Building a Home in the Sarasota area – Answers to commonly asked questions

The excitement of buying a new construction home here in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton is understandable, we’ve got very reputable builders here with nationwide recognition, beautiful lots to choose from, sensible and gorgeous floorplans and models, miles of trails and all the conveniences you could want plus amazing weather. Plus, in many of the communities built within the last 20 years or so here in the Sarasota area, you’ll also get access to a community clubhouse, pool, recreation facilities and more!

Knowing where to begin the buying process can be incredibly overwhelming for anyone. A knowledgeable realtor to help you sort it all out can save you months of time, tens of thousands of dollars, and give you peace of mind throughout the process.

Having helped many clients navigate the process here, I’ve rounded up 5 of the most common questions I get. I’m sharing them here to help YOU get started as well!

Q: I drove through lots of new construction neighborhoods in the Sarasota area but have no idea where to start figuring out the best neighborhood for me. How do I get started? 
A: Talk to me about your ideal lifestyle. Do you like to golf? Play tennis? Run? Bicycle? Do you want all your maintenance included? Do prefer gated communities? Would you like planned social activities? Narrowing down the right neighborhood is key to getting off to a great start! Talk to me and I’ll help you not only identify the best ones for you, I’ll take you there!

Q: I want new construction but I don’t know how the financing works. Do I find a lender first or does the builder have a lender? 
A: Most builders have a preferred lender or an in-house lender and you can get incentives for using them. There are pros and cons to this and it is a good idea to at least check with a local lender or your bank so you can compare what each of them offers.

Q: I want a pool and I would like it to be built at the same time as the house. How can I do that? 
A: It depends on the builder. Some builders simply give you contact info for the pool companies that have done work in their development and it’s up to you to take it from there. Others have partnerships with pool companies and you can have the pool designed and installed at the same time the house is being built AND you can roll the cost into your mortgage. Talk to me and I can help you navigate your options.

Q: Do the builders usually have some move-in ready homes? Can I tour them?
A: Almost all of the builders have models you can walk through to get an idea of what’s possible. Most builders are building spec homes that are in various stages. Some might be 2 weeks from completion while others are 6 months from completion. I can get you a list of what’s going to be completed and when, and which ones are far enough along for us to walk through. Keep in mind, the move in ready homes already have all the finishes chosen, so you won’t get to pick cabinets, flooring, countertops. etc.

Q: How long does it take to build a house from start to finish if I pick my lot and floorplan? 
A: The process, as of July 2021, takes about 10 months including time for the builder to secure all the necessary permits. Normally it’s a few months faster, but builders are backed up a bit. If you choose your lot and floorplan, you also get to choose your finishes (flooring, cabinets, fixtures, etc.) and your upgrades and maybe design your pool, depending on the builder. Note that as of March 2021 the process for securing a lot has changed and some builders in Lakewood Ranch are moving to a bidding system. Let me know if you’d like more info on how this works!

Q: I still have a house to sell. Can I get started with builder now and then sell my house?
A: Absolutely. Building a home is a great option in this situation because you can sign on a house here, pick everything out at the design center, then go back home and get your house ready to sell, list it and sell it in time for your house here to be done. Most builders will work with a contingency of sale with a specified timeframe to get your house sold. Ask me more about how this works!

I hope this information is helpful to you! I have about 45 more answers to common questions so please feel free to contact me if you’d like to chat about building here in Sarasota or Manatee County, particularly in Lakewood Ranch.