise condo, the tradeoff has to be worth it. Luxury highrise condos are the way to go. Maintenance free, chock full of amenities, upgrades galore, and exquisite design details; your condo could be what you’ve always dreamed of having. Add in a gorgeous view, and you’re living in paradise! Why vacation? It’s time to live the good life every day.

Two Words: Liquid Assets

If you’re nearing retirement age, you may be in a situation where you have paid for most of your current home (if not paid it off entirely). Selling your home for a condo may leave you with a decent amount of funds that can be used as you wish. Maybe you’ll invest that money, add it to your retirement income, or make your monthly payment on your condo lower. Of course, every situation is independent to the individual, but it might be something to consider if you’re in that position.

Declutter and Live Freely!

Don’t think of downsizing as a negative thing. Think of it as finding the size that fits your current needs and an opportunity to leave a cleaner, less cluttered life. Downsizing can mean getting rid of junk! You have it, I have it, we all have it. But why should you surround yourself with things that just take up space? Live with what you need and live well. Donate items to charity and feel good about the positive impact you’re making. Yes, downsizing means that you will have less space. However, you are perfectly capable of living a happy life — if not happier, more relaxed life — in a highrise condo.

Less Work, More Reward

Highrise condos provide you with easy living! No more mowing and watering the grass, taking care of landscaping gardens, or cleaning the gutters! When you downsize to a condo, you’re rewarding yourself with, to put it simply, less work! Not only will you not have to go to your job, but you won’t have to do work around the house and handle general maintenance. And that means you’ll have more time to enjoy the things you love, like golfing, hanging by the pool, shopping, and eating out. The great news about living in The Colony in Bonita Springs is that you will never run out of things to do. We offer golf, kayaking/canoeing, fitness, a butterfly garden, and more.

You’re Retired – Enjoy It!

Luxury highrise condos are typically surrounded by things to do! You’ve been working your whole life, and it’s finally time to take time out for yourself. Highrise condos offer a ton of amenities within the building, like fitness centers, pool and barbecue areas, private golf courses, and some even have spas. Picture it now: you’ll be looking forward to Monday morning because you can go golfing, hit the beach, lay out by the pool or do exactly what you want to do. These are all things that highrise condos, like The Colony, offer. That’s what retirement is supposed to be all about, right?

Freedom to Travel

When you own a single family home, the thought of leaving it can be daunting — what if something goes wrong, and no one is there to tend to it? What if someone breaks in? Who will cut the grass? The list of worries could go on. When you downsize to a highrise condo, you won’t have to worry about who will take care of your home because your association will take care of it for you. And as an added bonus, most luxury highrise condos offer excellent security as part of the amenities they offer.

Safety First!

Speaking of security, not only will you not have to worry if you want to pack your bags and travel, but when you’re at home, your mind will be at ease knowing you’re living within a safe community that has its own private security. Solicitors won’t be able to bother you, and scam artists posing as solicitors won’t make it past the front gates. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that there’s surveillance in the unlikely event something might go wrong (after all, we do not live in a perfect world — but highrise condo living might be as close as you can get!). Security can get expensive in a single family home because you have to pay for the installation as well as monthly fees to keep it running, and even if you already invest in a security system, you likely don’t have actual security guards manning the entrance. Security won’t be free in a highrise condo, but it will wrapped up in a nominal HOA/condo fee.

Community Living

If you’re like many folks who have retired, you may have children who have grown up or perhaps moved away to attend college. Even if you’re married or have a significant other, living by yourself can get lonely. Highrise condos are an ideal situation for retired individuals because there’s a lot to do, and a lot of people around you who are at similar points in their lives and who likely share common interests. You can make new friends and enjoy spending time with the friends you’ve had for years. Individuals who invest in luxury highrise condos for their retirement years are looking for the same things you are because if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be there.

Retire in Style! Consider The Colony in Bonita Springs Today

If you’re in the beginning stages of planning your move to a highrise condo, I strongly urge you to consider The Colony in Bonita Springs, Florida.

We’re located in the quiet heart of Southwest Florida, with close proximity to beautiful beaches, high-end shopping, amazing dining, and more. Additionally, The Colony offers highrise condos with an abundance of amenities: kayaking, canoeing, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a butterfly garden, and more.

To learn more about luxury, highrise condos in The Colony, contact Jill Kushner, a real estate specialist and resident of The Colony. Simply call (239) 691-5505 or click here.

