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The sky's the limit when you select design features for your new home at the builder's design center. It's an exciting time. That said, most new home buyers don’t realize their costs are about to jump at least another 15%, the minute they step through that door.
Many new home builders will not allow you to have an appointment with their designers, until you’ve put the house under-contract and the ink is dry. You can certainly call the design center though, and speak to a designer over the phone. They should be happy to answer any basic questons that will help estimate your costs.
Everything at the design center is an option, and many choices can be expensive - some more than others. Here is a list of what selections you'll probably choose from when you visit the design center:
At first blush, you might not think that this list is much, at all. Each category though, has multiple choices that you'll have to select from. This process is how new home buyers can really explode their overall costs in their new home. Before you get too carried away at the design center, my advice is to request your earnest money deposit be fully refundable (at time of original contract), until you complete your initial consultation at the design center. New home buyers on a shoestring budget may not be able to afford the new house, after all the additional design costs are added in.
Here's a story that really reminds us of how we can get carried away at the design center. Recently, one of my new home clients and i were chatting with the builder's sales rep when another homebuyer walked into the sales office. This couple had just closed on their new home. The sales rep told us that they had spent a fortune at the design center, almost $300,000 over and above the base price of the house. For most homes that’s just plain foolish, because the homeowner will most likely never recover the cost of all those extras.
My advice when making design center selections is to walk-in knowing what your budget is. Have a firm idea of what you’ll want to spend in each category. Call days ahead if you need, and talk with a designer over the phone about getting an idea of the essentials and ballpark costs for your style home. If you follow this simple and effective strategy, you'll leave the design center richer, and happier.
If you know anyone who is planning to buy a new home soon, I'll be glad to help them make smart choices and guide them through the entire process of buying and building a new home. Call me and let's discuss your special needs!
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Copyright © 2012 Michael Dagner *Don’t Lose Your Shirt At The New Home Builder Design Center*
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For additional sources of information about new home builder design centers, visit the Denver Home Builders Association..
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