7 Reasons Home Buyers Prefer New Homes vs. Used

Today’s new homes offer more benefits than ever before. Here’s a quick list from NewHomeSource.com giving 7 reasons why so many homebuyers prefer new homes to used houses:

1) All New, Under Warranty: A used home likely has tired products that may soon need replacing. Your new home — and the products that comprise it — are brand-new and under warranty. What’s the cost to replace a roof, appliances, countertops or a water heater on a used home? Those components of your new home feature the latest designs and building materials and should offer you years of comfort and enjoyment before needing replacement.

2) Energy and Cost Savings: Today’s new homes are far more energy efficient than homes built just five years ago. Versus homes built ten or 20 years ago, it’s game over, advantage new. Why settle for drafty, energy-wasting, single-pane windows in a used home? Many new homes offer double or even triple-pane windows. Special window coatings and inert gases between the layers of glass are often available, saving you even more energy and money in both heating and cooling season. In fact, a 2016 survey by the National Association of Homebuilders found that 90 percent of respondents listed Energy Star appliances as an essential or desirable feature in their most-wanted list.

3) Comfort and Indoor Air Quality: Today’s new homes meet stringent energy standards and codes not in place in the past. They combine high-performance energy efficiency with state-of-the-art ventilation and air filtration. The result is year-round, draft-free comfort and higher indoor air quality.

4) Low Maintenance: New cars today are computer-designed and computer-equipped. That’s why they perform much more reliably than a car that’s 15 or 20 years old. Homes are the same. Today’s new homes have open floor plans and high ceilings that reflect the way we live today. They’re also made of cutting-edge building products that require less care and maintenance. Another plus? The latest building systems and components are designed and engineered to work together.

5) Advanced Technology and Design: It’s possible to replace all of the single-pane windows in a resale home with today’s high-performance windows. It’s also possible to add insulation to a used home. However, it’s very expensive to replace dated appliances, cabinets and countertops in a used home — and you still won’t have the high ceilings you dream of on the first floor of an older two-story home. All are reasons to build your new home your way, to reflect the way you live today.

6) Safety: State-of-the-art circuit breakers. Electric garage door openers with infrared beams that stop if a tricycle or child is too near. High-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners that use the latest environmentally-friendly coolants. Cabinets, carpets and paints that use fewer volatile organic compounds, so that you and your family can breathe easier.

7) That New Home Feel: A used home was someone else’s dream, not yours. It reflects their choices and family memories. You may learn to love avocado-green appliances (and you may be willing to scrub stained countertops or grease-encrusted ovens and cooktops) but more and more people prefer that never lived-in feel.

After all, when was the last time you went to a department store and selected used clothes? Or visited a car dealer and paid more for a used car than a new car?

New homes offer the latest designs, style, comfort and quality. They provide a care-free lifestyle so that you can enjoy your home, not work on it.

Please give ‘BURG Development a call and learn about the NEW homes they have for sale in Northeast St. Petersburg.  727-571-5861

via Jay McKenzie who heads up content and social media for NewHomeSource.com and Builders Digital Experience.


Who’s Afraid of Rising Interest Rates?

While mortgage rates remain “historically low,” many first-time buyers think they’re substantially more expensive because they don’t remember high-rate years.

1st Time Homebuyers

[Move.com] Rising mortgage rates have created an urgency for Experienced Purchasers to buy before further increases. Average listing views on realtor.com surged 40% to 80% in the last 3 weeks of December 2016 compared to December 2015.

“Rising rates have made demand even more intense,” realtor.com notes. However, the demand mostly seems to be coming on stronger from repeat buyers. For first-time buyers, rising mortgage rates are having an opposite effect and they’re showing signs of beginning to shy away from the market.

The number of 1st-time buyers planning to purchase this spring has dropped sharply and the rise in mortgage rates over the past few weeks may be to blame for their retreat, according to realtor.com® study. Repeat buyers, on the other hand, want to lock in rates right away.

Forty-four percent of active home buyers who plan to buy a home this spring are first-time home buyers, down from 55% last fall who said they were planning to buy in the spring. So what’s spooking them?

Average rates today are about a half percentage point higher than they were in 2016. That means a median-priced home financed with a 20% down would cost an extra $720 per year in added interest, realtor.com.

If you want to own your first home, now is STILL the time to buy!

First-time buyers are nearly 5 times more likely than repeat buyers to say they are facing challenges qualifying for a mortgage. Affordability topped first-time buyer concerns.

In November, first-time buyers made up 32% of all buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“The rise in rates is associated with an anticipation of stronger economic and wage growth, both of which favor buyers,” adds Jonathan Smoke chief economist for realtor.com. “At the same time, higher rates make qualifying for a mortgage and finding affordable inventory more challenging. The decline in the share of first-time buyers since October suggests that the move up in rates is discouraging new home buyers already.”