7 Tips for Taxes and Luxury Real Estate Investments

When you’re ready to move forward with your next luxury real estate investment, it’s important to be armed with as much information as possible before you take action.  Choosing your next luxury home purchase can be intimidating because they often come with hefty taxes and rules that may seem complicated if you’re not a tax professional. Despite the fact that Florida does not have a state income tax, there are still real estate taxes that must be considered when moving forward with making a luxury real estate investment.  In order to help you make the best, informed decision, I’ve assembled seven tips that will make dealing with taxes a breeze.

1.Estimate Your Taxes

Planning ahead is the best thing that you can do when preparing to make a large financial investment. The Estero Fire Department created an excellent handout that explains how taxes work in Florida. Here’s the formula that they provide for estimating your real estate taxes:

Just Value (market value) – Assessment Limitations (e.g. Save Our Homes) = “Assessed Value” Assessed Value – Applicable Exemptions (e.g. Homestead) = “Taxable Value”

Taxable Value X Millage Rate = Total Tax Liability

It may be wise to estimate your market value (aka just value) on the higher end of the spectrum so that you are financially prepared to invest in your next luxury home.

2. Homestead Exemptions

Florida is unique because it offers the “Save Our Homes” assessment limitation, which means that taxes on your primary residence (homestead) cannot increase by more than 3% or the percent change of the Consumer Price Index (whichever is less). Essentially, the assessment limitations prevent your taxes from increasing in the event that your assessed value increases to more than the just value of your home. It’s important to note that if you’re moving within the state of Florida, you may be able to transfer your existing homestead exemption to your new home. The portability forms can be conveniently completed online through the tax assessor’s website.

However, keep in mind that in the event that you don’t plan on your next luxury home purchase to be your primary residence, or if you intend to rent out your home seasonally, you may risk your homestead exemption. Past court cases have shown that merely having a couple locked closets will not negate the “abandonment through rental” clause, which eliminates the homestead exemption. Be sure to consult your attorney and/or real estate professional if you intend to pursue the homestead exemption on a property you may rent out, as you may lose your homestead exemption. The good thing is that if you lose your homestead exemption, taxes in Florida for non-homestead properties are still capped at 10%.

3. Get an Appraisal & a Home Inspection

Because the property assessor’s office doesn’t always complete individual appraisals, you would be wise to get an appraisal to see the true value of your home. Assessors combine the value of comparable properties, consideration of costs (e.g. how much it would cost to replace your property), and potential income of the property to determine the market value. The market value is not always the true 100% value of your property, so keep this in mind when estimating your taxes. Furthermore, if you have proof to show that what the property you’re interested doesn’t match the assessor’s appraisal, you may be able to contest the assessed value. You should also make sure that you get a full home inspection. Just because your next home or real estate investment may be part of a highrise or within a community does not mean it is exempt from problems. Protect yourself and your finances.

4. Don’t Overspend

When you’re looking at making a luxury real estate investment, it can be tempting to pull out the stops. After all, your intention is to get luxury, so why would you hold back? One answer is simple: you can’t afford it. While it can be tempting to get every upgrade imaginable or engage in a bidding war (where it is very easy to lose sight of the initial financial plan you made), you don’t want to get yourself in a situation where you’re in over your head. The higher the value of a property, the higher the taxes will be. Establish a financial plan and follow it. You’ll be happier in the long run.

5. Be Prepared: Anonymity Might Be a Thing of the Past

Many wealthy individuals who are able to pay cash for a home — even a luxury home — prefer to do so to maintain their privacy. You may have even considered buying the home under a corporation or business venture’s name. However, due to the influx of shady real estate transactions over the last few years, specifically in Miami-Dade County, the federal government has imposed new policies to combat the issue. According to a recent article in The Miami-Herald, “The new policy will require title insurance companies to identify the true owners of shell companies that pay $1 million or more in cash for homes in Miami-Dade and $3 million or more for homes in New York City. Insurers will then have to report the names of the buyers to the U.S. Treasury Department.” Although this new policy relates specifically to homes in Miami-Dade and New York City, it’s important to stay abreast of changing policies that could potentially proliferate into surrounding areas of luxury real estate in south Florida.

6. Capital Gain is Your Gain

Whether you’re buying a vacation home or downsizing, if you’ve sold a property in order to invest in luxury real estate, you may end up with a profit. If you do, be aware that you are not required to pay capital gains tax for the first $250,000 in profit for single individuals and $500,000 in profit for married couples who will file a joint tax return. Keep in mind, it is required that you lived in that home for two years in order to bypass the tax. With that said, you may end up with a decent amount of money available to put towards your next real estate investment.

7. Get Qualified Help

Taxes aren’t always that easy to understand. Do your research when hiring a tax professional/accountant to help you create your financial plan to make sure that they are licensed professionals. And when you’re ready, make sure you hire a real estate agent you can trust. You need them to be upfront, honest, and in it for your best interests — not just the commission. If you need a professional accountant or consultant to assist, as a realtor in The Colony, I have the connections and recommendations to do just that.

