Buying a new home is not only the single largest financial transaction most people will make in their lifetime, but it is a complex process.
It can be especially intimidating and confusing for first time homebuyers. Recognizing these facts, Buyers Home Store takes a different approach to the housing market, according to Reed Williams, president.
"We are a full service real estate agency, but we specialize in new homes," Williams said. "We focus on the benefits of buying a new home."
Most people do not know what all of their options are when it comes to buying a new home, which is why Buyers Home Store focuses so much on education, according to Williams; so Buyers Home Store conducts Saturday biweekly home buying 101 seminars at its office in Lutz.
"The way we go about it is to educate the buyers and give them the information so they can make an educated decision," Williams said. "I think that is what is lacking in the marketplace today. Our concept is not new by any stretch. I just think we execute it better than the average real estate agency because of the preferred builders we have and our knowledge and information in regard to new homes versus re-sales.
"We really feel that education is the key for homebuyers, especially in today's market. We spend a lot of time doing the seminars to show what buyers can get in a new home versus a resale home. People hear so much about short sales and foreclosures that they automatically think those are the best deals. Most of the time they really aren't the best deals.
"We take the time to show them what a new home will cost per month and what a resale will cost per month. Often the difference in monthly payments is only $20 to $30 more for the new home. Sometimes homeowners insurance on a new home costs half of what it does on a resale."
Although Buyers Home Store is a small agency, Williams said that he and his agents collectively have more than 75 years of experience in the real estate business.
"We know the process of buying new homes and how it can be a better value than purchasing a resale," he explained.
Williams said the mission was to create an agency with only the best real estate professionals the industry has to offer, coupled with the use of innovative, cutting-edge technology to better accommodate the way today's buyer shops for a home.
Sales consultants at the Buyers Home Store will sit down with buyers to learn their wants and needs, then research the available homes in the area that meet that criteria. Homebuyers can review the homes that meet their criteria on the agency's high-tech monitors and choose the homes that most appeal to them. It saves a lot of valuable time compared to the old-fashioned method of driving around for days to look at homes.
While 85 percent of its transactions are for new homes, Williams said that Buyers Home Store does work with buyers who are looking for re-sales, especially in areas such as South Tampa or the beaches where new home construction is rare.
Williams says that the experience of his agents in the new home market, as well as the diversity of his agents, is the main thing that sets Buyers Home Store apart from other agencies.
"The diversity of our agents is key because there are so many different cultures in the marketplace today, and you have to appeal to all of those different buyers," Williams continues. "People have a comfort level in doing business with people who are like them. I have been in this business for 25 years and do not believe that a lot of real estate companies are as diverse as they should be."
One thing that Williams said surprises first time homebuyers is when they learn they can purchase a home for less than their current monthly rent.
"Tampa is one of the few cities in the country where home ownership is cheaper than renting," Williams explained. "I just had a couple who closed on a new home. They had been living in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Wesley Chapel and were paying $1,077 per month in rent. They bought a new home through USDA financing with no down payment. They gave a $1,000 deposit and at closing, they got $977 back, so they got into a new home for $23. Their total monthly payment, including taxes and insurance, is $1,068. The apartment was 1,100 square feet and their new home is 1,590 square feet. The builder paid $9,000 in closing costs. You never get that in a foreclosure or short sale."
For information, visit www.buyershomestore.com, or call (813) 235-4951.