Visiting a display home can be a very exciting time of the home-building process. The houses are built to show you how good their craftsmanship is and what you can expect from the floor plan and design. The builder will take extra care when assembling this display version, but it will give you an accurate image of what you can expect if you hire them to build for you.
If you have never been to a display home visit, you are in for a treat. But, like everything else in the process, you need to be prepared before and during the visit. Follow the 10 tips to make the most out of your display home visit, and you should be prepared enough to decide whether to buy or not.
- Budget – You need to know your budget before setting up an appointment to visit the display house. If you do not have one set up already, do it before moving on to the next tip. You never want to see a home you cannot afford, and you never want to go over your budget just because you have fallen in love with the display.
- Needs – You will want to list all the requirements you and your family have. Make it into a checklist form you can use during your visit to the display model. These will be the minimum requirements that you will have. When you start your walk through the display model, you will want to have this checklist with you. Mark things off when you see them; ask the salesperson about it if you don’t see something on the list. You may have missed it, or it may not be present in the display but can be added to the actual house when it is built.
- Wants – This is the section of your list (checklist you made above) that details some of the things you would like to have. These are different from your needs because you can live without them. For example, having an extra bedroom and bathroom for visitors would be nice, but they would not be a deal-breaker if they could not be added to the design.
- Research – One of the most important things you can do before seeing a display model is to do some research. You need to look into the contractor’s background, and whether they are registered to build a home in the area, you want to build in. It would be pointless to get excited about a model home when it is not legally possible for them to build it where you want it.
- Your Land – You need to understand the land that you own. The house may not be designed to work for the area you want to build in. It is imperative to ensure that the design and foundation are compatible with where you are planning to place it. How the contractor builds the foundation will be a huge deciding factor on whether the house will work for you or not. If you live on a piece of land close to a body of water, you will want to make sure that steps can be taken to prevent water from flooding through the basement or crawlspace.
- Floor Plan – You need to focus on the floor plan of the display home, not on all the fancy decorations and additions. The builder will deck the display model out with all the new aspects you would expect from a new house. The point is to awe you into buying, which is why you need to concentrate on the floor plan to see if it will work for you and your family. You can worry about fancy things later. For now, put it all out of your mind and see if the design is functional.
- Inclusions – Once you have evaluated the floor plan, you can look at all the inclusions. Additions the builder has added to the display homes of your possible future home. You will want a list of inclusions that have been added that will cost you extra money. Check the items that you need, and cross off the others. Make sure that you stay within your budget when doing this. The fancy things are nice, but if they are not needed, you may want to opt to have them excluded from your build.
- Scheduling – When scheduling an appointment to see the display home, you will want to check with all the other family members, including your children, to see what a good time would be. You want to include every family member because they will have to live in the new home as well as you.
- Warranties – Find out if the builder offers a warranty on their work and materials. The house will shift and settle during the first three months or so. This is a common occurrence that many builders allow for. They should be willing to fix or replace anything that happens after the home settles. If they don’t, you will want to consider looking at other display homes in your area.
- Customer Service – One aspect of any business that should be a number one consideration is customer service. If a company does not have a way to get ahold of them, do you want to hand over a substantial amount of cash? Many companies today have a solid online presence, so you can check their website and see if they respond to questions within a reasonable time.
These 10 tips to maximise your display home visit can get you through the main aspects of the process. You need to understand that just because the home is set up the way it is in front of you, you cannot make any changes to it. The builder will not expect every person to want the same exact design, so they should listen to the things you will want to be changed.
If the builder refuses to make changes, you may want to know why. The bottom line is that if the builder wants your money, they will make whatever changes you want, as long as it is within reason. Now, finish your preparations and see the display home that could lead you to the home of your dreams.