Six Unexpected Costs of Living in Babcock Ranch



Jane: Bob, as we’re thinking of buying in Hogsmeade, are there sneaky costs like a “Dragon Insurance Premium” in case of accidental dragon roars and minor castle damage?

Bob: We’d better start saving our pennies, Jane. Who knows what fantastical fee they’ll dream up next?!


Our Wizards Will Help You Avoid Unexpected Expenses When Buying New Construction in “The Ranch”


Team John Garuti has all you need to know about the cost of living in Babcock Ranch.

Some surprises are best left alone, and we want to make sure you are not caught off guard by a mythical fee from the depths of J.K. Rowling’s imagination when pursuing new construction in “The Ranch.”

  • Property Taxes? You’ll master them and learn how to pay less.
  • Closing Costs? You’ll get how to negotiate these the Babcock way.
  • Water Bills? You’ll get the lowdown to avoid the smackdown when moving into your new adobe.


Is the Babcock Dream a Bundle?


Living in Babcock Ranch is all about family and building a community. It’s built for you to have no reason to leave one of the most modern towns in the country.

Babcock Ranch has the largest solar installations in the southeastern United States, which supplies clean energy to its residents and businesses.

The community boasts an extensive network of hiking and biking trails, parks and lakes, promoting an active outdoor lifestyle. 

Its charming downtown area offers shops, restaurants and cultural spaces, fostering a strong sense of belonging.

As your realtors, it’s our purpose to be your trusted advisors and advocate for you. 

Whether you’re a buyer or seller, you’ll be working with a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent that will benefit your transaction.

So, if you’re considering a move to Babcock Ranch, let’s bring some hidden costs to light:


  1. Property Taxes:


  •  Babcock Ranch has what’s known as a CDD fee, attached to each home for 30 years.
  •  To estimate your property taxes, multiply your home price by 1.7%.
  • Apply for a homestead exemption if you’re moving to Florida full-time to save on property taxes.
  • Explore portability if you’re moving within Florida for potential tax reductions.


  1. Water Bill Shock:


  • Be prepared for potentially high initial water bills due to extensive sod watering by builders.
  • Adjust your irrigation settings based on the season to avoid unnecessary costs.


  1. Closing Costs:


  • Closing costs can vary based on the builder, incentives and financing options.
  • Resale homes may have lower closing costs, and you can negotiate with the seller.
  • Compare the offerings of builder’s lenders and outside lenders to secure the best deal.


  1. Commercial Lease Rates:


  • Babcock Ranch is a fantastic place to open a business, but be cautious of commercial lease rates.
  •  Rates for commercial spaces here can be surprisingly high compared to more established areas.
  • Consider hiring a real estate agent specializing in commercial leases to navigate this aspect.


  1. Grocery and Service Costs:


  • Be prepared for slightly higher grocery and service costs within Babcock Ranch.
  • This is partly due to the convenience of having everything just minutes away from your doorstep.
  • If you’re looking to save a few bucks, explore off-site options in nearby communities.


  1. Community Enhancement Fee:


  •  The Community Enhancement Fee is a unique cost you may not have heard of before.
  •  It’s like an “exit tax” of 0.25% of your home’s sale price when you eventually sell your Babcock Ranch home.
  • This fee is designed to enhance the community’s amenities and services further.


Contact Team John Garuti to Avoid These Sneaky Costs


You’re not moving to Hogsmeade, but we can keep you abreast of fantastical sneaky expenses!

Explore our YouTube channel for more insights into life in Babcock Ranch. We have extensive experience in the area, having sold over 200 homes, and can provide you with personalized guidance.

Whether you’re considering moving to Babcock Ranch or just curious about the costs associated with living in this thriving community, it is essential to learn about these fees.

Understanding these costs will help you make an informed decision about whether it’s the right place for you. 

If you have further questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us:



 Video Transcript


John Garuti III:

Hey, if you’re thinking about moving to Babcock Ranch, then you’re not going to want to miss this video, Six Unexpected Costs of Living in Babcock Ranch. Yes, we’re going to be showing you all those hidden costs and make sure you stay tuned to the very end because I know the last thing we’re going to talk about, I promise you have never heard of, so make sure and stay tuned as we unveil it all.

