New Construction Builder Options
Builder Options are the first thing you get to think about after deciding on a home. Most builders deliver their homes rather plain unless you add options to customize your home. Builders have Option Cut-Off Dates that you must adhere to if you choose to do modifications from their standard home. Pay attention to these dates and have your options chosen well in advance.
Options are one of the things that you may not get your money back, dollar for dollar when you sell your home. This is because your home will always be compared to another home with the same floorplan, and not necessarily ones that were upgraded on the same type of lot. Consequently, when you choose to buy an option or upgraded feature, buy them for your enjoyment, knowing that’s where the value lies.
Our Experience: Clients spend 5% -20% of the sales price on options, upgrades, and flooring depending on the builder and price point. Keep this in mind as you look at new construction homes. New houses do not come with backyard landscaping. However, some townhouses and patio homes will.
Lot Premiums are for lots that are not “standard.” Examples of lots that have a premium-
- View lots
- Larger lots
- Corner lots-larger side yard and no neighbor on one side
- Lots that back to a walking trail or greenbelt
- Proximity to a park or community amenities
- On a golf course
- Cul-de-sac- a larger lot, fewer neighbors, possible RV parking
- Higher or lower elevations or more privacy
These are builder options that you must add before the builder breaks ground. These include changes in a floor-plan, removing or adding interior walls, closets, and doors.
Examples of structural options would be adding a bathroom sink or changing a bathtub to a shower. This is the time for removal or addition of exterior built-in patios, doors and windows. It is the time to add any additional energy-saving features. This is also the time to make handicap alterations and plumbing changes. Rule of thumb- if under the house access and footings are affected, do it now, because we build with cement slab foundations.
Every builder allows different changes, so remember that what I say may not be what your builder offers or how your builder does these options. Construction Options add or change things when you don’t want the standard features given. Most builders have a design center, and you make an appointment to meet with a decorator. Some builders have you go to the design center twice and some only once. Important construction options to consider are things like additional cabinets, wiring of electrical plugs, light switches, and TV outlets.
A great example of what you may choose is stair rails. Usually, a half wall of drywall is standard with a flat wooden handrail. If you want wrought iron, nicer wood rails, glass accents in the wall, or something different, changing it later would be a mess and expensive. French doors instead of a sliding glass door is an example of another choice.
At the Builder’s Design Center, you’ll go through everything optionable with a designer. Besides choosing some structural build options, you will also choose everything from cabinet color and cabinet door style to counter surface,
light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and appliances. Know that this a place where you’ll spend money. These options are added to the cost of the home and can be financed. The builder will want a deposit, usually some percentage from 10-50% of the options total.
A garage door opener may cost more than one you can buy at Home Depot or Lowes. Your garage door is warrantied if you use the design center and voided if you don’t. Water Systems, same thing. My brother added an aftermarket garage door opener, had a friend help install it and a $300 door panel was crinkled when testing it the first time. The garage door warranty wasn’t honored because they didn’t install both opener and door. Some things are just worth paying for…
Fact– Most new homes come with basic flooring. Expect to upgrade the carpet pad at the very minimum. An upgraded carpet is nicer and lasts longer. Hopefully, your builder will include tile in “wet areas and entry.” Lenders require flooring in a home to close so unless you’re paying cash for your home, you need to have some kind of flooring installed. If paying cash and you want to install your own flooring after closing, some builders allow this. Ask for a bare floor closing credit.
My Opinion- about choosing all this stuff? Have fun with it. Ask your decorator friends and family to vote when you’re unsure. Please try to make the whole process a happy memory about creating your home.
This blog is written by Terri Grosse. Terri has been selling Las Vegas Real Estate since 1993 and together with her husband and partner, Kurt Grosse, they are top-producers in the Las Vegas Real Estate Market. Kurt is a retired building engineer and called “The Protector” by his wife and past clients. Kurt monitors the construction of your new construction home as it’s being built for their clients. With how quickly homes are built in Las Vegas, his services are invaluable.
See our blogs on New Construction Homes, New Construction Monitoring, and New Construction Inspections. These blogs link to New Construction Home Searches or find one on the menu. Results are time-consuming so please let us know if we can do this for you. Feel free to call us for more information an appointment at 702-750-7599.