The process of buying a home in The Villages works differently than it does anywhere else. That can be a frustrating problem to a lot of people, but it doesn’t have to be.
Watch this video (or read the transcript below) to learn why and how to overcome this problem.
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If you choose to work with the agent I match you up with, its not going to cost you anything, and you’re of course under no obligation to buy anything with them or through them.
But if you do choose to purchase a resale with their assistance, they will pay me a referral fee for sending you their way. I am a licensed real estate broker here in Florida, and while most people know that this is how the real estate world works, I just wanted to make it abundantly clear 🙂
I look forward to having the chance to work with you!
Ambassador Referral Services, LLC
1910 SW 18th Court – Bldg. 100
Ocala, FL 34471
Today I’d like to clear up a popular misconception that a lot of people have when they’re thinking about buying a home in The Villages.
Now, most people start learning about The Villages in pretty much the same way.
You probably saw a TV ad during a golf tournament or on Fox News or some other channel talking about a retirement community with free golf for life. That probably sounded pretty interesting and got your attention.
Or maybe you know someone who might have checked out The Villages or maybe even decided to buy a home there.
In any case the next step for most people just starting out learning about The Villages is to request information from the developer. Which is great, that’s what you should do.
Once most people do sort of that initial information gathering, most of them have a pretty good idea if The Villages is going to maybe work for them or not.
Alright, so the next step is to plan a visit. Most people check out The Lifestyle Preview Program and when you come for this visit, that’s really when The Villages starts their “full-court” sales press on you.
When you’re working with the developer you’ve got three options:
1. You can buy a new home they have in inventory with everything already picked out. This is the fastest way to get into a new home in The Villages. You are not stuck waiting for the home to be built. The downside though is that all the options and features for the house have already been picked out.
2. You can build from scratch by choosing a lot, choosing a model, and having the home built. This is nice if you are particular about the options and features you want in the home, as well as the colors of things like cabinets, counters, carpet, tile, etc.
3. The last option you have when working with the developer’s sales staff is that you can look at resales being marketed through the developer. There’s nothing wrong with this of course, but as you’ll learn below, this alone will not give you the “full story” as far as resales go. More on this later in the article.
You should also know that in all three of these cases, you’re kind of on your own as far as representation is concerned. And I don’t mean that to sound like you need to be constantly looking over your shoulder like somebody’s out to get you, but you just need to be aware of this.
But here’s the problem.
You’re probably asking:
Well can’t I just hire a Realtor to represent me?
… and the answer is, when you’re dealing with the developer, No, you can’t. The developer won’t work with outside agents.
See back before 2004 The Villages had all of the resales being marketed through them listed in the local MLS (the multiple listing service that all Realtors use). So back then you could have hired an agent and they would’ve been able to show you around and help you buy pretty much any resale on the market.
But in 2004 something happened and there was a disagreement between the developer and the MLS, and so The Villages pulled out of the Multiple Listing Service.
So now, when you’re looking at resales through the developer, you’re missing out on seeing as much as 35-40% of the homes available as resales!
The percentage will vary from time to time of course…could be higher, could be lower…depending on a number of factors. But everyone I’ve talked to seems to agree that this is a pretty accurate figure most of the time.
This 35-40%…these are homes where the owner decided they did not want to be represented by the developer, and did not want to have their home compete with the developers own inventory, and so they decided to hire a Realtor to list it and try to sell it for them.
Now like I said I’m told by my sources that this accounts for as much as 40% of all resale inventory in The Villages. And as The Villages winds down new home sales in the next couple of years, the number of resales is only going to grow until that’s all you have is resales.
At the end of this article I’ll tell you how I might be able to help you sort of “close that gap” and make sure you’re seeing that remaining batch of available homes in The Villages.
But right now we’ve got more ground to cover so lets keep moving.
Undoubtedly some of you might have your hearts set on building or buying a brand new home, and that’s fine.
So far I’ve built two houses in my lifetime, and I totally understand that desire… maybe its something you’ve been dreaming about for a long time.
But, even if thats the case, it will serve you well to know about some of the advantages of buying or at least considering a resale.
Of course I can’t possibly cover all of the advantages of buying a resale, and they’re gonna be different for everybody. But below are a few of my favorites.
Advantages of Buying a Resale in The Villages
1. New construction is a hassle. I’m all about a hassle-free lifestyle and having built a couple houses in my day I can tell you that no matter where you’re building it or who is building it, there’s gonna be some hassles. Right?
Whether its before… during… after…or all three theres going to be times when you wish you’d looked a little closer at some resales and not had to go through this stress.
Now typically it all works out in the end but if you want to avoid the pain altogether, you might want to consider a resale.
2. Location – This is a biggie, especially in The Villages. If you’re building a new home, its going to be located wherever The Villages happens to be building. Let’s say that’s down in the south part of The Villages near Brownwood. But maybe you fall in love with Spanish Springs or some other place in the Northern part of The Villages and suddenly you find yourself making a lot of looong golf cart rides to get to where you’re going, when you could’ve … and maybe should’ve … checked out some resales closer to that area.
Here’s a response I got from one of my recent survey takers about this very issue:
This reader writes:
I need to spend more time there with location in mind. All of the new homes seem to be miles away from the center of town and the developers agent only showed us the new areas. We are looking at renting for a month and checking out all of the Villages on our own.
