Upgrading a New Construction House

One of the biggest benefits in purchasing a new construction home from a builder is having the opportunity to customize the home to your specific tastes. For some buyers this is a daunting task as there are typically many available options, colors, and designs to choose from. Things can get even more complex if a couple buying a home don’t have similiar tastes. Throw in a REALTOR&copy , interior designer, builder sales consultant, or other family members and the potential for confusion escalates. Here are a few key items that may alleviate some of the stress in making these purchase decisions.

Most production new home communities will allow you to select options relating to: architectural features, plumbing, doors & windows, electrical, and insulation. Often times these selections are made at the sales office and then a separate appointment will be made with an in-house or affiliated design center to choose the colorization items. Give ample time to each selection and most of the time taking home a list of available options is the best way to accomplish this goal. This way you can discuss each item without time pressure. Ranking the items in terms of their relative importance is another good idea to determine which items should be selected first when attempting to stay within a budget. To help pare down the list you might want to start first be eliminating all items that are definitely not within a budget or unimportant to your needs.

Another key ingredient in making your selections is to solicit advice and do research, particularly if there are upgrades that you aren’t familiar with. Your REALTOR&copy and family & friends can all be good sources of guidance. Also, don’t overlook the builder’s sales associate as a potential resource of guidance since they often are more intimately familar with upgrade the specifics of upgrade items. Keep in mind that some of these agents may have incentives/income tied to selling you upgrades, but many do not and will be honest with their functionality. There are many resources available online to research products or you can solicit the advice of local contractors as well.

Typically the most worthwhile upgrades in terms of cost effectiveness are structural upgrades such as patios, decks, and bay windows which may be difficult to recreate after the fact. Trying to add some of these features later may end up being more expensive and often these upgrades do contribute a larger percentage return on a home’s resale value. Builder costs can vary wildly so make sure the cost you’re paying for an item isn’t less than you could make the change for later. There is a caveat to this though and that is many people who say they will change items later themselves don’t end up doing so. There is some value to having the builder take care of it and not having to deal with the time it takes to remodel or coming up with the cash to perform the work.

Upgrading a home should be a fun and exciting process. Make sure you set a strict budget beforehand and utilize the resources available to you in order to end up with an excellent finished product.

Stephen Woodall
REALTOR, GRI @ Long Realty Company

Stephen has made real estate his full-time career and passion since 2008, primarily specializing in the Foothills & the Northwest Tucson areas of Oro Valley and Marana. He is a multi-million dollar producer, representing both sellers & buyers. Stephen has tremendous experience in new home sales, listing & selling primary residences, listing & selling vacant land, listing & selling luxury homes, investment properties, rentals, and real estate development parcels.


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