The Colony in Bonita Springs: Your Next Luxury Residences

As a realtor and resident of The Colony in Bonita Springs, Florida, I can confidently say that an investment in a residence here is a wise decision. The Colony offers an array of amenities, including a kayak/canoe park, state-of-the-art fitness center, championship golf course, and more. When you purchase a residence here, you will have more than just a luxury home; you will have a lifestyle some only dream of.

To learn more about available homes in The Colony, contact Jill Kushner today at (239) 691-5505 or click here.

Buying Bonita Springs Real Estate – Working With An Agent

If you’re interested in investing in the Bonita Springs real estate market, please make a concerted effort to make a beginning on your search. It’s important to use a professional Bonita Springs real estate agent that’s familiar with the local area. Jill Kushner is a seasoned Bonita Springs real estate agent that will be able to use her experience, skills and knowledge to guide you through the real estate process.

Jill Kushner is an expert in the Bonita Springs real estate market and is highly educated in the buying and selling process. Did you know an experienced Bonita Springs real estate agent could actually save you time and money? Working with an experienced real estate agent is probably the best move you can make in the home buying process. It’s important for people to realize that professional real estate agents will be able to guide, educate, network, and negotiate you through the home buying process with ease.

Working With An Agent: Benefits to Buyers

For the majority of us, buying a home is the single biggest purchase in our lives. Many individuals want the process to go as smoothly as possible, with little effort on the buyers’ part. Hiring a seasoned Bonita Springs real estate agent will provide numerous benefits to buyers in the home buying process:

Neighborhood Knowledge: Jill Kushner is familiar with the Bonita Springs area and has been a resident of Naples and Bonita Springs since 1984. She will be able to provide you with her neighborhood knowledge of Bonita Springs, FL.

Property Listings: Jill Kushner has access to a massive database of Bonita Springs real estate listings along with extensive property details. She’ll be able to search for homes that meet your criteria and make appointments for you to view the property.

Market Conditions Information: If you want to know the trends in today’s Bonita Springs real estate market, a professional real estate agent will be able to provide you with this. Jill Kushner has a vast knowledge of the Bonita Springs real estate market, including price trends and neighborhood conditions.

Negotiation Skills & Confidentiality: Good real estate agents are experienced at negotiating the deal. Jill Kushner is a confident Bonita Springs real estate agent that will negotiate the perfect deal for you!

Work With A Seasoned Bonita Springs Real Estate Agent

If you’re currently shopping around for a Bonita Springs real estate agent, you should consider Jill Kushner. Jill Kushner represents both buyers and sellers, and specializes in luxury-gated communities. If you would like to find out more information regarding buying Bonita Springs real estate, contact Jill Kushner today!

Buying a Bonita Springs Vacation Home

Is Buying a Bonita Springs Vacation Home Economical?

Whether you hail from the Northern states and are itching to escape the snow or just want a sunny family getaway for the summers, buying a Bonita Springs vacation home can be a sound investment. When looking for vacation homes in Southwest Florida, it’s important to know what to look for and when. The Southwest Florida real estate economy is remarkably steady – a good buyers market. If you’ve had plans on buying a Bonita Springs vacation home now is the time to do it.

The Vacation Market Trend

Demand is up for second homes in Southwest Florida – the Southwest Florida housing market is seeing a healthy recovery from years past. Many homes purchased are either a vacation home or an investment property. The information below is from the NAR’s 2013 vacation home market – which gives insight into the increase in demand.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, vacation home sales rose strongly in 2013, while investment purchases fell below the elevated levels seen in the previous two years. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun stated that “Growth in the equity markets has greatly benefited high net-worth households, thereby providing the wherewithal and confidence to purchase recreational property.” All cash purchases still remain fairly common in the vacation-home market. The primary factors that motivate vacation-home buyers are the lifestyles offered.

2013 Vacation Home Statistics from the National Association of Realtors

  • 41% of vacation homes purchases last year were in the South
  • 87% want to use the property for vacations or as a family retreat
  • 31% plan to use it as a primary residence in the future
  • 28% wanted to diversify their investments or saw a good investment opportunity
  • 23% plan to rent to others
  • 22% intend it for use by family member, friend, or relative

Factors that Weigh in on Buying a Vacation Home 

We came across an article from Front Door, which we though would be of interest to our clients – Guide to Buying a Second Home or Vacation Homes. Before you leap on the purchase of a second home Front Door recommends the following factors:

Decide if it’s the right time to buy: It is highly imperative to do all of your research on the market you wish to invest in. Have your plans in place and your goals aligned!