On the other hand, repeat homebuyers realize mortgage rates – while moving higher overall – are still at historical lows. Before rates jump more, these buyers are in a rush to close before rates increase further, according to realtor.com’s study.

First-time buyers may need to lower their expectations a little and not insist on a dream home…  Their perfect home is out there, it just takes a different approach  and process to finding it.  Please give us a call, we would love to help you.


New Coastal-Craftsman Home In NE St Petersburg


646 34th Avenue N., St Petersburg, FL 33704

646 34th Ave N, St Petersburg, FL 33704

Exciting times… We just completed our 2nd home in Northeast St. Pete.  Our first house (next door) sold during construction to a wonderful young couple buying their very first home.

Both homes were designed by nationally renowned Sharp Design Studio.  This 4 bedroom, 3 bath two-story Coastal-Craftsman style home, comes with a front porch, 10’ ceilings with 8’ doors on the 1st floor and 9’ ceilings on the 2nd floor.

‘BURG 2:  2,920 AC/SF (4,125 SF Total Under Roof)

The 1st floor has a Great Room with an Open Kitchen and Walk-In Butler’s Pantry, Dining Room, Bedroom/Den and Full Bath. The 2nd floor houses an oversized Master Suite, 2 add’l Bedrooms, a Bonus/Flex Room with Balcony, large Laundry Room and Bath with dual vanities. Sound proofing between bedrooms and floors; energy efficient windows; large open kitchen with stainless steel GE ENERGY STAR® appliances; gas 5-burner cooktop; shaker stained cabinetry with 42” uppers; granite countertops throughout; pre-wired for ceiling fixtures, alarm and speakers; HVAC with programmable thermostat and a gas tankless water heater.

646 34th Ave N, St Petersburg, FL 33704The home is connected to a detached 2 ½ car garage with alley access by a covered breezeway leading to the home.
The homesite is sodded and landscaped with a zoned and metered irrigation system.  Located only minutes from downtown and seconds from the shops, grocery stores and restaurants along 4th and 9th Streets N.

Priced at $549,900

For additional photographs and information, please click here or call me at 727-580-4143.

ForeSite Residential Real Estate


Architect Yann Weymouth Discusses “State of the Art” for New Salvador Dalí Museum

I wanted to follow up on last week’s blog about GOOD DESIGN with brief highlights of Yann Weymouth’s lecture the other evening, hosted by JMC Communities at their Ovation condominium tower in downtown St Petersburg. 

Mr. Weymouth, the architect for the new Salvador Dali Museum, is Director of Design for renowned architectural firm Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum (HOK) Florida. He said HOK’s focus was to be true to Dalí and the great legacy of the Morse family — to create a unique environment of experiential spaces that move perceptually with the visitor, but remain as classic and surprising, as are Dalí’s works, without resorting to “melting clocks” or other kitsch and cliché.

Future Salvador Dali Museum

Referred to as “a master of light and reflection,” Mr. Weymouth said he took care to honor Dalí’s own masterful use of natural light and his genius at creating visual enigmas by juxtaposing solid forms and shadows to create three-dimensional enigmas. As an example, he described the almost fluid crystalline glass “enigma” that appears to pull away from the spiral staircase, creating the illusion of a dialogue between helical form and crystalline glass enclosure. Proud of how the three-story “treasure box” design turned out, Mr. Weymouth also noted several practical extras, including the waterfront building’s storm safety and its environmental elements, such as solar heating, water conservation and dehumidification—all to assure that the museum is as enduring as the artist’s body of work.

Mr. Weymouth’s museum portfolio is impressive, and a good preparation for the Salvador Dalí Museum. He worked with I.M. Pei on the Grand Louvre in Paris, supervising the design of the world-renowned glass pyramid in the 1980s, a role he had earlier as design chief for Pei on the U.S. National Gallery of Art East Wing. With HOK, he led design of the new Searing wing at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, the Hazel Hough wing at Ovation’s neighbor, the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, and the new Frost Museum in Miami.

Good Design

I had the good fortune of recently attending a lecture given by Yann Weymouth, the architect who designed the new Salvador Dali Museum scheduled to open 1/1/11 here in St. Petersburg, Florida.  His presentation was very engaging and I look forward to sharing his vision and design philosophy with you later.

But for now, I’d like to share my thoughts about our design approach to the buildings and communities we build.

Good design is much more than simply an outward appearance.  It comes from a creative understanding that takes into account many disciplines… buyer profile, landscape, livability, function, pedestrian experience, cityscape and operational efficiency.  It is an anticipation of user needs and evolving ideas, and uses storytelling to bring these ideas to life.

Good design is the marriage of place and space, and it becomes both a physical and emotional presentation.  For instance when planning our Ovation community we were careful to balance the design both from the outside-in as well as the inside-out, thus contributing to the Beach Drive neighborhood as well as providing an optimal floorplan and view orientation for the homeowner.

