Building a new home? Pick your "upgrades" wisely.

You’re buying a new construction home. Congratulations! Once you’ve stopped drooling over the $250k+ in upgrades in the model home, it’s time to start designing your piece of the American dream! Before your first design appointment, tour a couple of homes in various stages of the construction process to get an idea what your home looks like without makeup on, ie. a $12,000 jumbo kitchen island or a $21,000 glass wall. In this article, we lay out “essential” upgrades, “nice-to-have-if-it’s-in-the-budget” upgrades, and “you’re-better-off-spending-your-money-on-fireworks” upgrades.

Your first design appointment involves making decisions on structural changes to your home. Structural changes are critical to nail because they are often hard (or impossible) to change.  Do not rush this part of the process. Here are some must have upgrades.

  1. If you have the choice between a bedroom or a den downstairs, opt for the bedroom. This makes your home more marketable when it’s time to sell.
  2. Add a side access door off your garage – It’s relatively inexpensive and super convenient.
  3. Let there be light! Don’t skimp on optional windows & doors. If you have the option to add a private door from the master to your new back patio, do it!
  4. You don’t need a Recreational Vehicle to have an RV gate. In fact, most HOA’s won’t even allow you to park on the side of your house, but adding this feature will add value to your home.
  5. Optional Plumbing. Be sure to have the home plumbed for a soft water loop, as well as a gas line out back for your future built-in gas BBQ!   

We could literally spend hours talking about “nice-to-have-if-it’s-in-the-budget” upgrades. Unfortunately having a “Go BIG or go home” mentality here could lead to painful revisions once you get the final bill.

  1. Roofline exterior power outlets. This option makes integrating exterior flood lights, Christmas lights, and security equipment seamless.
  2. A 20-foot sliding glass door – This option literally re-defines your living space by bringing the outdoors in! Yes, spending $7k-15k on a door seems excessive, but we live in Arizona. If you’re planning on staying in the home for 10+ years, seriously consider this option.
  3. The extended patio: Again, living in Arizona, we have the luxury of outdoor living for a solid 8 months a year. Covered or uncovered, this option won’t necessarily add much value, but should enhance your outdoor living space.

Keep an eye out for these builder upgrades that may add value to your new home, but will cost you a pretty penny and take years to recoup the cost!

  1. Kitchen backsplashes can be tempting, but they often cost 3-4 times more to have the builder install it. Save your money and have your backsplash installed after you move in. You’ll likely find more variety anyway.
  2. Upgraded appliance packages. Builders often market up appliances 200%+ over retail! Since building your new home will take time, be on the lookout for holiday appliance sales and you’ll save thousands!
  3. A decorative custom front door will leave a lasting first impression for your house guests. If you want to make a statement, contact a local custom door maker in your area. You won’t be sorry!

Buying a new home involves quite literally thousands of decisions.  We partner with our clients every step of the way to ensure we achieve the best results possible. If you have any questions about buying or selling real estate in the Phoenix metro area, contact us at 480.207.8872.