What’s bigger and more affordable than a penthouse and allows a buyer to flex his creative muscle? The answer: a residence that combines multiple units in one.
The latest trend in preconstruction sales is popping up along the shores of Fort Lauderdale, where the real estate market is one of the strongest in South Florida. At Auberge Beach Residences & Spa Fort Lauderdale, we are seeing a steady uptick of buyers looking to make their residence unique and tailored to their lifestyle. The advantages are significant, now and for the future, and the possibilities are endless.
When to buy
When a buyer is looking to purchase multiple condos to combine, it’s much easier and more affordable to make changes to floorplans during the construction phase than waiting until a building is completed. Not only does it give a buyer a lot more room to work with, it also avoids the potential headache of dealing with a neighbor who may be unwilling to sell. Combining existing condos and renovating also comes with the added hassle, and cost, of pulling permits and engaging contractors. Design-wise, it may be difficult to create an appealing flow by tearing walls down and rebuilding; some things are better left as is.
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In the preconstruction/construction phase, almost anything is achievable and developers will work with buyers to ensure they are getting exactly what they want. Essentially, you are starting with a blank canvas to ensure the residence always has the look and feel that is was meant to have from the beginning. Once a contract is written, the architectural team will step in to work with the buyer. The process is relatively streamlined, yet detailed. Determining the final plan can take 30 to 60 days or more, yet it’s still far more expedited than combining existing residences.
Buyers in Fort Lauderdale are predominantly looking to down-size from larger single-family homes to smaller residences, both for the first-class amenities and to retire from the associated upkeep of homeownership. But while they are flocking to a smaller nest, they do want the ample space to which they are accustomed.
Penthouses are always the most expensive in the building as they are the largest and come with a certain cache. Yet not everyone has the penthouse budget and some don’t want to be high-in-the-sky. Combining residences enables buyers to create a space that is sometimes even larger than a penthouse but with a much lower price tag. And, for those who don’t want to take the elevator ride all the way to the top, they can find a larger home a little closer to the white, sandy beach.
At Auberge Beach Residences & Spa Fort Lauderdale, we have completed five combination residences ranging in size from 4,700 square feet to 5,300 square feet and are currently working on one that will be over 6,000 square feet.
Creating a unique layout can come with a future bonus. The real estate market in South Florida is competitive and buyers are always seeking something unique. If, for example, an owner decided they wanted to sell a standard-size residence in the future they would find their listing compared to many, many others on the market. On the flipside, if their residence is a customized floorplan, they would certainly stand apart with no competition. That said, there is a significant value associated with a custom floorplan when it comes time for resale as they often sell much faster and tend to demand a greater price point.
Size still matters
Today’s buyers are seeking larger units, and looking at resales on the MLS in Fort Lauderdale, we see that the average size of a resale three-bedroom unit is 2,521 square feet; there are no resales listed right now at four bedrooms and above. Today’s buyers are demanding much more space, especially for living and entertaining areas. At Auberge Beach Residences & Spa, our average three-bedroom residence is 2,800 square feet, and we have worked with multiple buyers to combine residences to increase their living space, some up to six bedrooms.
Throughout South Florida, we are seeing more people make their second home their primary residence and so they are seeking larger condos. With a favorable tax environment and optimal year-round weather, why wouldn’t they?
Wendy Marks Pine is director of sales at Auberge Beach Residences & Spa Fort Lauderdale.
Broker’s View is an editorial feature that appears in Business Monday of the Miami Herald. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the newspaper.
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