People tend to think of design as good art, good visual language… true, but… good design also has to do with systems—allowing things to operate more efficiently, smoothly and comfortably for the end user.

Our homeowners appreciate good design!  They may not always specifically identify with what makes it good… they just know it feels better.  There is a visceral (emotional) connection.  And, good value is enhanced when you provide a great experience.

Ovation Celebrates its Grand Opening

O! What a Night!

53 Ovation Grand Opening  ©RobHarris
Ovation's Interior Designers, Lauri and Betsy Godfrey and Troy Beasley with JMC's Steve McAuliffe

Friends, family and new residents mingled Friday night at a VIP reception celebrating the official opening of the Ovation condominium tower in downtown St Petersburg, FLA. The Mindy Solomon Gallery in Ovation’s retail space near the lobby entrance also celebrated its grand opening with a preview of the gallery’s first exhibition, “Three from Korea.” Over 300 guests strolled between the two artful venues with ease.  

54 Ovation Grand Opening  ©RobHarris
Leblon Caipirinha Bar

Like visitors to an elegant art gallery, guests strolled through Ovation’s lobby among columns and seating areas, commenting thoughtfully about the structural detailing and custom artworks, including six 6-foot-tall glass sculptures in niches, ceramic boats suspended from the ceiling and large canvases hugging the walls. 

57 Ovation Grand Opening  ©RobHarris
Poolside Water Curtain and Fountain

Leaving the area against the fading strains of a live cellist, guests were guided up to the fourth floor amenity area, where they were met with more live music (Florida Orchestra ) voices, laughter, and oohs and aahs as hors d’oeuvres  (Olympia Catering) were shared and stories told. The party spilled out onto the pool area under skies so perfect you’d think it was a Hollywood movie set. There, guests were treated to an Asian Satay station and delicious Leblon Cachaça served up by Ana and Mara at the Caipirinha bar.

Guests also eagerly rode the elevators up to the 18th floor, where they took their time touring the two award-winning model homes. In every room, at least one guest was observed gazing through a broad window at the city lights and animated waterfront. Lost, no doubt, in thoughts about how lovely it would be to end (and begin) each day just there.

Ovation is quickly positioning itself as the premier residential tower in the Tampa Bay area.

Salvador Dali “Rocks” St Petersburg

The day began at the site of the future $35 million Salvador Museum, as the construction half-way point was commemorated with the dedication of the building’s cornerstone.  Now, this wasn’t just any old boulder from down the street… it was a gift from Dali’s home town of Cadaques, Spain. 

Hank Hines Welcomes Guests to "Rock The Dali"
Hank Hine Welcomes Guests to "Rock The Dali"

Museum director Hank Hine masterfully conducted the ceremony mixing in some Castilian Spanish with his insights, accolades and introductions.  Joining Hank at the podium were our own St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, Cadaques Mayor, Joan Borrell and Maria del Valle, the director of the Centro Cultural Espanol in Miami. 

“Cadeques wanted to recognize Dali as their favorite son, and they wanted to give us this rock to symbolize his personality, his imagination,” said Hank Hine.  Much of Dali’s imagery was inspired by the landscape of the area, particularly the wind-swept rocks. Hine went on to say that the rock “looks as though it came right out of a Dali painting.”

Dali Rock
Mayors Baker & Borrell Unveil Rock From Cadeques, Spain

Dali wrote, Cap de Creus…the epic spot where the mountains of the Pyrenees come down to the sea, in a grandiose geological delirium, there, no more olive trees or vines. Only the elementary and planetary violence of the most diverse and paradoxically assembled rocks…these rocks which were so greatly to influence me. 

We were at once directed to look to the sky where a crane began lowering the rock from the roof of the unfinished building, gingerly placing it on the ground where the two Mayors lifted the tarp and presented the new building’s cornerstone.

LATER that afternoon, Dali Trustees and Donors, 3 St Petersburg Mayors, VIPs and JMC Communities’ team members gathered at the new Ovation condominium’s club room for a reception honoring Cadaques Mayor Borrell.  Classical Spanish music filled the air as 150+ guests enjoyed delicacies provided by Olympia Catering, and marveled at Ovation’s quality and beauty while overlooking the swimming pool gardens and St Petersburg’s waterfront.

As the evening progressed, some guests wandered outside to admire the pool’s “water curtain” and the evening sky.  Others, went to the 18th floor where they stepped out of the elevator directly into a magnificently designed and decorated 3,660 square foot model home.

After a late dinner, Mayor Borrell returned to Ovation where he and his entourage had been staying (Betsy Godfrey’s designer model) during their visit to St Petersburg.

It was a perfect day… all in all, Surreally Nice!!