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Unread 02-13-2010, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Parrish, FL
156 posts, read 143,549 times
Reputation: 89
Default Newbie with questions about "the big move"

Hello All,

I have been "lurking" for over two months now and have spent hours reading most of the prior threads. My husband and I are in the planning stages of moving from the Toledo, OH area to Sarasota/Bradenton. I am familiar with Sarasota from 25 years of using my parents' timeshare (now mine) on Lido Beach every November and frequently investigating the surrounding area. Also, a couple of college friends who have lived there for years have given me alot of info.

I am in the process of selling my business and have the opportunity to purchase a small business in Sarasota. My husband has a home based business which he can continue there. We did an exhaustive search for housing when we were there in November and again in January. Since my husband (who likes to play with sports cars) wants an outbuilding, we are obviously very restricted in finding areas that allow them. He really liked the Twin Rivers subdvision in Parrish and, although I think it is out in the boondocks, it is a lovely community with lots of conservation area and ponds, and I guess this city girl could adapt! We are interested in building and liked the model that Johnson Builders has in TR.

Now for my questions:
1. Is anyone familiar with Johnson Homes and their reputation for quality construction?
2. I have heard that a buyer's agent is recommended even for new construction. Is this true and why? Can they help us get a better deal?
3. Any input on Twin Rivers? I talked to one resident and got very positive comments.

I don't need to hear all the negative comments about Parrish as I have read the previous threads about it. Either you like living in a more rural area or you don't. My feeling is that we can avoid alot of the traffic that is found closer to Sarasota and yet it is a short drive to civilization and amenities. I am sure in the next few years Parrish will no longer be in the boondocks.

Sorry for the long post! I am very excited and nervous at the same time and appreciate all of your input.

Sue
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Unread 02-13-2010, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
6,436 posts, read 11,135,035 times
Reputation: 1829
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue in Ohio View Post
Hello All,

I have been "lurking" for over two months now and have spent hours reading most of the prior threads. My husband and I are in the planning stages of moving from the Toledo, OH area to Sarasota/Bradenton. I am familiar with Sarasota from 25 years of using my parents' timeshare (now mine) on Lido Beach every November and frequently investigating the surrounding area. Also, a couple of college friends who have lived there for years have given me alot of info.

I am in the process of selling my business and have the opportunity to purchase a small business in Sarasota. My husband has a home based business which he can continue there. We did an exhaustive search for housing when we were there in November and again in January. Since my husband (who likes to play with sports cars) wants an outbuilding, we are obviously very restricted in finding areas that allow them. He really liked the Twin Rivers subdvision in Parrish and, although I think it is out in the boondocks, it is a lovely community with lots of conservation area and ponds, and I guess this city girl could adapt! We are interested in building and liked the model that Johnson Builders has in TR.

Now for my questions:
1. Is anyone familiar with Johnson Homes and their reputation for quality construction?
2. I have heard that a buyer's agent is recommended even for new construction. Is this true and why? Can they help us get a better deal?
3. Any input on Twin Rivers? I talked to one resident and got very positive comments.

I don't need to hear all the negative comments about Parrish as I have read the previous threads about it. Either you like living in a more rural area or you don't. My feeling is that we can avoid alot of the traffic that is found closer to Sarasota and yet it is a short drive to civilization and amenities. I am sure in the next few years Parrish will no longer be in the boondocks.

Sorry for the long post! I am very excited and nervous at the same time and appreciate all of your input.

Sue
Hi There!
1. I'm not familiar with Johnson homes. I know Todd Johnson homes but not Johnson. I'm assuming they're not the same.
2. I can comment on this point. You might want to ask how the sales person who is representing the builder how they are representing you. My guess is that they are a single agent for the builder. This means they are solely looking out for the best interest of the builders needs. They are trying to get the best price and terms for their client (the builder). You could go it alone but then you would have no representation. A buyers agent would be looking out for your best interest as far as terms, price, etc.
3. I looked up the Twin Rivers subdivision and it looks nice. I know they have several builders in that subdivision. Why did you choose Johnson Builders? Price, location within the subdivision? Just curious. I think you're doing all the right things as far as talking to neighbors, etc. I usually find them to be pretty upfront with their feelings about an area. They actually live there and don't have anything to win or lose by offering you the information.

I was born in close by Bradenton but haven't lived there in years and I know Parrish has changed a lot since I once lived in nearby.

Good luck with your search
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Unread 02-14-2010, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Punta Gorda and Maryland
5,560 posts, read 7,267,693 times
Reputation: 904
Sue,

Welcome to the board! I'm happy that you are planning a new direction in your life, and I certainly wish you the best! Good Luck!
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Unread 02-14-2010, 06:15 AM
 
Location: North Port
325 posts, read 532,898 times
Reputation: 86
Good luck, Sue

My parents made the big move in 78 from the great blizzard I am originally from Bowling Green OH, (Go Buckeyes and Falcons) this is a great source for info, and alot of nice people can steer you in the right direction.
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Unread 02-14-2010, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Parrish, FL
156 posts, read 143,549 times
Reputation: 89
SoFlGal: I knew I would get insightful information from you! Now, how do we go about getting a buyer's agent, especially since we are out of town? I know we will need to fly down there again soon so how do we know who to contact? Who pays the commission of a buyer's agent?

