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Real Estate

Changing lending climate offers homebuyers many benefits

SARAH A. WORTH Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 02:06 AM

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Meeting the minimum requirements for financing a home is getting tougher as lenders tighten their stipulations for borrowing money. These changes are spurring many families to move a little faster in finding new homes. But acting on this urgency also has some added dividends, said Mark Metheny, president of Lennar Homes' central Florida division.

"The changing lending climate brings other benefits homebuyers will get by buying now," Metheny said. "They will be taking advantage of the lowest interest rates in decades and choosing from the biggest selection of new homes we've seen in a long time. Add to that the tremendous value our customers get when they buy a Lennar home, and you have the best possible stretch of a dollar around."

Metheny said the Tampa real estate market is as close to the bottom as it will get and consumers need to act now to get the best deals. There are pricing specials on new construction and inventory homes in nearly every Lennar community throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Inventory homes are ideal for serious buyers who don't want to wait for a home to be built, he said.

"In addition, many families are able to move into a new home for less money than they were paying in rent," Metheny explained. "The real estate market is definitely improving. Basically, people are realizing that the time might not be any better for buying than now."

In addition to price reductions on inventory homes of as much as $40,000, Metheny said several other incentives are being offered, including zero money down, payments as low as $805 per month, or zero closing costs.

"We have deals for homes that fit every lifestyle and at every price point, as well as some added incentives for buying now," he said.

Another incentive that has attracted families to Lennar Homes is its Everything's Included program, which puts nearly every conceivable feature as standard in Lennar's homes, as well as choices within enhanced upgrade packages. The program, called EI for short, means Lennar includes the most popular features as standard in every home design.

"Our EI program is like an upgrade package on steroids," Metheny said. "We've always been an EI builder and offered upgrades that other builders would charge for. But with EI, families can get thousands of dollars worth of quality extras at no extra charge. Our EI program not only saves homebuyers money, but it saves them the time of having to choose options for their homes."

These extras include dozens of details found both inside and outside the home such as tile floors, maple wood cabinets, 2-inch blinds throughout, plus a full GE appliance package, including side-by-side refrigerator, ceramic top range, microwave oven, dishwasher, and washer and dryer.

Also included are energy efficient and green features, Metheny said. Among some of them are R30 insulation in ceilings, a high efficiency heating and air conditioning system, a programmable thermostat, ENERGY STAR appliances, Florida-friendly landscaping, reinforced concrete slab foundation with steel rebar reinforced footers, and energy-efficient LowE dual pane windows.

These special deals plus the EI program can be found in Lennar communities throughout the Tampa Bay area, including the following:

Hillsborough County

Live Oak Preserve (New Tampa), single-family homes starting from the $190,000's

The Hammocks (New Tampa), townhomes from the $90,000's

Cypress Creek (Ruskin), single-family homes from the $120,000's

River Bend (Ruskin), single-family homes from the $130,000's

Wellington at Bay Park (Ruskin), single-family homes from the $140,000's

Brandon Pointe (Brandon), townhomes from the $130,000's

Bahia Lakes (Ruskin), single-family homes from the $130,000's

Bahia Cove (Ruskin), single-family homes from the $190,000's

Panther Trace (Riverview), single-family homes from the $170,000's

Pasco / Hernando County

Concord Station (Land O'Lakes), single-family homes from the $180,000's

Lakeside (Hudson) single-family homes and villa homes from the $120,000's

Eiland Park (Zephyrhills), townhomes and villa homes from the $80,000's

Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club (San Antonio), active adult single-family homes from the $120,000's

Thousand Oaks (Trinity), townhomes and coach homes from the $100,000's

Polk County

Autumnwood Grove (Lakeland), townhomes and villa homes from the $80,000's

Hampton Hills (Lakeland), single-family homes from the $120,000's

For more information about Lennar Homes and special deals on move-in ready homes, visit lennar.com or call (877) 202-4749.

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