Builders set up models for two main reasons: to sell their production houses and to sell upgrades similar to those featured in the models. Builders usually receive significantly discounted prices from the designers and flooring vendors, and the prices are marked up for the buyers. After the community is sold, the builders sell the models as used houses and many of my buyers have saved quite a lot of money purchasing them. Here are some more of the advantages my clients have enjoyed.
1. No one can deny the thrill of moving into a professionally decorated home with upgraded flooring and built in custom cabinets and top of the line fixtures. All this luxury is available without having to spend the time, effort, aggravation, and frustrations in the process. All you have to do is bring your possessions and unpack.
2. You will be saving money on the options and upgrades that are in the models. You could not reproduce a production house with the same options and upgrades at the price of the Model.
3. Most settling in homes occurs in the first year after construction. The Model you purchase will be past that time frame and cosmetic cracks will have been taken care of and anything major will have been discovered.
4. Models usually have extra lighting to showcase the house and any problems involved will have been found and corrected.
5. Many Builders offer to sell the Model furniture. . If you love the decorating and need the furniture, consider purchasing it. The prices are usually more than reasonable. Keep in mind the furniture should be paid for separately from the home. If the furniture is included in the price of the home loan, you will be paying interest on that furniture as long as you have the loan, and your property taxes will be slightly higher since taxes are based on the sales price.
6. A huge advantage in purchasing a Model is that you avoid all the construction noise, debris, dust, and construction traffic. Many buyers testify that it was a huge relief when construction was finally completed.
7. You can usually meet your neighbors before you sign the purchase agreement. Ask more than one about their experience with the Builder. I have found whether they feel favorably or not, they are usually eager to share information, but be sure to ask more than one homeowner. This may be a good way to find neighbors with whom you share interests or even babysitters if you need one.
8. Landscaping can be both a huge cost and a huge headache. If you purchased a new production house, the landscape would probably only be in the front, very rarely in the back. That would mean moving into a house with nothing but dirt in the back yard and putting up with dust or mud for some time. Models are very attractively landscaped since it is part of the marketing to attract buyers. Often the yard will include fairly mature trees and pools and water falls or water fountains and patios with attractive furniture and built in bar-b-ques. Just move in and enjoy.
Tips to remember when making an offer on a Model
The Builder will more than likely set up the Model as an ‘as is’ purchase. Yes you can and should, negotiate anything you want. Always keep requests within reason, but, remember, “if you don’t ask, you don’t receive.” Another of my favorite is “if you don’t ask, it’s an automatic NO”.
Many Builders will professionally clean carpets, but I found some just planned to vacuum. ASK if your builder plans to have the carpets professionally cleaned and if not, write it in the contract as a contingency.
Most Builders will offer a one year warranty just as some resale (used) houses include. . Ask your Builder if the Model purchase includes a warranty and if not, ask for one as a contingency of the sale. This is a must.
At times Builders will want to close the sale on your home and lease back to finish sales. If you decide this is beneficial for you, be sure you state in writing that the condition of the house must be the same as when you closed escrow and the Builder is responsible to for any damage.
Many agree that Model homes have distinct advantages over other homes. Whatever you decide, I wish you well.
This is part of a series on Buying and Selling Homes. Also see “Beginning Steps to Purchasing a Home” and “Advantages of Buying a New Construction Home” both by Christin Kuper