Know what to look for in a second home: If you’re looking for a certain lifestyle, make sure the second home can fulfill that lifestyle you seek. Remember location, location, and location – ask yourself how accessible is the property? You are on vacation so something maintenance-free and hassle-free is key here. Look for a property that offers everything for the whole family.

Work with an experienced agent: Find a top Bonita Springs realtor whom you can trust with all of your Bonita Springs real estate needs. A seasoned Bonita Springs Real Estate agent can match your lifestyle to the lifestyles offered in each Bonita Springs community to determine which one you can soon call your vacation home.

Talk to a Seasoned Bonita Springs Real Estate Agent

If you have all of your plans in place and your goals aligned, it’s time to talk to a seasoned Bonita Springs Real Estate Agent. Jill Kushner has years of Southwest Florida Real Estate experience, and will be more than happy to commit her time to finding you the perfect vacation home.

For all of your Bonita Springs real estate needs, contact Jill Kushner today!

Choosing a Realtor in Bonita Springs, FL

How to Find a Bonita Springs Real Estate Agent

There is a surplus of Bonita Springs real estate agents who buy and sell real estate. Some of them are dedicated, trustworthy, committed, and go the extra mile to fall in the top real estate agents category. However, some of them aren’t. You don’t want to leave the largest transaction you will ever make in the hands of just anyone. Choosing a realtor is one of the most important decisions in the home buying and selling process – you want to be confident that your agent will be committed long-term.

This long-term commitment builds and establishes a client-agent relationship. When a real estate agent demonstrates commitment, it increases the clients’ commitment in the subject real estate agent. Both parties must feel confident that the working-relationship will work in order to become partners – this is when a mutual agreement can be signed.

So, how do you identify the best Bonita Springs real estate agent to help buy and sell property?

Interview multiple agents: Before you select a real estate candidate, interview multiple agents (at least 3). Start by getting referrals from people you know, such as friends and family – someone you can relate to and trust.

Stop by open houses: Look for open houses in the community where you currently reside or the community that you’re interested in buying into. By driving around, you can see who dominates the community. When you stop at multiple open houses, you can see the real estate agents in action.

Talk with recent clients: It doesn’t hurt to ask to speak with recent clients. Talking to former clients will give you a better understanding of an agent’s style.

Look up reviews & ratings: In looking for unbiased reviews from former clients, you can also see an agent’s relevant experience. Reviews and ratings don’t always tell the whole story, especially since the majority of clients don’t write reviews.

Ask the right questions: When you’re in front of a professional real estate agent, it’s always important to ask the right questions. Make sure the agent that you’re considering specializes in the kind of property you want to purchase – custom single-family, high-rise, mid-rise, condo, etc. Some questions to ask:

  • How will you market my home?
  • How will you get my listing in front of preferred buyers?
  • What’s your specialty?
  • Are you familiar with my community’s real estate landscape?
  • What is your communication style – how often will you communicate?
  • How many listings do you currently have?
  • How many listings have you sold in the area?

Top Real Estate Agent in Bonita Springs, FL

Are you looking for a top real estate agent in Bonita Springs, FL that has many years of Southwest Florida experience? Representing both buyers and sellers, Jill Kushner specializes in selling real estate within The Colony in Bonita Springs, FL. Whether you’re looking for a custom single-family home, mid-rise home, coach home, or villa home, The Colony offers them all. Jill Kushner also specializes in high-rise condos in Bonita Springs, which offers a maintenance free lifestyle with resort-style amenities.

For your Bonita Springs real estate needs, contact Jill Kushner, your Bonita Springs real estate expert.






First-Time Homebuyer Tips for Southwest Florida Real Estate

Buying a home for the first time? Ready to jump with both feet into the real estate market? Congratulations- buying a home can and should be incredibly fun. But it can be daunting for the uninitiated.

Fortunately, you can learn to navigate the Southwest Florida real estate market with confidence, even if it’s your first time.

Know Your Budget Before You Search

The most important thing to get nailed down first is your budget, hands down.

So many first-time homebuyers fall into the trap of buying more home than they can afford. Sure, that luxury condo looks nice, but unless it fits in with your budget, you shouldn’t buy it.

The classic rule of thumb is you should spend no more than a third of your gross annual income on housing-related expenses. Factor in mortgage payments, insurance, and maintenance and then divide by 12. That’ll give you an idea of how much you should budget for on a monthly basis.

Resist the temptation to go over that mark for any reason.

