Buying a new construction home is a decision of a lifetime. Once you sign on the dotted line the decision process is over, right? Well, not so fast. In reality it’s just beginning. For many, the appeal of buying a new construction home is the opportunity to customize it to reflect their own personal taste and lifestyle. One way to do this is through builder options and upgrades. So, what are those? Upgrades and options are any finishes or additions that are not listed as a “standard” by your builder on the contract. Simply stated upgrades cost more.
There’s no denying there are plenty of builder options and upgrades. Inside, there are flooring, cabinetry, lighting, door placements, and appliances to consider, naming a few. The exterior of your new home is just as important. Most likely you’ll have to decide on surfaces like stone, stucco and brick, front door options, and lighting too. For first-time homebuyers knowing what to do when the time comes can be mind-boggling and exhausting. After all, there are a lot of choices to make. And as you begin the process you’ll find that there will be many more decisions down the road. At the end of the day it’s about knowing that you made the right decisions. Here’s how:
When to add structural changes and additions
It is best to communicate additions such as an extra garage, bedroom, sunroom, or fireplace to the builder before you sign the contract, or very shortly thereafter. Follow the same guidelines for structural changes. For example, if you need to add handicap accessible options or want to eliminate a Jack and Jill Bathroom it’s in your best interest and pocketbook to communicate those upfront and quickly. The longer you wait the more costly it will be to make changes once the building permit is issued.
Establish a budget for upgrades
Come up with a figure you can afford and don’t waiver. Upgrades—both interior and exterior—can be costly. Builder design centers are filled with lots of options that are meant to entice even the most cost-conscious buyers. Decide what’s important to you. If you want a gourmet kitchen with all bells and whistles then go for it. On the flip side know that you may have to compromise somewhere else such as keeping the builder’s standard cabinetry package in the secondary bathrooms. It really depends on the amount of money you are willing to invest and that it doesn’t extend beyond your means. Remember, if the bottom line starts to swell then it’s time to pull back.
Have a vision and do your research
Most likely you will have an idea of what you want your new home to look like. A few weeks before your first design center appointment check out big box home design stores and websites for flooring options, cabinetry styles, lighting options, appliances, etc. and their prices. Make a checklist and determine the styles, colors, and materials that you like, and those you dislike. Bring it with you. The design center team can help you coordinate the colors and materials to get the look you want. If you are still unsure you may want to hire an interior designer to go with you during the appointment. It will be an additional expense but can be worth it in the long run.
Select upgrades that add value
When considering upgrades make a list of those enhancements you can’t live without or at least those that will have the most impact and add value to your home. Experts agree that those upgrades worth the money include a top-notch kitchen, additional lighting and energy efficient products like heaters, windows, and plumbing. Other upgrades like carpet padding, additional storage, and a large garage are also recommended. In Texas additional storage and large garages go hand-in-hand. There never seems to be enough of either one. When it comes to resale adding one, or even two of these upgrades will definitely pay-off when and if the time comes to sell. Save the wants for later. For example, opt to take the builder’s standard lighting fixture package. In today’s marketplace there are a myriad of great lighting options with a variety of price points. You can replace the fixtures at a later date when money is less tight.
Look beyond the model home
Model homes are gorgeous. They are meant to be. Not only do they showcase everything the builder has to offer, the upgrades are top-of-the-line and the decorating is done by professionals. When touring builder models try to envision what the home will look like without upgrades like built-ins, plush carpeting, and wood flooring. A home with “standard” features can feel and look entirely different. It’s more important to check out the layout and the flow of the home. Does the placement of the guest bathroom make sense? Do you need all four bedrooms on the second floor? Or, would you rather have your master suite on the first floor? Do you need four bedrooms or five? How about pet-friendly flooring?
Consider resale value
If you are building your forever home then there’s no need to worry about resale value. However, life happens. Though you may not want to think about selling your dream home, it may be wise to err on the side of caution when choosing finishes that are this year’s newest trend. Time-honored materials in neutral finishes sell the best. You’ll also eliminate the need for expensive and unnecessary updating projects. Remember, the colors of the kitchen cabinets reflecting your favorite sport’s team may not appeal to everyone.
Visit Travisso today. We have a new home waiting just for you!
At Travisso whether you want to start from the ground-up or choose one of our available move-in ready homes we have the perfect fit for you and your family. Award-winning amenities, four premier builders, and a family-friendly community wait. Avoid the hustle and bustle of city life and put down roots where the living is easy and the views are spectacular. For more information call us at 512-243-8583.