What he’s saying is very true, so definitely keep that in mind.
My theory is that in the next few years you’ll see the central part of The Villages experience the highest amount of demand and price appreciation. Don’t get me wrong, people like new, no doubt, and the new areas will sell just as well as they have in the past.
But a lot of people will put some serious thought into the location issue and decide that they’re o.k. with a home that’s a few years older in exchange for being in a more central location.
3. The third advantage of considering a resale has to do with “options and features”. Now, I’m told that The Villages has gotten a lot more lenient on letting buyers choose specific options and features, which is great. But in the past, for many years, it was kind of like
Glad to hear that’s what you’d like Mr. Buyer but here’s how we do it, take it or leave it, you can always change stuff out or add to it after you close.
I know that sounds cold, but even the community I worked in years ago operated in the same fashion. Building 1,000 different houses 1,000 different ways is tough for the builder to manage. So if they can build 1,000 houses 10 or 20 different ways, well that’s much easier. They know the houses are going to sell anyway, so its very much a business decision.
But in many cases, when it comes to resales you’ll find that the owners have gone ahead and added options and upgrades on their own that you may never be able to get the developer to do for you, so rather than having to do all this stuff on your own after moving in, if you find the right resale it may already be done for you. It’s really just a matter of kissing enough frogs until you find the one that turns out to be a prince.
I could go on here, but I think you get the point of what I’m trying to tell you, and that’s don’t shortchange yourself by neglecting resales altogether, and certainly don’t just work with the developer and miss out on a LARGE percentage of resales that may be available.
Just to recap a little here, if you want to see all resales available you’ll need to:
– Work with the developers sales team
– You need to look in the paper and online for For Sale by Owners
– …and you need to find a Realtor who can show you the remaining 35-40% of homes listed for sale.
Now I can’t help you with the first two, but I may be able to help you with the third.
Platinum Referral Program
For years readers have asked me to recommend agents to them, and I’ve always been reluctant because I just didn’t know enough of the good ones to be able to make a confident recommendation.
But over the last few months I’ve taken the time to get to know and sort of “hand-pick” and “vet” a few of the top agents working in The Villages today, and if you’ll let me, I’d like to personally introduce you to one of my trusted contacts who can help show you that other 35-40% of resales you can’t see through the developer and just let you decide if any of those homes might be a good fit for you.
Unfortunately, most people make the mistake of working with the first agent they come across. Sure, sometimes this works out but I think a personal recommendation and introduction is a better way to go about it.
Now just to be clear, this tiny tiny handful of 3 or 4 different agents that I’ve agreed to work with, all of them have several years of experience working with buyers in The Villages.
My contacts are all full-time agents which is important because you get a lot of folks who retire here to The Villages and just get their license and work it kind of as a hobby, which there’s nothing wrong with that at all, but for you … I want my readers working with someone who’s at this full-time.
These agents are all leaders year after year when it comes to the amount of homes they sell, so you can be sure I’m going to match you up with someone that truly understands the market at any given time and can give you the high caliber of service you’re after.
Now just for full disclosure: If you do choose to work with the agent I match you up with, its not going to cost you anything, and you’re of course under no obligation to buy anything with them or through them.
But … if you do choose to purchase a resale with their assistance, they will pay me a referral fee for sending you their way.
I’m a licensed Broker here in Florida and although I don’t actively list or sell homes anymore, I keep my license with a referral company, Ambassador Referral Service, that just lets me refer people to agents of my choice and get paid if a sale occurs.
That way, I can focus on keeping these articles headed your way!
Now I don’t want you to think I’m just going to pawn you off on some other agent and disappear. I’m going to do my best to earn my keep here.
While I’m technically not allowed to perform any actual real estate related duties on your behalf, I will check in periodically with you and your agent just to make sure your needs are being taken care of, all your questions are being answered, and generally just help make sure everything goes smoothly.
And of course it works both ways here, if you ever need to get in touch with me to ask a question or get my thoughts on something you’ll have the ability to do that.
So if this sounds like something you might be interested in just fill out and submit this application form, give me a few days to get you set up in my system so I can track your progress throughout this process and make the introduction to your agent.
After that the two of you will set-up a time to have a quick call or email axchange to help answer any initial questions you may have about The Villages and determine what the next steps for everybody should be.
Now, here’s the catch. I’ve only got three (possibly four agents by the time you watch this) that I feel comfortable enough referring you too, so there’s obviously going to have to be a limit to how many people we’re able to work with.
Demand for this service has been nothing short of overwhelming, so we have to strictly limit the amount of people we allow into the program. The best way to do this is to prioritize based on when you think you’re likely to purchase a home in The Villages.
So as long as you’re planning to at least visit The Villages and take a look around within the next 6 to 12 months, go ahead and fill out the application.
You’ll see on the application I ask “when are you planning to come visit The Villages?”, and “how soon do you plan to purchase?”
Among other things I’ll take your answers to those questions into account when deciding whether or not we’re going to be able to help you right now… or if it makes more sense to wait until you get a little closer to making a visit.
Sound good? Alright! If you think this program would be a good fit for you, go ahead and complete that application form.
As always, thanks for reading and I hope to have the chance to work with you real soon!