If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, now is the time to stop thinking and start moving.
The real estate market is improving, says Amy Cooper, marketing manager for Highland Homes, a builder based in Lakeland. Residential closings have increased throughout 2013, along with prices and interest rates, and existing home inventory is dwindling.
“Interest rates reached a two-year high in August,” says Cooper. “Additionally, with investors snapping up resales and fewer foreclosures hitting the market, there are fewer resale homes for buyers to choose from.”
So building a new home can be the answer.
“There are a lot of benefits in building a new home over purchasing a resale,” says Cooper. “You can design it yourself, to fit your own needs and wants. When you move in, your home is exactly what you are looking for.”
It makes sense to think “new,” she says.
Not only are you getting the house designed personally by you and for you, you’re getting a house that won’t have the repairs and renovations that older homes bring with them, such as replacing roofs and air conditioning, eliminating mold or repairing plumbing. Additionally, new homes are designed to meet current building codes for structural integrity and energy efficiency.
“An older home can be costly not only in price, but in repairs and maintenance.”
Building also eliminates other problems that face homebuyers, the marketing manager notes.
“When you build, you don’t face competition from other people trying to purchase the same home, so the property won’t be taken out from under you by someone with cash or a higher offer,” she says.
“Closing costs are lower and you know the price of your home since there’s no back and forth negotiating. Building takes a bit of the stress out of the home purchasing process.”
And with Highland Homes’ presence throughout the Tampa Bay area, prospective homeowners have a variety of communities and plans to choose from when building their dream home.
“Highland’s focus is on build-to-order homes,” Cooper notes. “We offer a variety of home layouts and sizes, and you can design the home with hundreds of options. Every item can be customized to match your personal style, needs and budget.”
She says the company offers at least 12 floor plans in every community in which it builds.
And, as with buyers, location is an important consideration for Highland Homes as well. “When Highland chooses a neighborhood to build in, one question we consider is, ‘Is the community near where people want to be?’ ” she says.
“We look for communities that feature convenience to necessities and highways, and often offer larger homesites for your comfort.”
From Brandon to Hudson, Highland Homes offers prospective homeowners a variety of top locations including the following communities:
• Southwind — With its convenient location off Interstate 75 just south of Brandon, Southwind is the perfect choice for commuters or anyone interested in the Tampa Bay area’s fine dining, shopping or entertainment venues. Lakefront sites are available, and the walking path around the lake is great for relaxing strolls, says Cooper. Home prices start in the $150,000s.
• Tower Grove — Larger homesites mean lots of privacy for homeowners in this Plant City community. Homesites are at least a half acre in size for privacy between homes and a rural feel, yet State Road 60 is less than two miles away. Homes are at least 1,841 square feet and start in the $200,000s.
• Springfield — Coming soon, this upscale community in Plant City will offer just nine homesites, all of which are at least 1 acre. Homes will be 2,000 square feet and larger, and will include upscale features such as ceramic tile, birch cabinets, architectural shingles and HD countertops. The community will open for sales this fall.
• Ten Oaks — This Zephyrhills community is in closeout, with just eight homesites remaining. It’s the perfect spot for nature lovers, with mature trees, lush landscaping, a community lake and nature path. Homes are designed in the neo-traditional style and priced from the $140,000s.
• The Greens at Hidden Creek — Also in Zephyrhills and in closeout, the community is off Eiland Boulevard and just minutes from Interstate 75. The community has been a popular one for Tampa Bay area buyers and there are just four homesites left. Prices start in the $150,000s.
• The Reserve at Meadow Oak — A country club community, Highland is offering just five homesites at Meadow Oaks and has one spec home, The Rob Roy. Ready for buyers to move in, with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two-car garage, it features a designer kitchen, screened lanai and energy-efficient Radiant Barrier, and is priced at $170,155. The community’s amenities include a golf course, tennis and basketball courts, swimming pool, and restaurant.
• Oakwood Terrace — Coming soon, Highland will be building townhomes at this Valrico community. Offering 46 units, these townhomes will be approximately 1,500 to 1,715 square feet with three to four bedrooms and a one-car garage. Residents will enjoy a community pool and great location off S.R. 60 just west of Brandon.
For more information on Highland Homes and its Bay area communities, visit the website at www.highlandhomes.org or call one of the new home specialists at (863) 797-4999.