Home Spec Mystery

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  #1  
Old 04-02-2011, 09:53 PM
stjames stjames is offline
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Default Home Spec Mystery

Hello All You Villagers and Villagers to be,

I am well acquainted with The Villages including its high energy level and its wonderful residents. In fact, I would like to build a new home there wtihin the next few months. I even have a deposit on a lot.

The MYSTERY is that neither the real estate agent nor management
will supply a "spec. sheet" for any house, though I have asked multiple times over several months.

Yes, they will tell you it will have low e-windows and a heat pump, but will not tell me the window manufacturer nor the make and SEER rating of the heat pump. They will say it will be concrete block and have a concrete slab but will not say if the concrete block is steel reinforced, nor the PSI of the concrete slab. They will say the interrior of the house will be done in drywall but will not even say whether there is an insulation barrier between the concrete block and the drywall on the inside. I don't know why the "specs" are a secret.

I've owned a number of homes including in a gated community and the builder offered all the "specs" without even being asked. Moreover, they would gladly answer any clarifying questions about any part of the building process.

Is there any homeowner out there in The Villages or a potential buyer of a new home in The Villages that was able to access "spec" information
about their home or home to be or have any comments about this MYSTERY?

Getting Worried about THE MYSTERY
Thanks very much for your comments
  #2  
Old 04-02-2011, 10:19 PM
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I purchased a new home, do not know anything about the specs, do know that I am very happy with our home...gn
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  #3  
Old 04-03-2011, 06:43 AM
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Probably the reason you can't get answers is that they are always looking for the best deals from their suppliers. Most all the AC units I have seen are Carrier, if that tells you anything. I have not seen any steel bars in the block walls, but I may have missed that. The walls go up so fast, you could miss it if you blink. They do put sheets of styrofoam insulation on the inside of the block walls and then put on the sheet rock. We've been in our house for just over 3 months so far and are very pleased with the quality. Anything you can do to your house to add storage space will come in very handy.
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  #4  
Old 04-03-2011, 07:38 AM
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Normally, the slabs are 3,000- 3,500 lb, either 8x8 steel mesh reinforced, or fibercrete. Both have a vapor barrier, and the soil underneath is compacted to at least 92 or 93%, and poisoned for termites no more than 24 hours before the pour. The block walls have a concrete filled cell every 8 feet, with rebar tied to a dowel in the slab, and a minimum 12" hook into the poured beam at the top. The inside surface has furring strips every 16", with r-11 styrofoam between. This is mostly according to the SBCCI building code adopted in the early 90's by all the Florida counties. Hope this helps.
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2011, 07:45 AM
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stjames,
I can understand your feelings. I designed and built my own home, and totally need to know everything. SEER rating on your heat pump is huge, I would need to know that and be able to decide what SEER I want and am willing to pay for. Same with windows....what energy rating, etc.
I am not saying anything negative. I'm sure that 95% of folks do not want to know or care....just build my house....but I could never be that way.
If I'm buying it and paying for it, I want to make some decisions. I see no problem with them saying, "Normal is 15 SEER. Add $400 for 19 SEER. Etc,etc...... Then you decide.

As the famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Roh said, "God is in the details".

Good luck on your new adventure!

Frank
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2011, 10:38 AM
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Here's your windows. I replaced the windows on my house in South Florida 5 years ago. Same brand. I was happy to see these used at The Villages.


http://cws.cc/
  #7  
Old 04-03-2011, 12:43 PM
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It's interesting if you Google "spec home", you will get two different answers. One is what I thought it would be, a home built to a predetermined specification. But the other definition is a house built on a speculative basis, with no order on the books. I would want to see the specification on something I was paying $200K for, and I'm surprised to hear that the developer isn't providing that info. I'll send an email to my assigned sales person tomorrow and see how he answers the question.
  #8  
Old 04-03-2011, 01:01 PM
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collie - In my little world, the definition of a 'spec home' has always been the latter of what you stated: A house built on speculation, hoping to find a buyer at some point after construction begins.

Bill
  #9  
Old 04-03-2011, 02:35 PM
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Since the developer/builder does not allow choices on heat pumps or windows, you get what you get. After you move in you can make a decision to keep what was installed or replace it with something better. You can bet the material installed will not be top of the line but of reasonable quality since the developer does not want to deal with complaints later.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:01 PM
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I understand that the developer needs to maintain his profit margin using the economies of volume buying the same models, etc, but I would think a buyer could have a bit more latitude....

But as said before, 95% of folks are not that picky. I am in that 5%.

The sad thing is, many things are just not feasible to upgrade later. One is not going to just throw away a houseful of windows and pay the labor and material cost to upgrade to better ones, or an A/C unit, etc.....