To answer your question about why we may be choosing Johnson Homes: First of all, the floorplan of the model home was exactly what we wanted. We talked to three builders and, although they all have recently reduced their price per square foot, Johnson Homes calculates it only for the A/C living area, whereas the others charge the same amount for the total square footage including garage, lanai, entryway. Johnson has more upgrades in their standard package and my husband liked their construction practices and materials. I had my brother check out the model home while he was there last week as he is a typical engineer (perfectionist) and he was impressed. Also, since we returned from our week in Florida last month, Johnson was the only one to contact us and answer questions and to mail us a package of material. In fact, all of our contact has been with the builder himself. So we have gotten a good feeling about his customer service.

Big House and kbuild: Thank you for your kind words! Sorry I am not a Buckeye fan since I am a Michigan State alumnus (Go Spartans!)...but I do root for the BGSU Falsons and UT Rockets. Yes, I am ready for the next chapter in my life...can't retire yet (early 50's) but am in serious need of a career change and ready to settle in an area that I have loved for years.

Glad to meet you all and I am sure I'll have more questions as things progress.
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Unread 02-14-2010, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
6,436 posts, read 11,135,035 times
Reputation: 1829
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue in Ohio View Post
SoFlGal: I knew I would get insightful information from you! Now, how do we go about getting a buyer's agent, especially since we are out of town? I know we will need to fly down there again soon so how do we know who to contact? Who pays the commission of a buyer's agent?

To answer your question about why we may be choosing Johnson Homes: First of all, the floorplan of the model home was exactly what we wanted. We talked to three builders and, although they all have recently reduced their price per square foot, Johnson Homes calculates it only for the A/C living area, whereas the others charge the same amount for the total square footage including garage, lanai, entryway. Johnson has more upgrades in their standard package and my husband liked their construction practices and materials. I had my brother check out the model home while he was there last week as he is a typical engineer (perfectionist) and he was impressed. Also, since we returned from our week in Florida last month, Johnson was the only one to contact us and answer questions and to mail us a package of material. In fact, all of our contact has been with the builder himself. So we have gotten a good feeling about his customer service.

Big House and kbuild: Thank you for your kind words! Sorry I am not a Buckeye fan since I am a Michigan State alumnus (Go Spartans!)...but I do root for the BGSU Falsons and UT Rockets. Yes, I am ready for the next chapter in my life...can't retire yet (early 50's) but am in serious need of a career change and ready to settle in an area that I have loved for years.

Glad to meet you all and I am sure I'll have more questions as things progress.
On the buyers agent issue, ask the builder if they pay a commission to Realtors. Generally a Realtor has to bring you in to the builder to get paid a commission and also be representing you. You might also want to ask the builder if the home is in the MLS. This would mean that they would offer compensation to a Realtor that represented you. Then you would have no problem being represented by a buyers agent and usually the builder would pay for this. So, as far as a buyers agents commission, it can go either way depending on the builder.

If you'd like to check out my blogs I wrote one specifically about "how you can be represented" in the state of Florida. A buyers agent and single agent are pretty similar. There really is no legal term "buyers agent" in the state of Florida. There are three ways you can be represented-single agency, as a transaction broker or as a non-rep. Simply put a single agent has a duty to solely look out for your best interest-with price, terms, the contract, etc.

If you are not told otherwise, in the state of Florida as of July 2008 all Realtor will be representing you as a transaction broker. This means that the Realtor acts as a facilitator of a real estate transaction. The broker in his capacity as transaction broker would have no fiduciary duty but would still need to be fair and honest with both buyers and sellers.

A transaction broker can not advise a buyer on bidding strategy. He would just ask:” What would you like to offer the seller for his property”.

Then a non-rep is pretty simple. They are not representing anyone.

There are certain duties that all Realtors have and I have listed them in more detail in my blog.

I don't sell in Bradenton. I only go from Sarasota down to Punta Gorda but I can get you going in the right direction if you'd like to contact me privately.

Those are all excellent reasons to choose a certain builder. You've had someone you trust check them out, they've shown interest in your home purchase, and you are happy with the layout, etc.

One more thing I'd like to add. Even if you're building brand new, please make sure to have the proper inspections. A few hundred dollars now could save you thousands later.
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Unread 02-18-2010, 09:00 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,394 times
Reputation: 10
Hello Sue
I'm looking around for a builder also and I was curious as to the amount you were quoted on the building per square foot? Also is the builder including the cost of the land or are you buying your own lot?
Thanks and best of luck
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Unread 02-18-2010, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Parrish, FL
156 posts, read 143,549 times
Reputation: 89
The builder has several lots available in Twin Rivers but we preferred another lot, so would be buying it ourselves. Similar lots apparently had been selling for $150,000 but they have been reduced to $69,900. It is one half acre and has a pond next to and behind the lot with conservation area behind it.

The builders we talked to were averaging $80 - 100+ per square foot. Johnson Homes charges $106 but, as I mentioned in a previous post, they only charge that amount for the square footage under air and not the garage, veranda, etc. that other builders do. They are sending additional material to us so we will find out all of the features that are included in that price. The other builder that we liked was Mark Cahill Homes. We looked at Medallion Homes and liked their construction, but after I read how they were handling the Chinese Drywall issue in the homes they had built a few years ago, it kind of turned me off.

Hope this helps!
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Unread 02-18-2010, 11:00 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,394 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you Sue
Sounds like a pretty good deal.
Best of luck with your new home.
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