with Meili Viera of Waterman Real Estate

In a previous issue, we talked about Waterman Real Estate, the company, owner Andrew Waterman, Meili Viera and their vision. This time we had Viera one-on-one for about an hour, longer than she is likely ever in one place and sitting still. When you talk to her, you can’t help but learn something, and this time we wanted her to talk to us about building a home versus buying one. 

“First, this really is a personal preference,” Viera said. “You can go in either direction, and both have distinct key advantages. It depends more on your personal schedule and needs. As far as advantages of new construction, consider that you can customize finishes and colors, you might have higher rated materials, and you’d expect a builder’s warranty. Those factors may give you greater peace of mind. Typically, a new home requires less maintenance, so if you’re a new homeowner, or not interested in having to fix things, figure that for seven to ten years you’re not going to have to do much in terms of maintenance other than preventative projects. A new home will also likely feature a more modern architectural design, most often reflected in a more open concept floor plan, for example.”

To Viera, those are but a few of the benefits to buying new construction. So, why buy resale? “You’re probably going to get more bang for your buck, in either square footage, a bigger subdivision or maybe in an area that’s not HOA-restricted, or maybe even more land,” Viera said. “You could still have the choice to create some customized finishing touches if you decide to upgrade or remodel an existing home. You might have a more unique floor plan in terms of what was being built 10, 20 or 30 years ago. You might have more bedrooms, they might be a little bit bigger, or you may have a little more flexibility with being able to create a more spacious floor plan. This may give you freedom to knock out some walls to create that open concept.” 

PRO TIP: You tend to have more room to negotiate your terms and price point with a resale than you would with a builder. 

Truly, it boils down to the customer’s needs and what’s most important for their family. Whether you want to be in a specific neighborhood that’s zoned for specific schools or you want to be within close proximity to work versus driving a little bit further. It depends on the family’s needs and expectations. 

So, that’s the choice, new or resale. What else should we consider? Viera says, “A buyer does have benefits in using a Realtor when working with a builder. Typically, when potential buyers go directly to the builder, they think they’ll get a greater discount since the builder is saving on the commission, but most builders have a pool of funds/ discounts used specifically for the Realtor’s customers. They’ll have a bigger discount window of opportunity that they can give to my customers versus what they can do if you go directly to their sales department. Obviously, the builder’s not going to advertise that, but it is well known, amongst real estate professionals. Plus the buyers have a professional keeping their best interest in mind.” 

PRO TIP: Even if you’re going to the builder directly, take your Realtor with you. 

“A lot of buyers don’t realize that when they’re hiring a Realtor, they’re not paying anything. Often, buyers don’t realize that they’re are no costs incurred when hiring a professional upfront,” she explains. “The buyers don’t pay a dime, and they have a professional that can guide them through the entire process in both new construction and resale. There are pros to both buying resale and new construction, but the key reason why a buyer should bring a Realtor is to be equipped with professional representation and expertise guidance in their negotiations and due diligence process.” 

It is still a seller’s market. 

According to Viera, it still is a seller’s market, but she has noticed a correction. There were sellers and agents pushing for the higher price points, but the market has corrected. Supply is still limited and demand is still very prevalent. Key factors that determine whether you’ll be paying a premium or will be saving, varies significantly by area/neighborhood in Brevard County. “If you’re deciding between buying or building, determine your favorite area and keep your family’s needs at the forefront. Some customers love the building process and some just want to move in; the decision is yours,” Viera said. ◆