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Everything you need to know about building your own home in Orlando

Everything you need to know about building your own home in Orlando

Building your own home in Orlando is one of the most rewarding processes you can go through. Our guide will tell you everything you need to know about building your own vacation home here in Orlando Florida.

You have several options available to you when choosing to build a vacation home here in Orlando. First, you need to choose a community that is located within a short term rental zone. These counties Counties include Osceola County and Polk County. These communities are typically located south of Disney World.  Anything North of Disney and you are restricted by short term rental laws that forbid you to rent out your home on a short term basis.


Building a home in Orlando

Building a home in Orlando

Off-plan build in Orlando, commonly known as a spec build, short for speculative.

Spec build homes are the most commonly purchased properties in Orlando.  These are what you see when buying a residential home in pretty much any state or location within America.  Spec build homes are genuinely located within a master-planned community where the developer will design several similar floorplans.  Each with small variations such as the number of bedrooms, games rooms, or oversized pool.

Advantages of choosing a spec home build:

You can see it before you buy it

The main advantage of choosing a spec home is a simple fact that many people can not visualize the finished product.  Being able to walk a finished model floor plan is usually enough to make a new owner fall in love. You can get a true feel of the layout, understand the space, and actually picture yourself living there.

How long does it take to build your own home in Orlando?

You can get a brand new home in just a couple of months
Spec home builds are relatively easy to build. The developer has built many of these homes so the construction workers are typically very quick at building them.  In many cases, you can go from choosing your plan to moving in or renting your home within 6 months.

The cost for spec home builds

Spec homes are the most cost-effective way of owning a new home for both the builder and the buyers.   Purchasing materials in bulk and by offering the labor force almost guaranteed work for a period of time allows the developer to easily calculate how much each home will cost to construct. Knowing these figures and the time it will take to complete your home allows the developer to create very competitive pricing which typically leads to a greater discount to you the buyer.

Semi-custom spec builds

Most production builders will show you a base model with a base price, the finishes in this price may or may not be exactly what you are looking for so the builder will always be able to offer a semi-custom plan for you and finishes. The builder will give you a full range of upgrades that can be had as well as suggestions from what can or cannot be changed to the plan so the cost will go up significantly depending on what upgrades and changes are made.

Disadvantages of choosing a spec build:

Less choice

The developer and designer have done their best to give you everything you wished for all in one package however, everyone’s need is different. One of the biggest disadvantages of purchasing or building a move-in ready spec home is that you are pretty much stuck with what someone else thinks you want. From the way, the home’s exterior looks, to the wall finishes, flooring, landscaping, and more. Some people love the fact that it’s a move-in ready product, but if this is not you then designing a custom-built home is the only choice for you.

No individuality

Your home is going to look very similar to your neighbors, and to the one across the road, in fact, every house in your neighborhood is going to look very similar. This can sometimes be positive in rental communities as all homes are very similar meaning it’s very easy to remain competitive with rental rates.

Limited by competition regarding what rates you can charge

You can get a home rent ready from start to finish within 6 months and from here on out you can start to generate some serious income, the only issue you may face is because next door is very similar to your home, there will be a level at where your price will become uncompetitive.

Our top choice communities to own a spec build

Encore Resort at Reunion

One of the most popular communities in Kissimmee is Encore Resort at Reunion, located just 5.5 miles from Disney.  The resort features incredible onsite amenities including resort pool and water slides.  There are several amazing floorplans to choose from in Encore ranging from 4 bedroom – 12 bedroom spec built vacation homes. All homes come with a private pool and spa included in the rate.


St Croix Encore Resort Floor Plan

Homes for sale in Encore Resort at Reunion

Windsor Island Resort

Windsor Island Resort is a brand new development located opposite the already successful Windsor at Westside vacation rental resort and is being constructed by one of America’s leading builders Pulte Homes. You can own a home with layouts for 4 – 10 bedrooms. Owning a home here gives your guests full access to the onsite amenities and if that was not enough you are only 10 minutes away from Disney World and within easy access to everything Orlando has to offer – See Windsor Island Resort Homes here.

Windsor Island Resort spec home

Windsor Island Resort spec home

Custom Homes

If you have a good idea of what you would like in a house and cannot find this within a spec build community then designing and building a custom home is the only way to go.

Reunion Resort is one of the most popular resort communities where you are able to build a true custom home.  Choose your own lot with either a golf course or a woodland view and select your builder. Reunion is also a short term rental community meaning you can offer your complete home on the vacation rental market.

Reunion Resort Custom Homes

Reunion Resort Custom Homes

How do I go about building a custom home? Where do I start?

Luckily for you, this is where a good realtor comes into play, they know the in’s and outs of custom building and will hold your hand through the entire process, if you want to have a go of doing this yourself then here are the steps. If not speak with one of our experienced Reunion home advisors today.

Choose your lot

Before building a home in Orlando it is important to decide which way the home is positioned as this could affect future rental income.  South facing lots will give maximum sun exposure once the pool gets installed. Having a lot overlooking the green to watch the golfers or a tranquil spot not overlooked backing onto conservation is always ideal.

Lot sizes in Reunion are available in sizes of 35 feet, 55 feet and 80 feet x 140 feet.  Some lots are deeper than this known as oversized lots, Reunion allows the purchase of two side by side lots to build over both of them.  This means the widest house possible will be around 160 feet wide and this would be if you were to build a mega-mansion.

Now is the time to purchase your dream lot – Take a look at the available lots here or speak with a Reunion lot expert now.

Choosing your builder

Once you have your lot, it’s time to meet with some builders.  In Reunion Resort there are only a handful of preferred builders who are allowed to build in here.  We would recommend to you 2 or 3 depending on what type of home you were looking to build and in what location within Reunion Resort.

Let’s design your home

Unless you can picture your dream home then it’s always best to take a look at several homes and decide what you love and what you don’t like. Each builder has his or her own architect but feels free to use whomever you like. To keep the costing down we would recommend letting the builder’s architect do the work for you. Once you have the initial draft, study the plans, and change what you don’t like. Our team is also happy to offer our advice if you are looking to maximize rental revenue.

New build render

New build render

The build process

Once the land and designs are finalized, your builder will go to the HOA to get the plans approved.
Once the plans have been approved, they will mark out your land, dig the footings and pour the concrete slab. Construction of the main house will now start. The custom build process can take anywhere from 9 months to 18 months to complete.

During the construction period, you will be introduced to an interior designer.  The designer’s job is to help you choose finishings as well as prepare for furnishing the home once it has been completed. Again you can choose your own designer or let us recommend the best ones in the area.

Benefits of building a custom home


The main benefit of building a custom home is the choice and options it gives you.  This is your chance to design and build your dream home.  Some popular requests are 2 lane bowling alley’s, rooftop pools, and golf simulators.  (You can see one of our owners who actually did this here www.thetopvillas.com/reunion-resort-0).
You are free to choose every aspect of your build, from lot position to the size of your pool.

Higher rental rates

By building an amazing home that has unique features means that your home will stand out from the crowd.  Competition becomes less fierce meaning rental guests will pay a premium to stay here. For example building a home that has a 2 lane bowling alley, full-size basketball court, indoor crazy golf, lazy tag, huge pool, and lazy river or whatever you feel is unique then your home is going to be more popular than a home that simply has 10 bedrooms and a pool.

We hope this has given you some insight into the choices you have when deciding to own here in Orlando.  If the above seems overwhelming we can assure you it is not.  Our team is here to walk you through every step and offer you advice on every level or your build, furnishing, property management, and marketing.

Learn more about the best communities to live in Orlando

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