Over the past month I had the pleasure of working with two buyer couples, each looking for a home here in the Fort Myers area. One was a newly retired couple, the other just getting into their second marriage and being transferred into the area. One couple wanted to be around other retirees and one couple wanted kids in the neighborhood. When I was in college I loved learned from the case studies that the professor would present to get real life examples and learn from them. I’d like to do the same for you.
Both of these prospects liked the idea a of a planned community, but for different reasons.
Prospects Number 1. I will call them the Fortys. He is a regional manager being transferred into the area, she will be leaving a job and moving with her ten year old son in with Mr. Forty.
When I first met them we spent an hour or so on a full overview of the area, neighborhood, and price points. We opted to look at new and “like new” construction in gated communities so there would be other new residents to befriend. We keep a close eye on amenities and fees and the “retirement draw” in each community. We settled on a price not to exceed $300,000
Prospects Number 2. I will call them the Sixties. Both recently retired, the Sixties already sold their house up North. The Sixties are the first of their family to retire and move to Florida. I always start with a sit down with my prospects in from of a large screen monitor and a full review of the opportunities and alternatives in the area. Based on their needs and wants we also concentrated on gated communities. H Their price point was below $250,000.
Amenities. Gated communities range from an unmanned gates and an unmanned amenities center, all the way to full blown guard gate and restaurants and shops in the amenities center along with bundled golf. Accordingly, HOA fees range from about $200/month all the way to $750/month. Month cost was a big factors for both prospects. They both opted for more moderates, not the fully amenitized communities.
Cost they both considered:
Monthly HOA fees. A month fee of $250 seemed reasonable after looking at a dozen communities.
CDD. A Community Development District bond is often added to newer communities. Make sure you ask and or look for these. It is a fee added on to your tax bill that goes to pay off he bond that was raised to build the infrastructure for the community? Can range from $50/month u to $200/month.
Cable and Internet. In some communities this included in your HOA, some not. This can swing your comparison monthly costs by $100 or so.
Yard care. Again some include this some do not, you need to know. Can be $100 or more a month if you hire it out and they don’t supply it.
Homeowners Insurance. Some HOA’s or building types (condos for example) will include it.. If not it will be around 1% a year of your purchase price.
Property Taxes are never included in the HOA, this will be another 1.5% per year.
Assessments and Fees. Often there will be a one time capital contribution or an application fee. Check on this in each community
Mr and Mrs. Forty selected a home in Lindsford, a DHR home community off Winkler and Colonial and they close on the home later this month. They needed to buy an inventory because his job starts in March. The location is ideal and close to his job and major transportation routes. They chose a home next to the brand new amnestied center so their son can play tennis, basketball and be close to the action. They also liked the fact that the community is new and they perceive that there will be some built in price appreciation.
Mr and Mrs Sixty chose a Pulte Home in River Hall. The monthly fees, were similar to Lindsford ( In the $250/month range) and were able to get a home with $30,000 worth of options built for the for under $237,000. They will close before September.
For both my prospects I stayed fully involved. I visited the communities before they visited them, as well as with them. In most cases had follow up meeting with the communities they were interested in and looked at resales and interviewed the staff. I always preach “alternatives” making big decision and I guided my clients through looking at all the alternatives so they were very comfortable once they made a decision that it was the correct one.
It’s important for me to bring added value to my clients. I do this by first getting to know my clients and also knowing my product. I also can answer questions they have not even thought of yet.
If I can help you find you home, call me.