So, you have just purchased a new home or condo and the price is only $399,900??? Now what does that purchase price really include? Generally, for most new home and condo purchases that would include the builder’s “standard finishes”. If you made your buying decision after you toured the builder’s model home, you were most likely attracted to the high level of features and finishes – Many times these are all “up-grades”. Ouch! What you need to do is review the list of standard features included, walk through the model home, and determine what you would like to upgrade. Remember, everything comes with a price and this is where it starts to get tricky. Do you need every gadget, gizmo and upgrade available and are you willing to pay the price?
Like most new homebuyers, you are on a budget. You may have been approved by your bank for financing of the base price of your new home and if you are upgrading finishes, you will now need to include this with your total borrowed amount. This is where home buyers have to ask themselves – “What upgrades are good investments?” “Will I get a return on that investment for this upgrade when it comes time to sell?” “And, if I don’t do this upgrade now, but I want to have it in the future, what will the cost and hassle be then?”
Selecting the finishes for your new home can be one of the most pleasurable moments of buying but can also be overwhelming and expensive. So, what do the experts say about where to invest in up-graded finishes. The Gourmet Kitchen – Considered one of the most important rooms in a home, this is where you get the biggest bang for your buck! Up-graded cabinetry, with pot and pan drawers, granite countertops, backsplashes, valance lighting and appliances. Luxurious bathrooms – With deep soaker tubs, seamless glass showers, imported designer tiles, decorative sink bowls with up-graded taps. Flooring – There are so many choices of flooring from engineered hardwood, bamboo, to imported limestone and marbles. Of course this is only a sampling of what is available.
This all sounds amazing, but now its decision time. My recommendation is that you don’t go overboard with upgrades just because you have the extra money or can be approved to finance it. One reason some homes sit for a long period of time on the re-sale market is because the original buyers over upgraded and increased the cost of their home to a point where it is priced “Out of the Market”. Priced higher than similar homes of square footage in the area, these homeowners wonder why buyers are not interested in their well-appointed home and rather opt to purchase another home at $30,0000 – $50,000 less. Make Sense?
Another way to build extra value into your new home is to upgrade with your builder on structural items like the front elevation of your home or by modifying the layout of your kitchen or bathroom. These items are not easily done after the home has been completed and will add a unique quality. You can certainly replace the countertops to granite after you move in and maybe for less than the builder wants to charge. Then, every year for the next three to four years, invest small upgrades that make your home stay trendy and current such as lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, paint, and the exterior with a larger deck or patio areas, landscaping and more!
Buying a new home or condominium can be incredibly rewarding and satisfying when you can select the features and finishes to suite your personal taste and lifestyle keeping in mind the future re-sale of your home. So, do your homework and enjoy!