Visiting a builder’s show home is a good way to learn more about what they have to offer. You can really get a feel for the quality of your potential home. Take the time to tour several homes to help you decide what you like, then base your decisions on what you see.
However, it’s important to be smart about touring show homes. Here are a few things you might not have known.
You’re Not Looking at the Base Model
As you walk into a show home, it’s important to note that what you’re seeing isn’t the most basic model. Builders are trying to show you the best of what they have to offer, which is why show homes tend to have upgrades. This doesn't mean everything in the home is fully upgraded, just that there are options throughout the house.
Don’t be afraid to ask about the cost of the home you’re touring and compare it with the base model of the home. As you get more serious about your purchase, you may even want a salesperson to walk through the home with you to answer questions about which elements are standard or upgraded.
You Can Take Your Time
Don’t feel pressured to rush through the homes. Take time to look in the cabinets and note the quality of materials used. Sit at the kitchen table or relax on the couch, imagining your life in this home. That’s how you’re going to know if it's the right house for you.
Another tip is to visit the homes at different times during the day. For example, when you tour a home in the afternoon, you’ll be able to see how natural light shines through in a welcoming way, but you’ll also want to tour in the evening to see how the lighting choices can change the ambiance. Buying a new home is a big decision, and you want to be sure to get all the details right.
It’s Not All About the House
You’ll probably see a lot of show homes you like. However, you need to remember there are other things that can affect your enjoyment of the home. You should also consider the lot size and placement, the community around it, and how the builder utilizes outdoor spaces.
For instance, if you’re hoping to live in a neighbourhood where everyone knows each other, you probably won’t be happy with a backyard that has a tall fence no matter how much you like the home. Choosing a corner lot or one that’s close to the playground can make it a lot easier for your children to play outside. These types of things aren’t obvious from a show home tour alone. This is why it's important to talk to the builder representative in the show home; they have the answers to these questions.
Floor Plans Are More Flexible Than You Think
Builders often have several floor plans for different types of homes. Seeing the sheer variety of plans might make you feel like you simply need to choose one of those plans. This isn’t necessarily the case, though. Many builders are able to work with you to make some modifications that will better suit your needs.
Another option here is to get the advice from the area manager. If you love the kitchen layout in the show home, but could take or leave the great room? They'll have a suggestion on another model with a similar kitchen plan or some options you have with the floor plan you're currently looking at. This doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing process!
No matter what you’re thinking about, it never hurts to talk to the builder to see if it’s a possibility. You might be surprised by the amount of changes that are possible.
You May Be Able to Purchase The Show Home
Building a new home requires some patience. It can take anywhere from 6 - 9 months for you to finally move into your new home if you're building from the ground up. You might also be worried about what the final product will actually look like, especially if you’re making some changes to the original design.
Those who wish to move into a new home ASAP or who take comfort in knowing exactly what they’re getting for their money will be happy to know that show homes are often for sale! And we promise to turn your garage area back to a real garage space; it won't be a sales office when you take possession.
Show homes help you imagine how your new home could look, but you need to go in with realistic expectations. Pay strict attention to the quality of the home. Be sure to ask the sales staff about the features you’re looking for, and use the model as a starting point as you begin building your dream home.