OTOH, I'm sure the homes are quite nice. At least everyone knows how the whole thing works before committing....

Frank
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  #11  
Old 04-03-2011, 03:06 PM
Bogie Shooter Bogie Shooter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faithfulfrank View Post
I understand that the developer needs to maintain his profit margin using the economies of volume buying the same models, etc, but I would think a buyer could have a bit more latitude....

But as said before, 95% of folks are not that picky. I am in that 5%.

The sad thing is, many things are just not feasible to upgrade later. One is not going to just throw away a houseful of windows and pay the labor and material cost to upgrade to better ones, or an A/C unit, etc.....

OTOH, I'm sure the homes are quite nice. At least everyone knows how the whole thing works before committing....

Frank
Did you have all those choices when you built at Plantation?
  #12  
Old 04-03-2011, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogie Shooter View Post
Did you have all those choices when you built at Plantation?
Dear Bogie,

Actually, no, as I bought a pre-existing 15 year old home there. I bought knowing the materials, etc in the house, were "as is". The Plantation just became "built-out", meaning that all lots were sold and building started or finished in the development just when we bought, so building a new house there was not an option.

Again, I do not mean to offend at all. I think The Villages is a wonderful place..very unique, and I understand why many would love it there and buy and build there.

I bought a 15 year old home knowing I would be doing upgrades......many of which I have already done. Being a 15 year old home I did not have a problem with upgrading.......I knew that in doing so I could get what I wanted and that most of those upgrades were justifiable if only because of age. Many things, like roofs, A/C units, etc are at 15 years close to their expected "end of useful life" and thus a justifiable expense.

I do not know when the developers of The Plantation were building how many choices the buyers were given. For me there it was a moot point. I'm guessing that the build quality of my 15 year old Plantation home was NOT as good of a quality as you have currently in The Villages. It sounds from at least what I read here most folks are very happy with your build quality.....they just wish they had a bit more of a choice in some things.

The other factor here is that I love remodeling, and do everything myself. I designed and built my own home here in NY, and will be selling it soon to become a full time Floridian. For me, I'd rather buy a home that has not been upgraded, so I can do the work myself. Only then will I know it is done to my standards, my way, etc. I realize I'm in the minority.

Again, there seems to be a lot of happy folks there, so they must be doing something right.

Enjoy the weekend.....we still have some snow up here. I can't wait to return down there....we'll be there by this Thursday.

Respectfully, Frank
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  #13  
Old 04-03-2011, 03:49 PM
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We have built several homes in our lifetime. The last, 20 years ago was a custom home. I think I have some pictures on here of both of them in albums on here.

However, I am pleased with the Camellia we bought in TV and the Seabrook which I hope will be the next home there.

It is not the process that any of us are used too, but it is not a bad process or a bad home at all. The cost to heat and cool is much lower than our custom home built 20 years ago, comparitively.

They KNOW better what they are doing than any builder I have ever dealt with.

Last edited by graciegirl; 04-04-2011 at 07:36 AM.
  #14  
Old 04-03-2011, 04:56 PM
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[QUOTE=faithfulfrank;343678]I understand that the developer needs to maintain his profit margin using the economies of volume buying the same models, etc, but I would think a buyer could have a bit more latitude....

But as said before, 95% of folks are not that picky. I am in that 5%.

The sad thing is, many things are just not feasible to upgrade later. One is not going to just throw away a houseful of windows and pay the labor and material cost to upgrade to better ones, or an A/C unit, etc.....



As a supplier of building materials to contractors , I do understand your point. My only question is why do you need this before the building process?

The builder can and will change vendors over time. By the time you actually begin construction on your home, the brand he told you in the beginning may have changed due to a number of reasons. If this happens he then has broken a verbal contract with you. As long as he meets the codes and the quality of products stated in your contract there should be no issue.

Obviously after the products have arrived you can see what they are and research them yourself. If they do not meet what is stated in your contract, then you can dispute that with the builder.

The reason I point this out is that people can a do want to micromanage their home building and then slow down the process causing the builder time and money. THEN they come back and want to know why their home is taking so long to build.
  #15  
Old 04-03-2011, 06:23 PM
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Default So no custom homes in the villages

As I understand it from you all. All homes in the villages are track homes little or no customization and the builder does not build custom homes were you can choose the appliances, funace, air, cabinets, etc. Not even the primier. Do I have this correct?

So if you want real custom you need to buy a preowned older home were the furnace air etc are ready to be replaced and get permission to alter as you like or buy in the historic (previous mobile home area of double wides) and tear down the trailer and build a custom. Have I got this right?
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