If you are in research mode because you are considering new construction, then this post is for you. I am going to introduce you to the best-selling area of Brevard County for new construction and you might be surprised that it is not Viera.
In the last 12 Months (May 2021 to May 2022) we have had 1384 new homes close in our MLS which is 10% of all the single-family homes sales in our MLS (13,067 home sales) Even though Viera has a lot of new home sales and seems to be the focus of attention (at least through the marketing I am seeing) You can easily see on this map most of the sales are happening in the south end of the county. Here is a breakdown of the numbers
Palm Bay 866
Cocoa (Port St John, Canaveral Groves, Cocoa & Rockledge) 107
Merritt Island 27
West Melbourne 103
Titusville to Mims 69
Out of area 53
Beaches (Cape Canaveral South to Melbourne Beach) 17
Palm Bay is the king of new construction sales.
Even though there are a lot of choices when it comes to choosing a new home, in Palm Bay you have two big ones. Live in an HOA community or on a scattered lot. The HOA communities are in a defined area that might have some community amenities like a playground, swimming pool, clubhouse, and a gated entrance. You will have some rules to live in these communities along with a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee to take care of things. The HOA’s are city water & sewer.
Scattered lots, are just that. Lots that could be grouped together, but more than likely anywhere throughout the city of Palm Bay. They could be in any of the 4 quadrants. They could have city water & sewer, city water & septic, or well water & septic. No matter what the builder is advertising, I recommend confirming with the city of Palm Bay’s website what the utilities are.
Home Owner Association
Buying a house in an HOA is really dependent on the builder and their procedures. The three big builders in Palm Bay are DR Hoton, Holiday Builders, and Adams Homes
DR Horton sells a pre-designed home. They have the floorplan/model predetermined on the lots. They have the colors & finishes already chosen. They only release homes for sale after the roof has been put on (windows, doors, electric, plumbing, drywall, etc still need to be done) Once released, they closing will be in 4-6 months. So, it depends on the community and where things are at with construction as to what home sites are available. They will put your name on the list if there is a particular floorplan or house you want & give you the best guess on when they will be releasing the property for sale. Right now, they are doing the highest and best offer by a particular date on the available homes.
Holiday Builders allow their reps to sell 2 homes per month per community. Most communities have one representative. On the first of the month, they go through the list of potential buyers and let them know they can submit an offer. The 1st two in, get to buy a house. They continue doing this until the community is sold out. Since Holiday Builders release the lots early in the building process, you have the opportunity for some updates on the homes (counter-tops, flooring, etc) Holiday Builders do not go to the highest and best…it is the first person with the prequal and deposit to get the home.
Adams Homes is similar to DR Hortons strategy. They have been listing them in the MLS as available when they are farther along in the construction process. The homes are usually 90% complete when listed for sale allowing them to close in 30-60 days.
Scattered Lot Homes
What I like about the scattered lots is, that they are available for you to put an offer on today. If it’s in our MLS as active property, you can buy it! The only * is if someone else at the same time has an interest, you might have to put in a “highest & best” offer in order to get it. Otherwise, the list price will be the purchase price. Another * to add to that last sentence is IF they offer upgrades & you wish to get any of them, then you might pay more. More than likely, the scattered lot sales are either pre-permitting or right at the permitting stage & you could have some choices on the finishes. There are also scattered lot sales that are farther along and you have little input on the final finishes.
The big 3 (Adams Homes, DR Horton, and Holiday Builders) all have scattered lot homes available. There are also 12+ other builders that are offering new construction throughout the city of Palm Bay.
What is available today?
This data was pulled May 25th, 2022. We currently have 91 active new construction properties in our MLS ranging in price from $250K-$694K with the median price at $390,250. 51 of these are on scattered lots and the other 40 are in a homeowners association. The size of homes ranges from 1400SqFt to 3050SqFt. The price per square foot ranges from $165SqFt to $250SqFt. Inventory is constantly changing. Here is a link to all the active new construction listings in Palm Bay. https://ericlarkin.chime.me/palm-bay-new-construction
Buying New Construction
If you want to work with a real estate agent, have plans of working with a real estate agent, or are already working with a real estate agent & you are considering new construction….PLEASE let your real estate agent know! It’s important that we start the conversation with the builder. Whether its visiting their websites, going by a model home, or calling the builder directly, the real estate agent has to be part of that 1st contact in order to represent you during the transaction. (at the very least, let the builder know you have an agent and what their name/broker/phone number is) So PLEASE let them know so they can help you with the process. We can coordinate the first appointment with a builders representative we have a relationship with to make the process a little smoother. We know about the process of submitting the offer and helping you get the best price on the home (lately its to make certain your offer is accepted and not necessarily the best price)
Closing costs are a little different with new construction. In a re-sale, the seller pays for the title insurance and doc stamps on the deed in Brevard County. With new construction, the buyer pays for it. On a $350,000 home, this is $1825 for the title insurance and $2450 for the doc stamps. Some builders will offer money towards the buyers closing costs to cover these expenses IF you use their preferred lender and title company. It depends on the builder & community on how much they will contribute towards your closing costs.
Builders have their own sales contracts that is very builder friendly. Here are two common examples.
They give themselves leeway on the closing date if they cannot hit the “guestimate” that is on the contract. They give you a penalty if you cannot close within a certain timeframe after the CO can be issued.
They might have a price escalation clause if the cost of goods goes up and causes an increase in building costs or an option for them to cancel the contract.
It makes sense to hire a real estate attorney to review the builder’s sales contract to understand any other instances that favor the builder over you the consumer/buyer.
I hope this post helps if you are considering new construction. If you have any questions I can help you with or you want me to help find a new home in Palm Bay, please give Eric Larkin with Real Broker a call/text at 321.795.1854 or leave a comment below.
Eric Larkin is a Broker Associate with Real Broker, LLC. He lives, works, and plays in the Cocoa Beach area. If you have questions about moving or relocating to Cocoa Beach and the Space Coast, let me know! I get calls, texts, direct messages & comments on my posts every day about the real estate market and things that are happening in Cocoa Beach and the Space Coast that I love answering. Ask me your questions on moving, relocating here, or anything about the community. I am here to help. I have been helping buyers and sellers with their real estate needs since becoming a real estate agent in 2003. My focus is always on helping, answering your questions, and doing everything possible to make certain you have a smooth transaction from beginning to end.
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