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Real Estate in Cape Coral, Florida

Markus Hartwich, P.A., Realtor®

GRI (Graduate of Realtor Institute)
ACCRS (Accredited Cape Coral Residential Specialist)
RNCS (Residential New Construction Specialist)

Markus

New Construction Cape Coral FL | The building process in 3 Phases

 

New Construction Cape Coral FL 3 phases

Building a house far away or even abroad is a serious decision. However, in the current construction boom, it is the best alternative to the dwindling and ever more expensive inventory of existing homes. It is clear that new construction allows the uncompromising planning of your dream home and you can freely choose the right location.

Furthermore, it is the only way to get a house constructed according to the latest building codes and to get a warranty. However, many interested parties are afraid to deal with this topic. What if you want to build a house  while you are in Canada or even 6,000 km away in Germany? A multitude of questions and uncertainties arise and seem to cause many people to forego their dream.

Not with us!

On this page and in the main menu "New Construction" we try to explain the challenge of building a new home in a transparent and honest way and to explain established processes and developed solutions so that you can really understand the topic of new construction. A big advantage for you: We are a professional network, consisting of licensed professionals and companies who assist you every step of the way, be it the Realtor, the contractor, the insurance agent, the tax consultant or the lawyer.

In order to get a better understanding of the concept of building a house in Cape Coral and the structured planning and implementation, I divide this into three phases.

 

Phase 1: Preparation and Planning of your new home in Cape Coral, Florida

From the first conversation you will find that we take your wishes very seriously. Well-founded decisions can only be made if all information is given and evaluated without any missing pieces.

Buy building site for new home construction in cape coral fl

Vacant lots: Do you already own land in Cape Coral? Then we clarify whether the intended construction is possible and all necessary details are clarified. Should you still need to buy a building site for your new home construction, we will assist you in finding the right location that suits your needs. Since we as a member of the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) have access to ALL properties currently available (houses, villas, land, apartments, etc.), we can search specifically for the best lot according to your criteria. From thereon we accompany you through the complete transaction of the purchase up to the final transfer of ownership at the closing.

This can be done from a distance, however most customers want to make at least one on-site visit of the location. It is particularly important in Cape Coral to understand that contractors define their marketed prices for the construction of a new home on a property that already has city utilities. Should you decide you want to build in an area without city water supply, this can quickly cause a surcharge of more than $20,000 because of the more complex engineering and the installation of an additional drainage field and a septic tank. If you buy land in the south of the city, you will be spared this additional hassle and expense.

Seawall: If the property does not yet have a seawall, we are happy to assist you in ordering one and supervising the construction process. In terms of time, you should allow for about 3-4 months. In rare cases this can take up to a year. But this is only the case if you buy a lot on a saltwater canal and if there are mangroves on the property. However, this can be checked before purchase. More information is available here.

Home Design Plans New Home Florida

Own design or change existing model: Our contractor who acts as a "custom builder" can either start your own design (with or without the help of the architect) and tailor the new home to your requirements or we can discuss all requirements and details in a conversation. Optionally, you can customize existing models to your liking.

Drawing of a design: We then send your changes of an existing model or the preliminary home design prepared from scratch to the architect to get professional plans for your new home in Cape Coral. This includes at least a floor plan, a pool plan and a site plan which shows you the location of the house on the property. WIth our existing models you will find a house width of the maximum buildable 65 feet (this applies to a standard lot of 80 feet wide). However, if you buy an oversized property the house can be placed off center or be increased in size.

Color selection choose materials

The color selection: A team of experienced designers and planners accompany you when you choose materials and colors. In co-operation with you, all necessary specifications for the construction and equipment of your new house/villa in Cape Coral will be defined over 2-3 selection sessions. These include floor coverings, granite, tile or wall color, faucets and much more. This will either be done on-site at the design centers of the subcontractors or in our office.

