Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Building a Home in the Fort Lauderdale Area

Buying a lot and building your dream home may be the way to go. The cost of building will vary widely from $50.00 per square to $300.00 and up.
Basically lots in Florida as far as price goes will run as follows.
Most expensive
  • Open-water—Atlantic or Gulf
  • Open-water Inter-Coastal  or other Rivers-Lakes
  • Canal Homes with Open water views (Bay or Atlantic-Gulf)
  • Canal homes-Boat able and quick access to open-water
  • Dry Lots—price widely varies based on the community and area.
  • As to canal lots and how boat ability affects prices.
    If the depth of the canal and the width allows for a 50ft boat or sailboat-it will be more expensive than a lot on a canal that is shallow and usually not as wide. The bigger the boat, the more room needed to turn around.
  • *Access to open water is another factor that influences prices.
  • If you’re only minutes (half hour) to good fishing-diving, expect to pay more.
  • Also homes on shorter canals will generally have better water quality. In the Keys we call these swimming canals. The tides flush them out easier and the water is clear.
Per a MLS search in Sept 2005
Vacant lots-Location-Number available and starting price.
  • Ft Lauderdale, 90 starting at $24,900
  • Hollywood, 51, starting at $105,000
  • Pompano Beach, 27, starting at $29,555
Permit prices and restrictions will vary in each community. Generally the more environmentally sensitive the area is, the more restrictions there are in getting a permit. (Since the water is one of the main reason people want to be here, the state and the communities want to keep it that way.
  • Regarding pricing. The closer to the water and the deeper the boating,(boat draft-a 50 foot requires deeper water and wider canals than a flats boat) the higher the prices.
  • Another thing to do is find out what flood zone the property is in per FEMA maps and then talk to a local insurer on how that will affect your rates. Do this ahead of time.
  • #In all cases if you find a lot that you like, my suggestion is that you ask for a letter of build ability from the local zoning commission as a clause in your sales contract. Always-always, talk with the county yourself to get the update on the laws.
  • So, yes, you can build here and it’s done all the time, but make sure you ask all the necessary questions and if you can, get it in writing.
  • See the Biz directory for builders if that’s the way you want to go. If you want a new home contact a residential agent.
Ask the REALTOR that you pick to help find you a good builder that can respond. Another consideration is to buy a lot and build later (be careful here as building codes and laws can change due to density controls) I would first see how long it takes to get a building permit and then if you get one how long you can wait. In the Keys when you get a permit there is a limit of a couple years during which time you have to at least start the process (bring electric to the site-do a septic check etc)
Since all this varies widely make sure you get all the answers, Probably best to go the the permit department and have a discussion
  •     1) Single Family Homes
  •     2) Duplexes
  •     3) Townhouses
  •     4) Small Apartment buildings
  •     1) Warehouses
  •     2) Offices
  •     3) Stores
  •     4) Manufacturing Plants
  •     1) New Construction or Renovation
  •     1) Pools (Residential)
  •     2) Screen Enclosures
  •     3) Sheds
  •     4) Reroofs/Repairs*
  •     5) Fences *
  •     6) Window/Door Replacements*
  •     7) Air Conditioning installations or replacements
  •     8) Docks
  •     9) Lawn Sprinklers*
  •     10) Propane Gas Tank Systems
  •     11) Burglar Alarms*
  •     12) Decks
  •     13) Hot Water Heater installations or replacements *
  •     14) Low Voltage electric
SIGNS (Electric, neon or non-energized)
  •     1) Wall Signs
  •     2) Ground Signs
  •     3) Pole Signs
Florida Building Codes
Getting a permit
Zoning ordinances For Zoning Information, Contact the Broward County Community Code Compliance Division at 954-468-3434
The purpose of the Building Code is to protect the safety, health, and general welfare of the citizens through structural strength, stability, sanitation, adequate light and ventilation, and safety to life from hazards attributed to the built environment. This is accomplished through the implementation of building, plumbing, mechanical and electrical codes along with various state and local codes and standards
Information on Complaints Against Contractors:
Don't get nailed! Many citizens in Florida have fallen victim to dishonest, unlicensed or improperly licensed contractors. Florida Statute 489 requires all construction contractors to hold a valid contractor's license prior to engaging in contracting. Always require that a contractor show you a valid contracting license before you sign a contract. Some indications that a contractor may be unlicensed are: the contractor requests a large deposit or all of the money up front before any work has commenced, the contractor asks you to pull a "homeowner permit", the contractor pressures you to sign a contract "today or I can't give you this special price." To verify licensure of a contractor, you may call the State of Florida Dep't of Professional Regulation at 941 338-2373 or search their contractor licensing database. The City requires proof of licensure from contractors who pull permits for properties located in the City, so be sure to require that the contractor pull the permit in his name, not your name
So always play it safe and do it right. This will certainly help you in the Insurance area also---The extra structural costs for doing it better really pay off if a Storm hits and or you decide to sell
#The information above is based on my experience in the Florida keys, which is highly regulated due to environmental concerns. With regard to making any decisions, be sure to check with local and state permit and zoning authorities and a REALTOR and/or a Real Estate attorney
To find contractors, builders and other business vendors see the business directory for the area (Under real Estate section) or contact a local REALTOR for help.
*Regarding, building and building permits, be sure to check with the County and city building departments as the laws change.

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