So the first unexpected cost you need to know about moving the Babcock Ranch are the property taxes. Now we have here what’s called a CDD fee, and this is a shocker for a lot of people moving from out of state because this goes with all, pretty much any new construction community you’re going to find in Florida. So the CDD fee is a bond that the developer takes out from the county to pay for all the infrastructure, the roads, utilities, et cetera. That bond actually gets attached per home site or per unit for 30 years. So our best equation for estimating what your property taxes are going to be, including the CDD fee, are take your home price and times that number by 1.7% and that should give you a pretty good estimate.

Now, here’s some tips on how you can get that property tax number reduced. Number one, if you’re moving to Florida full-time, definitely apply for your homestead exemption. That will definitely save you a few hundred dollars up to a thousand dollars, again, depending on the size of your property. And the second thing is very little known, and that’s called portability. So portability is a whole nother thing that I can’t really explain, but basically if you’re moving from inside of Florida from one place to another place in Florida, you may be eligible for a tax reduction based on the price of the home you used to live in and what you sold for. Again, it’s a very complicated equation, but definitely make sure if you’re moving from within the state of Florida, checkout portability.

So point number two of unexpected costs of moving to Babcock Ranch, and that’s a scary water bill. So I’ve heard this story over and over. People, they move in here and their first water bill is like $700. So let me explain exactly what’s going on. We’re in front of a new construction home right now, and when builders put the sod down, when they first lay that lawn, they’re going to water the sod about 45 minutes a day for that first month. Now they’re doing that for a good reason. They want your lawn to root very well and be strong, but what you need to understand is that once it roots, you don’t need to keep running that water. Now, the water coming into our properties, you’ve got two lines, one goes to the house and the second goes to the irrigation. Now, another thing people don’t like is that we are using reclaimed water. So people are like, “Why do we get charged for reclaimed water?” We do, but there is a great sustainability aspect of that.

But what I want to basically caution you all is as soon as you get in your home, you need to adjust your irrigation setting. So in the rainy season right now, like we are in middle summer, I would turn the irrigation system off right away before you even get into the home and before you switch over the water bill because you’re getting lots of rainwater right now in summer. Now in wintertime, you definitely need to irrigate the lawn because it does get dry in the dry season. And what I like to do is about every zone I run for about five minutes three times a week early in the morning, and I’ve found that is enough to keep the lawn nice and green. But make sure as soon as you get into the home you adjust that lawn setting because the water, this is the craziest utility bill that you’re going to get here in Babcock Ranch.


Chip Dopman:

All right, so this is part three of unexpected costs. So closing costs. Big deal. Everybody’s concerned about it. What are they going to be? The most important thing to know about closing costs out here at Babcock Ranch is that they can vary based on the builder. They also can vary whether you’re buying a resale or a new construction home. Let’s focus on builders for just a minute. All the builders have different closing costs associated for different reasons. For instance, communities, some communities have higher or lower closing costs. Sometimes it’s the time of the year, whether or not the builders offer incentives or not. Do they have inventory they’re trying to get rid of? Would they like to try to have you use their lender? There are a lot of ways that you can control these things.

The most important thing to know is to have us take a look at the closing costs for you. We can estimate that upfront. It’s important. When you go out and start looking for a home you want to know upfront, what’s the cost on this house? How much is it going to cost me to get into it? That includes your down payment, the type of financing you’re going to use, is there any kind of a lender credit toward those closing costs, things like that. So that’s the kind of thing that we can help you with to begin to try to take a little bit of that uneasiness out of the first part. Also, as I mentioned, focus on the fact that resales are sometimes less expensive for closing costs because you can negotiate the seller to pay some of those costs.

Finally, you’ve got lenders involved. Most of the builders here have their own lenders that they work with, so they’ll give you an incentive to use their lender. Sometimes that’s a great deal. Oftentimes it is. Sometimes you’ll find that you can get a better deal by using an outside lender. So it’s important to compare those closing costs. Again, we can help you with that. We have lenders that we work with, plus we’re very familiar with the builder’s lender. So we can help you put two packages together, compare them side to side, and see what your closing costs are going to be so that ultimately when you sign a contract, you know you’ve signed it for the best deal for you and the most affordable way to close that house.