Learn the Ropes about Being a Condo Owner

If you’re buying a condo, you’ll be a member of a condo homeowner’s association, which comes with its own unique rules and regulations. Speak to condo associations and learn what you can about what is expected of you, including fees and dues. This is something many first-time homeowners overlook, and it can come back and get you later if you neglect to learn as much as you can.

Scout Out the Neighborhood

When you go to search for homes, you should pay attention to more than just the home itself.

The neighborhood will be a major influence on how you enjoy your home. This includes the community itself – especially important if you buy a condo in a gated community – but also what’s nearby. Look for schools, grocery stores, shopping, restaurants, entertainment, and easy access to transportation to get to where you work.

A lot of first-time homebuyers just look at the home itself. Don’t make that mistake; consider the home as part of a package with the neighborhood as a whole.

Buying a Condo: Reviewing the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions

Are you interested in buying a condo? If so, Southwest Florida has plenty of options available to you. Before you sign on the dotted line, though, you should be aware of one key document that you’ll need to study for your purchase: the condo association’s Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CCR) document.

What is the CCR?

The CCR is otherwise known as the rules and regulations of a condo’s association, or the governing body for the condo community. The association is in charge of, among other things, overseeing the facility’s upkeep and maintaining the amenities in the community. They collect dues and assessments as a way of keeping everything in order.

Reviewing the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions is a must because it tells you what is allowed and isn’t allowed in your condo. This could cover anything from pets to décor. They can address what kind of flooring you can have, how many parking spaces you’re allowed, what your responsibilities are for the common areas, and other things.

Why is reviewing the document important?

Reviewing the CCR before you decide on a condo is huge because you want to know exactly what you’re allowed to do. Since a condo association is a community of fellow owners, there are certain obligations and concessions that are made in the interest of the group as a whole.

Knowing the CCR is a way you can make sure you fit in with the expectations and avoid any penalties that can be assessed later if you are in violation.

Living in a condo community is often incredible. Going over this key document before you decide to buy is one way to ensure that you and the condo community you select are a perfect fit.

Buying a Resale vs. Buying a New Home

It’s an age-old debate — the pros and cons of buying a resale vs. a new home. If you’ve already started your home search, you’ve undoubtedly become familiar with what you want in a home and neighborhood (and what you don’t). I have worked with clients who are unsure of whether or not to purchase a resale home The Colony Golf & Bay Club. So, I decided to dedicate a blog that highlights the merits of both.

The Pros of Resale

What You See is What You Get. When purchasing a resale home or high-rise you see immediately what you’re getting from upgrades to features to views.  This means there’s less risk involved than if you purchased a new home or waited for a custom home or high-rise to be built. There are no construction delays, labor disputes, or additional costs for options and upgrades.

Little to No Waiting Period. Things go wrong all the time with brand new homes – the builder goes out of business, the land is repossessed by the bank, there are construction delays – but with a resale home, you don’t have these issues. Moving into a resale home usually involves a set 30 to 90 day wait, while a new build can drag on for up to 2 years. This is something to consider depending on how quickly you want to move. For those seeking a second home or who are planning to retire, a resale may make more sense since it’s more convenient.

Evolved Neighborhoods.
 An established neighborhood, single-family home or high-rise tower are exactly that – established. The community you’re buying into has a distinct personality and reputation. With new construction, the chance always exists that the builder will not complete the project or that the quality of construction won’t be up to par with that of a resale.

Ability to Negotiate. With a resale, you go in expecting to negotiate the price, but there is little wiggle room with most new homes or high-rises. And new homes come in approximately 20-50% more than a resale. Always keep in mind that the starting price on a new home or high-rise is just that – a starting price. It doesn’t take into account the costs for options and upgrades.

The Pros of Buying a New Home or High-Rise

It’s All New. A newly constructed home or high-rise is less likely to experience the electrical shorts, leaks, and back-ups common in older homes. Plus, most quality homebuilders offer their customers guarantees on materials, mechanical systems, and coverage against structural defects.

You Can Customize. The great thing about a new build is you can customize everything – the countertops, the cabinets, the flooring, the light fixtures and more. When you take possession your home will be in move-in condition.

Green Construction. Many newer homes are built up to green standards, which are energy-efficient. Features like airtight doors and windows, advanced insulation technologies, modern appliances, will help new homeowners save money – and the planet.

It’s Current. New homes offer inviting new options like open kitchens, “great room” concepts absent of the rarely used formal dining spaces, spacious closets and higher ceilings.

Please feel to contact me with any questions you may have about purchasing a home, whether it is a new home or a resale at The Colony Golf & Bay Club. Together we can investigate what kind of home or high-rise residence is best for you.