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BUYING NEW: Know What’s Standard and What’s an Upgrade

When you start looking for new construction it is easy to be caught up in the style and finish out of the builders model. However, before you fall in love with the home it’s important to understand that for the builder the model home is their showroom. Therefore you will find that the model includes the majority of the builder upgrades. Sometimes it’s easy to spot the upgrade and sometimes it’s not. As an example, let’s say that the stove is a standard feature. The stove in the model is a gleaming stainless model that looks great with the stainless dishwasher and refrigerator. Then you realize that the standard appliance color is black….will you still love the kitchen with the standard appliances? You might assume that all garage doors include a garage door opener. Again, you can’t assume anything, for many builders the garage door opener is an upgrade.

The easiest way to make sure that you are understand exactly what is included is to ask for the standard features sheet and then ask lots of questions. Request that the builder’s representative walk through the house room by room and identify the upgrades, then refer to the feature sheet and understand what you can expect to find in your home. The “base price” quoted for the home includes only the standard features, not what you are seeing in the model. Don’t hesitate to ask lots of questions, it’s you money and you deserve to know exactly what you will get.

When it comes to upgrades be cautious. Builders love upgrades because they provide a huge profit margin. Finally, make upgrade decisions early as every change to the original contract effects your bottom line.

Terry Roberts, Broker/Owner
RE/MAX Landmark

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