Furthermore, we will define whether other installations are desired like a camera surveillance system, remote controllable air conditioning, pool heating, lights and electricity or also exterior doors that can be wirelessly closed via a GSM card - not only a great feature for your property manager in Cape Coral, but also for you, wherever you are are in the world.

Calculation of Upgrades

Calculation of upgrades: In addition to the transparently communicated and priced materials, you may want to choose to upgrade one or the other feature, after you've been thinking more and more about building your home in Cape Coral. This is then simply added to your previously prepared offer of your home and results in the final price. If there is a survey of the property the contractor can also determine what the cost for the required fill dirt will be. This is necessary as there are flood zones and minimum building heights in Cape Coral Florida, therefore this may be needed to increase the height of your lot and finally the house. (You can find useful information here). Also, additional expenses may occur for installing a water line and power conduit down to the seawall, required for the boat dock. All other costs, fees and charges are already included in the base price of the home. The construction contract can be signed before or after the Color Selection.

The following documents are part of the construction contract:

The Construction contract: Among other things the dates for the construction draws are stated. Our contractor does not, like others, request a draw at the time of completion of a construction phase but only after this construction phase has been marked done by means of a passed inspection. These passed inspections are recorded online in a publicly accessible database on etrakit.com and you can easily check those inspections to see that the construction phase has been successfully completed. Also there is a difference with regards to the deposit that has to be made by the customer. Generally every building contractor in Cape Coral will require a 15-20% deposit to cover the first cost and to be paid directly to the builder. Again, not with him! Our German contractor only requires a 15% security deposit in an escrow account with a title company which he has no access to, unless the end of the construction is nearing or the customer defaults on the contract. In doing so he goes ahead and uses his own money before requesting money from you which should give you a lot more confidence that you are dealing with an honest home builder.

Construction Contract Cape Coral

"Florida Lien Law - Construction Lien Disclosure": There is a law in Florida that allows the subcontractor to exercise recourse on you as the owner, if the materials or services are not paid for by the general contractor. Some owners have had bad experiences because they have not investigated the construction company ahead of time. As a subcontractor, if you wish to be able to exercise this right, you must deliver a document registered to the owner's address provided in the Notice of Commencement - this is the so called "Notice to Owner".

By delivering this document to you the subcontractor keeps his right of recourse on you. These announcements will be sent before, during or even up to 45 days after delivery of material or work services. To make sure that this document does not have a negative impact on you simply send this notification to the title company before paying the next construction draw. The title company in the background requests title updates and notarized waivers of lien (releases of lien) from the subcontractors in question so that a written record of the payment exists.

If everything is alright the title company releases the next draw to the builder, otherwise it will stop it until the issue is resolved. Normally this serves you to get insight on the larger suppliers, companies or service items. If you choose to pay a further surcharge it can be extended to smaller suppliers and subcontractors. Thus, another security is built in so you can sleep well far away while your home goes up.

Exhibit A: Here you will find the final architectural plans, including the front, side and back views of the Cape Coral villa, the floor plan as well as the electrical plan, roof construction (also called "truss engineering"), structural specifications, pool plan and the home specifications.

Exhibit B: Exhibit B shows the price of the basic model with any upgrades, a description of what has been added or improved and calculates the total building price.

Exhibit C: By law, each customer must receive a booklet called the "Florida Energy Gauge Program" which deals with the energy efficiency rating of buildings.

Building Contract Cape Coral

Notice of Commencement (NOC): This document, also part of the building contract, will have to be signed, notarized and be presented to the city building department by the contractor when the approved building permit is picked up and paid for. It is used to record the commencement of construction. The city must make sure that the contractor has really been contracted by you as the owner to construct a building on your property. If this document is not the original or not available the contractor will not receive the approved building permit. This document is also necessary for the construction of a seawall and is the only document that can not be electronically signed or transmitted. If you are here at the time of signing the construction contract a title company, a Notary Public or a bank may notarize your signature.

Upon signing the contract the payment of the security deposit to the escrow account will be due.

