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Old 12-29-2013, 08:42 AM
Location: Planet Earth
18 posts, read 27,603 times
Reputation: 11


Toll Bothers is a big production builder, so we're sure there are many good and bad stories from previous customers. However, would still be interested in comments by anyone who has dealt with them on new construction in SW FL, particularly at their Bonita Lakes developent and/or their new Valencia Lakes at Spanish Wells, both in Bonita Springs. The locations both look favorable. Do these merit consideraton if we're looking at new single-family home construction in the upper 300's range? Thanks so much for your thoughts.
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:34 PM
Location: Naples, Marbella Lakes
124 posts, read 242,457 times
Reputation: 90
You have some options in that price range, both the communities you mentioned could work for you. I would also look at PALOMA its in the same location, they have been selling well and are priced lower that the Toll Bros, the community will have clubhouse, pool, fitness center, tennis courts etc and will be gated. You can get a single family home 3 beds and den with 2 baths and 2 car garage with tons of upgrades for low to mid $300,000. The monthly fees are also lower.

Last edited by Sunscape; 03-11-2014 at 07:19 AM..
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:56 PM
684 posts, read 1,239,875 times
Reputation: 1074
Visited a friend who has a home at the "Lakes". Nice home but $$$. They appear to kill you on the extras. Walls are paper thin and my bet is they use 3/8 sheet rock rather than 1/2 to save $$. Once again nice home but not for me.
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:50 PM
14 posts, read 17,182 times
Reputation: 16
We recently visited Bonita Lakes, excited by the price/layout we were told about by our agent. As we were touring some models, we were discussing which layout/options would work best. Then we met with the selling agent and reality hit. He told us to add on at least another $100,000 for a pool and lot premium and minor upgrades. When we asked what most people spent on upgrades, he said most people spent an additional 10% of the base price on upgrades, but it could go much higher. Is this typical when buying new homes? I've seen listings on Zillow for new homes and assumed those were the prices for the homes. Not an additional $100,000+. Seems deceiving.
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:10 PM
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
3,845 posts, read 6,864,139 times
Reputation: 4640
Slightly OT...
In our recent new house buying experience, the 'upgrades' range from pricey to expensive, and of the several big name builders we did DD on, all seemed to mark up every item/upgrade from ~30-50%, in our opin.

Extra wall outlets: ~$125-$175. 'Standard' Trailer park bath fixtures up'd to reasonable stuff, 3X the price of any big box home store, etc.

Pool: double+ what a good pool builder will charge, though the after build requires 'room', an ARC/ACC approval, and some ugly construction work in one's backyard, while living in your new joint.

Not beating on the builders; they all do it. Gross margins in the 'ups' are 30-50% vs the single/barely double digit margins the basic house works from.

Same for 'lots' in most developing communites: want to look at your neighbors screen lanai, or a golf course or 'preserve'. The latter two will be upcharged...

That "additional 10% of the base price on upgrades" sounds low to me, unless one is very prudent and simply wants the basic house, nearly 'as is'.

Wear dark glasses in the models, as they are decorated, optioned and polished to the nth degree.
It is what it is: the fever is back sort of, and the melt down and debacle of 2008/09 is a fading memory for many, builders and buyers.

OP: that 'high 300s' will quickly escalate into low to mid $400s, and can get to med high $400s with little effort.
GL, mD
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:53 PM
14 posts, read 17,182 times
Reputation: 16

"That "additional 10% of the base price on upgrades" sounds low to me, unless one is very prudent and simply wants the basic house, nearly 'as is'."

I think you're right. The salesperson probably tried to make it sound better. We didn't talk about things like wall outlets and faucets - more general upgrades because I didn't actually think about those little things.

Your post makes me realize the cost will be even higher than I thought. I never bought a new house before and didn't realize it's such a different process. Having choices is nice and paying extra for those choices makes sense. Now I know that the base price listed isn't really reflective of anything realistic. A friend just told me she looked at a model home in a North Naples development and when she asked about the cost "as we're seeing it", she was told it was almost double the base price. She did admit the model had all the perks and the pool was beautiful. But it was several hundred thousand in extras.
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:39 AM
Location: Gulf Shore BLVD N
31 posts, read 43,166 times
Reputation: 19
The base cost a nice new home is 200 per sqft plus the lot cost. Most builders for large communities have 6 month turn around times, also quality may vary on the same area depending on which subcontractor is doing the work. The models carry a heavy price tag usually if the home standard build is 565 the model is around 750 or could be higher. Out of the choice of GL , Pulte, and Toll I would look at Pulte but my favorite is minto they seem to have higher quality builds.
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:09 PM
14 posts, read 17,182 times
Reputation: 16
Agree about Minto but the floorplans didn't work for me. Nice salespeople.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:54 PM
Location: Naples
377 posts, read 330,134 times
Reputation: 236
Seems like the thing to do is go with what is included as standard for things like plumbing and lighting fixtures and upgrade later. Riverstone wants $1,000 for a Grohe kitchen sink faucet I can get for $300. You can't skimp on cabinets though, too much cost and hassle to gut and redo. I have heard it is hard to get good service people (electricians, plumbers etc) in Naples.

Any comments?
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:23 PM
Location: sittin happy in the sun :-)
3,416 posts, read 5,136,431 times
Reputation: 1621
I don't build in Naples, bit further North....even back in the UK i had a policy , we make our money on the home , extras are charged at cost.............you can tee off a good client who is happy with everything by trying to take them for a few more bucks on extras they can easily see the cost of.

but then to be fair I am not a volume builder for whom the bottom line is king.............and have shareholders to appease
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