Sometimes, in the excitement of searching for a new custom Florida home, buyers stray towards a community that catches their eyes, rather than their sense of practicality.

That doesn’t mean we at ICI Homes don’t want you to have fun with the process. Certainly you should target communities whose look and feel resonate with you and your household.Buying or Building a New Home? Ask These Questions First

What we do mean is doing homework before you declare, “that’s the one.”

It won’t matter how awesome a certain community is if its maintenance and location don’t match its awesomeness.

So fall in love, get excited, then ask these important questions.

What’s my commute?

This matters A LOT if you or others in your family work elsewhere every day. Rush-hour snarls aren’t where you want to be, especially if other communities you canvased might’ve been more convenient to a workplace.

And it’s not only a work location that matters. Anywhere you go regularly — shopping, recreation, houses of worships, the gym — should be a palatable drive, door-to-door.

Where’s the grocery store?

This one matters even in today’s world of grocery delivery services. Fetching that forgotten gallon of milk shouldn’t require advance planning, or buying multiples of anything because it’s a pain to get the grocery store from your new Florida home.

It’s also helpful if gas stations, doctors’ offices, restaurants and other common services are equally convenient. And coffee houses — don’t forget drive-through caffeine.

How are the schools rated?

Even if you don’t have school-age children or yours are grown and gone.

Find out the school districts zoned for your prospective community and research their ratings. You want an A rating — just like your old report cards.

Those matter a great deal because top-rated schools increase your property values, especially if you think you might sell your home in the future.

Is there an HOA and how restrictive are its rules?

If you don’t want to pay monthly dues and annual assessments, then a community with an homeowners association might not be for you.

It’s also not for you if you don’t want to abide by HOA covenants. Those are meant to keep the community a pleasant, cohesive place to reside. But if you decide to paint your house purple and don’t want to ask permission, an HOA community might not be your best choice.

Will the surrounding area age well?

This is a difficult question if your prospective new community is in an area with a lot of new residential and commercial construction.

It’s not easy to imagine how much traffic there will be, or whether your kids’ schools might be rezoned because the district is building new ones to keep up with growth.

If your prospective community is in a more established area, consider whether property values will hold strong, and whether commercial corridors appear busy and viable for the long haul.

Ready to learn more about our new home communities? Talk to ICI Homes here. opens in a new window