New construction duplexes

9 Replies


I'm about to purchase a pre construction duplex in Florida. Ours not been started yet and I was hoping to lock peoples brains on what question to ask before diving in

I already have asked how long has the builder been in the business. What building code which is 2010 SBC. Warranty. Water and sewer sites dues. List of the spec Could I see one already completed. What other questions should I be asking.  

Thanks in advance for any feed back. 



Curious, why Florida and not in the Pacific Northwest? :)

What part of Florida? Is it part of a planned community? If so, what are the HOA fees and is it still developer run or turned over to the residents?

Some other items to consider are wind and flood insurance. Some neighborhoods are not insurable through private companies and you have to buy through the State Run Citizens Insurance (it could be double-triple the cost). Depending on your strategy (flip or buy/hold) this should factor into the price and ROI.

We built our primary residence with a national builder and some items to watch for:

  • Design/finish elements - their prices were marked up 100s of percents. Will you be required to use their finishes at their prices? The main offenders were cabinets and flooring.
  • Inspections - We were building local, so we were able to visit the jobsite every week. We found several instances of construction not to the plans or our design choices and just installed correctly. This is due to lack of supervision from the builder to their subcontractors. Will they have someone onsite to supervise the subcontractors? Will you be allowed an independent inspection before closing?

Good luck!

Hi @Andy Pillinger .

@Lindsay Diven brings up some great points. 

Additional questions:

Why pre-construction and not existing property? Have you compared the new construction numbers with a similar turn-key, rehabbed asset in the area?

Hello and thank you for your comments.


the property price is fixed and the builder has already made some identical ones they say they will show me anytime so i can compare once the property is built. i do intend to have the property inspected and fly down to view it myself before i sign. I have yet to finalize the contract. I have a contact in the ft myers area that can keep an eye on the build once in a while. I will look into HOA as i have only assumed there will be none and the property is not within a community. i know the sewer and water assessments have already been pre-paid.


"Some neighborhoods are not insurable through private companies and you have to buy through the State Run Citizens Insurance"

I have not heard of this but will certainly investigate. thank you for the heads up.

yes as you suspected the difference in price between a 10-15yr old property and new is around 25k which for me is quite bearable as i live out of state and intend to self manage for the first time. With 25% down the numbers looks good (to me!). Im not far off the 1% rule. Also insurance companies are beginning to really punish those with older houses according to a bigger pockets member who owns a sfr in the area.

I do not live there so cannot consider a rehab but would like to do one one day maybe as a JV

Once again thanks for your comments and advise..

@Andy Pillinger here's a tip for you. You can tag someone by writing the @ symbol and start typing the persons name. The link to the person will show up below the comment window. Click on it and you will create the link. That way they will be notified when you send a response. Hope this helps with future posts. Sorry I can't help with your Florida duplex. The only thing I know about Florida is Mickey Mouse lives there.

Andy a couple of thoughts. First forgive my ingnorance of the development ( I live in Fort Myers area) but are you sure this is a true duplex ( a rental) and not a zero lot line home constructed as a duplex? I seen this done in other areas of Florida. And the others are correct about the HOA costs can wreck a cashflow. Citizens is a crusher of an insurer. Check out the Proforma costs for the HOA , if there is one.

@Russ Goodman

Hi Russ, its not on a development and its about a 10,000 sq ft lot. There is an open lot either side followed by more duplexes. There are no HOA. I took a look at the lot in Feb and my realtor and management company will be visiting the site too and taking a look inside a similar property already complete a few blocks aways in the same neighborhood. Once the property is built, before i sign, i will fly down one more time and see it after a hopefully positive inspection report has been completed.

I did not know what zero lot line home meant but now i do so thanks for educating me on that.

@Julian Buick

PS Thanks Julian for the tip!

@Andy Pillinger ,

To Make the @ work do the following:

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Click on the name of the person that you want notified via an email that you responded to them.

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