Builder Takes Bold Step To Kickstart Stalled Central Florida Vacation Homes Market

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In a bold move to attract buyers for their new vacation home development at Citrus Gardens in the face of the recent dramatic market downturn, Central Florida home builder Platinum Properties announced unprecedented incentives plus a leaseback program.

This year's stalled property market in Central Florida is starting to bring out some generous incentive deals from builders who already have plans for new home communities on the drawing board, and who now need to find buyers for them quickly before construction gets under way.

Platinum Properties, developer of upscale Citrus Gardens in Orlando, made the first move at the weekend, but it is likely that other builders will follow their lead very soon. Several ambitious plans for new vacation home communities that were put on the drawing board during the frantic seller's market of the last two years are now at risk as buyers shy away from the area.

Denis Le Marchant-Smith, broker/owner of Orlando real estate brokerage Hightower Realty, announced this week that his company is for a limited time offering big cashback rebates to their clients who are looking for new homes. Taken together with builder incentives, these additional cashbacks may just tempt some buyers back into the market.

For example, a buyer who purchases on Platinum Property's new development at Citrus Gardens in Orlando, Florida, can get $15,000 back at closing. This is in addition to the incentives offered by the builders.

Details of new incentives were announced by the developer of Citrus Gardens at the weekend. Platinum Properties are hoping to kick-start the vacation home market by taking contracts for high specification 6 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom homes at prices that would until recently only have bought a basic 4 bedroom home.

Designed by the Evans Group, already noted for their work in and around Orlando on such prestigious locations as Reunion, Harmony and Independence, the new 2800+ square feet homes will start at under $450,000. The homes will incorporate high end features including a slate tile roof, a large screened pool, all appliances, ceramic tile in all wet areas and much more. Every home will be fully equipped for vacation or rental use with a free executive furniture package.

The Hightower Realty cashback offer reduces the effective cost of the 6 bedroom Kensington model to around $435,000, cheaper than all but a handful of the 6 bed re-sale homes currently available in the area. There are even additional incentives for buyers who use in-house financing, including spas and floor tile upgrades.

An earlier incentive announced for this community is a one-year leaseback program. The community will be centrally managed, with the Home Owners Association working in conjunction with the on-site property management team. For the first year the management team are offering a full lease back of each unit, paying all the new owner's bills, including mortgage payments, utilities, management, home, pool and lawn maintenance, and even HOA fees.

When the property closes the management team will set up the utilities, organize the lawn care services, pool cleaning, and house keeping. The management team will be responsible for the home for a minimum of 12 months. After 12 months the home owner has the option to extend the contract with the management team on request.

Homes are expected to be completed during the second half of 2006. Prices, lot premiums, a site plan, a location map, floor plans and more are available on Hightower Realty's Citrus Gardens Orlando website.

Hightower Realty

Based in Kissimmee, Florida, Hightower Realty is a broker-owned real estate company specializing in Orlando area residential and vacation homes. The company website offers full Orlando MLS search facilities for Central Florida homes for sale.


Denis Le Marchant-Smith


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