Model homes are a great way to see what your builder can do for you. But buyer beware: All builders are not created equally. While a model home might be beautifully decorated, you’ll need to look deeper if you really want to assess the builder’s quality and commitment to detail. Before you visit any model homes, make sure you have the process down:
Step One: Take a Ton of Pictures
Don’t worry, builders are used to it: Pictures help you recall details and make sure you remember which builder you liked best. Start by taking a shot of the home exterior, making sure to get a builder logo in the picture so you don’t forget which home was which. Then, take plenty of pics as you walk through.
Step Two: Check Out Finish Quality
Almost all model homes will be perfectly decorated, but look past those decorative touches to the actual finish work. How does the crown molding look? Do all the doors line up? How do you like the finish work and fixtures? This says a lot about a builder’s quality – not the color of paint on the walls.
Step Three: Ask What Comes Standard
You’ll have a Realtor nearby, so take advantage and ask about standard and upgraded options. Model homes are often build with top-of-the-line upgrades, so you’ll need to know which features cost extra to get a more realistic picture of what a basic home will look like.
Step Four: Consider Your Stuff
Sure, the model home is packed with amazing furniture – but it’s not yours. Before you swoon over that coral couch, consider the home with your furniture inside. Unless you plan on purchasing an entirely furnished home, you’ll be moving your things in.
Step Five: Check Out the Neighborhood
Considering a move to a new development? Check out the rest of the neighborhood before you’re done your model home tour. You might be able to see some of the finished homes and how they’ve turned out in “real life” before you make your final decision. Builders want to put their best feet forward, which is why model homes are more than they seem. Look past the amazing furnishing and you’ll be able to determine quality, upgrades and how much you’ll really get for your money.
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