In the case of financing, the contract with the home builder will be signed with a financing contingency clause and will only become binding if financing is approved by the bank.

Permit application: After the final construction drawings have been drawn up, the package with all the documents for the building permit is sent to the relevant authority for approval. After the examination of the various departments of the building department which make sure that all current building regulations and building codes are met, the permit approval is granted. When the builder picks up the building permit he must pay all the fees and charges to the city which may range all the way up to $20,000 for a single family home in Cape Coral. Before the construction starts, there are a few more things to consider:

Insurances: There are 2 insurances that you should take out (these insurances are absolutely necessary for financing)

Builders Risk Insurance: This insurance can be offered to you by any insurance agency but can also be requested and executed by the contractor. This policy protects you against damage and the loss of building materials and finished installations through third parties and environmental factors such as a hurricane for example. This insurance should be paid before you start building the house in Cape Coral. Other liability insurances are maintained by the contractor and regularly checked by the city.

Flood insurance: A little later in the process flood insurance comes into play. While the Builders Risk Insurance insures loss in general, the flood insurance is designed exclusively to insure you against rising water levels. This is usually capped at $250,000 which should be sufficient but can also be increased by additional policies. For flood insurance, a so called "Elevation Certificate" must be submitted which is a height measurement of the upper edge of your floor slab plus flooring. This document is ordered by the contractor from a surveyor and then sent to you for submission to the insurance company. With this document, the premium of the insurance can be calculated. This insurance can only be taken out by the owner, not the contractor.

We are happy to assist you in getting quotes for your new build in Cape Coral.

Boat dock and boat lift: If you want to store a boat at the house you should definitely own a boat dock to keep the boat safely out of the water when you are not using it. We will gladly assist you in contracting a company and supervising the construction process. More information is available here.

New Construction Home furnished and decorated

Furnishing and decorating the house: During construction you can decide whether you want to furnish and deocrate your villa in Cape Coral yourself or hire the design team of the contractor (in most cases customers order it to be done otherwise you will spend 2-3 weeks of your hard earned vacation to do this). Many of our model homes that you can view on the website were furnished by the contractor's wife who, as you can see, always proves a great taste in interior decoration. In cooperation with her and through websites of furniture stores you can thus realize your taste and your personal touch. And you will also receive honest feedback what is best suited for a vacation rental. The new building in Cape Coral can be handed over rental ready at the time of your arrival - including installed TVs, wireless music boxes and whatever your heart desires. Here you see a New Construction Home furnished and decorated

Property Management and Rental Program: Similarly, while building the house in Cape Coral you can deal with the choice of a property management and rental agency. We can also provide you with excellent partners who not only take care of your property in Cape Coral while you are away but can also integrate it into a successful rental program. The ordering of professional pictures, videos or even drone footage can thus be coordinated in the best possible way. After completion and fully furnished the new vacation home will be handed over directly to the agency and rentals can begin.

Construction supervision and reporting: If you would like to have a detailed documentation of what is happening on your construction site apart from the pictures that the contractor sometimes sends, then we can offer you a construction supervision and reporting package. This package includes a visit on the construction site every Friday, where the status is recorded and reported. In addition, depending on the construction status you will receive a variety of images documenting every corner of your new home in Cape Coral. This is on one hand the possibility for you to really see everything and on the other to have a beautiful memory of your future home in Cape Coral. Talk to me about this package, I'll be happy to give you more details and an offer depending on where the building site is located.

 

Phase 2: Construction Phase of your vacation villa in Cape Coral, Florida

Construction phase new build

Construction phase: After receipt of the building permit through the responsible building authority this will be visibly attached to the permit board on the property. Each plan is depicted here, too and each inspection is signed off on the permit. Then the groundbreaking will take place for your dream home. While your new building is being built, all you need to do is sit back and enjoy. If you have selected the reporting package, you will be able to watch the numerous images every week showing the action of the past week on a cloud share every Saturday just in time for the morning coffee. The pure construction time can be 6 months or less for small houses but for larger ones 8 months or more.

