Are Tract Houses The Right Option For Todayís Florida Real Estate Buyer?

By: G Beaty

If you have been in the market for Florida real estate, then you have seen them. Tract houses, also known as Cookie Cutter houses, are known for their matching exterior faÁade, identical interior features and no deviation from the original design whatsoever. They are alike in every way. In many cases, these tract homes are built using low quality, cheap materials as well.

Subdivisions filled with these houses have popped up all over Florida, but are these tract homes the best option for todayís Florida real estate buyer?

Donít you want a home that is built to last?

What if you could have a beautiful, customized home that is built above code and using only the highest quality materials?

What if your Florida home was built using 3000 psi concrete that is reinforced with both fiber and steel mesh to build your foundation and driveway? How about walls that are built using solid poured concrete, reinforced with three times the steel of a concrete block home?

Worried about hurricanes? What if you could have a Florida home that is built to withstand winds of at least 140 mph? Thatís a Category 4 Hurricane! Compare that to lower quality tract houses that are built of hollow concrete block, and will withstand a maximum of 110-120 mph winds.

Want more from your building material?

A solid concrete home is also quieter and more energy efficient. Concrete is resistant to rot and insect infestation. Solid concrete walls are water tight and resistant to fire.

Concrete is made using plentiful, renewable resources which means your Florida Home is stronger, more efficient, quieter and safer overall than a wood frame home, and itís more cost efficient to build. Talk about getting more for your money!

A strong roof makes for a safer Florida home

What if you could have a home that is topped with 5/8 inch, CDX plywood roof decking, 30 pound felt, and beautiful 30-year architectural shingles? And doesnít it sound like a better plan to secure that roof using 50% more hurricane truss straps than required by local building code? Of course it does. The more protection you home has in the event of a severe wind storm the better. The roof of a home is a key point of pressure in a wind storm, and a compromised roof leads to a compromised home. This is why building a stronger, better roof is so important.

Tract houses are not built with this philosophy in mind. Most of them are built using 7/16 inch OSB plywood (the cheapest material available), 15 pound felt, asphalt shingles and no extra hurricane truss straps.

What if you could choose the look of your home, inside and out?

Tract houses are often called ďcookie-cutterĒ homes because they all look exactly the same. Many tract house developers believe that offering the home buyer options is a waste of time and money.

But doesnít the Florida home buyer reserve high quality interior and exterior options to personalize their homes? Donít they deserve a choice of luxurious floor plans, each with upgraded interior and exterior packages that will give their home a unique look?

Does the Florida real estate buyer really want a home that looks exactly like every other home in the neighborhood? Wouldnít they be better served with an upgraded exterior package that includes a top-quality, exterior waterproofing paint system in their choice of colors? How about raised decorative stucco bands and decorative eyebrow windows in front, a four zone sprinkler system and St. Augustine sod? Arenít these better options for todayís Florida home buyer?

Tract houses builders often use the cheapest paint they can find, low cost, scratched-in stucco bands, plain square windows, cheaper Bahia sod and no sprinkler system. Do those sound like better features to you?

What if you could customize the interior of your home?

Donít you want a Florida home that is built with an upgraded interior package, tailored to your own personal style? This package could include upgraded, two-tone interior paint, a $1000 lighting package, plant-shelves, knock down ceilings and more pre-wired rooms for easy installation of cable, phone and ceiling fans. Soundís great, doesnít it?

Your kitchen could include granite counter tops, raised panel cabinets, a built in microwave with hood vent, garbage disposal, ceramic or porcelain tile in your choice of colors and styles and top quality appliances. Donít you want to have a kitchen that is beautiful, functional and raises the re-sale value of your home?

What about the bathrooms? Some people consider bathrooms to be one of the most important rooms in the home. Doesnít it make sense, then, to have a bathroom that is upgraded with wall mounted vanities, upgraded fixtures, and ceramic tile in bath and shower areas as well as on the floors? Your master bath could also include glass shower enclosure and a whirlpool tub.

You wonít find any of these features in a tract house.

Shouldnít your home builder go above and beyond?

Itís the little things that make a difference. Your Florida home could include insulated windows that tilt for easy cleaning, an automatic garage door opener, pull down stairs for attic access, a 50 gallon hot water heater, energy efficient heat pump and so much more! As a real estate buyer, donít you want a high quality, custom built home that far exceeds any tract house in strength, safety and quality features? Donít you deserve the very best?

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About the Author: G Beaty is a Florida homebuilder and Florida real estate broker for over 25 years: Florida real estate

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