John Garuti III:

Hey, we hope you’re enjoying this video. If you are, do us a favor, hit that like button, subscribe to our channel and hit that notification bell. Team John Garuti is always releasing new content on what it’s like to live right here in Babcock Ranch. And at any time, you can give us a call at our office, (941) 216-6494. Give us an email We’d love to hear from you. You can go to and schedule a video call with one of our team members to learn about the town. Make sure to check out our new website,, we’ve got an awesome blog about all different aspects of life here in the ranch, and we’ve also got some real time pricing, real costs of what it takes to buy a home in Babcock Ranch. So check it out.

So part number four of Unexpected Costs of Moving to Babcock Ranch. And this goes for all those aspiring business owners. Yes, Babcock Ranch is a great place to open up a business. Obviously this town is booming. There’s still so much more to come. But when I first heard about the leasing prices here in places like Crescent B Commons and the new center coming across the street, which is Shoppes at Yellow Pine, quite frankly, I was flabbergasted and it just blew my mind. Me personally, I have some retail spaces rented for some other businesses I own up in Sarasota, Venice and Bradenton, which are way more established areas than Babcock Ranch. And the rates I’m paying for commercial leases up there are literally about 20% to 30% less than what Babcock Ranch is offering. So yeah, it’s kind of mind-blowing. So if you are thinking about opening a business, yeah, it’s a great idea, but you definitely want to make sure you look into what these commercial lease rates are. And I would definitely recommend hiring a real estate agent that specializes in commercial leases. If you need an introduction, I actually have a good friend of mine that’s all she does is commercial leases. So just let us know if we can help you out there.


Chip Dopman:

Okay, this is part five of the Unexpected Costs of Living Out at Babcock Ranch. Sticker shock with groceries and some services. So I’ve got a couple of kids that are in college and when they come home, they’re here at Publix probably twice a day, and that’s not an exaggeration. I get shocked when I see the cost of the stuff that they’re buying up there, or even just simply comparing the cost of a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk. It is a little bit more expensive here at Babcock Ranch than it is just a few minutes off site. And that kind of goes back to what John was saying in that previous segment where the cost of commercial and retail leases are a little more expensive.

These retailers and supermarkets pass those costs on to us, the consumer, and we do pay a little bit more, but again, it’s a convenience. That stuff’s literally five minutes from our back door. You can get here by golf cart. Otherwise, if you really want to save a few bucks, you can stop off in Fort Myers or some of the other local communities. We’ve got grocery stores, hardware stores, home improvement places, just about anything you need offsite for a little less expensive. But again, Babcock Ranch is all about the convenience and everything you have here. You don’t need to leave Babcock Ranch.


John Garuti III:

All right, and the last and final Unexpected Cost of Living in Babcock Ranch, perhaps the most juiciest and the one you haven’t heard about, and it’s called the Community Enhancement Fee. So what’s this all about? Basically, one day after you buy your home, you’re going to sell that home, right? And the community enhancement fee is basically what I like to call an exit tax. When you sell that home one day down the road, even if you’re selling that home and moving to another home in Babcock Ranch, you’re going to have to pay 0.25% of the sale price back to the developer. And of course, that is to continue enhancing the community. We feel at Team John Garuti that it’s better about all aspects of life here in Babcock Ranch, the good, which we love living here. But hey, there’s also things some people might consider bad. We want to just share all that stuff with you, and we do that in every one of our videos.

So we hope you found good value in this video. Make sure to check out all these other great videos we have on our channel here, tons of content, and we would love the chance to work with you. Team John Garuti, we’ve sold over now 200 homes in Babcock Ranch. We are the number one team when it comes to new construction sales. So at any time, go to You can book a video call with one of the teams, get acquainted with us. If you’re ready to come into town and want to start looking at homes, go right to You’ll meet one of my team members right here at Founder Square, and we’ll start giving you a tailored tour around town. And of course, anytime, drop us a phone call (941) 216-6494. You can email us We are happy to help and we would love the opportunity to work with you, and we hope to call you neighbor one day.


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