Warranties: The new building in Cape Coral has a one-year builder warranty. Some of the warranties are provided by the contractor and its subcontractors, the others are purely manufacturer's warranties, which can often be longer than 1 year - for example, an air conditioner usually has between 3 and 5 years as well as an electric pool heater. Attention: This 1 year warranty is only valid, if the building customer owns the property. If the house is resold after 3 months this warranty expires. There is the possibility to purchase an extended warranty, the so called 2-10-warranty. This can be added by the contractor and extends the warranty for defects in materials / equipment and related work for the air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems to 2 years (everything in walls). A structural warranty on the building will be extended to 10 years. More information is available here.

new home in Cape Coral

Inspections: Each new home in Cape Coral undergoes approximately 30-35 inspections, carried out by licensed inspectors of the Building Department who have only one thing in mind: to check the use of the right materials and the correct installation and that the contractor is building to the current building code. This will give you the assurance that the contractor and its subcontractors are working according to state regulations and will carry out the new construction project in Cape Coral as intended. These inspections run consecutively, one is done then the next inspection may be called in. If an inspection fails the builder must first fix the problem and call in a reinspection before he can move forward and continue to build the next step. Thus, it is clear that the contractor is under steady control - and you can track it all online in the e-trakit.com system of the city's building department. As already mentioned the construction payments in the contract are called for after successful completion of a building step and are always tied to a certain successfully completed inspection.

 

Phase 3: Building a house in Cape Coral – after completion

End of construction: When the contractor finally announces the completion of the house it comes to the last, or final, inspection.

home builders in Cape Coral

C.O. and handover of finished home: The final inspection of the municipal building authority determines the compliance for occupancy. If this final inspection passes the C.O. = Certificate of Occupancy will be given. After paying the garbage fee this certificate is then placed online and sent to the contractor. By issuing and handing out the C.O. the owner must now make the 2nd to last draw payment to the contractor. Then the property will be handed over by the builder to you and you can immediately move into your new home in Cape Coral. All home builders in Cape Coral have to get a C.O. before the owner is allowed to stay overnight in the new home.

Inspection and introduction / punch list: During your inspection of the house you will also be briefed about your villa in Cape Coral, where you can operate electrical and electronic equipment such as air conditioning, pool heating, pool filter, whirlpool and alarm system - as well as other installations like the the salt water cell or the code locks on the entrance doors. At this time all warranty papers and manuals are transferred to you as well so you have everything. During this briefing the punch list is created which defines the remaining work to be carried out. The contractor will have 7 more days to complete this work. If this list is substantially cleared the contractor receives the final payment from you. After that the construction contract is officially fulfilled and terminated.

New Construction Title insurance

New Construction Title insurance: The only thing that remains is to increase your title insurance. Since it is customary in our region that the seller pays this insurance to the buyer of a property, you usually have received such insurance when purchasing the vacant lot. It protects you against claims of third parties and defends you in court. In the very hypothetical case that you would be deprived of your property this insurance would even cover you up to the refund of the full purchase price. However, this owner insurance has just been calculated on the purchase price of the land and must therefore be raised to the total value of your vacation home in Cape Coral. Each title company can do this directly after construction completion.

Building a house in Cape Coral is, as we hear from many customers, actually much easier and faster than you know it for example in Germany or Canda. The solid concrete block construction distinguishes us from many regions within the U.S.A. Wooden exterior walls are history and have been banned from the building codes for decades. If you want to take a look at a full picture story of a new construction click here.

 

Perhaps we can welcome you soon in the Sunshine Paradise Cape Coral and start talking about your dream vacation home in Florida - we look forward to seeing you!

 

This text contains legal and insurance information. It is explicitly pointed out that this information only serves as general information and in no way represents legal or insurance advice. To verify this information you should contact a licensed attorney or insurance company.