Upgrades and Options

Old 12-22-04, 02:38 PM
Michael F.
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Upgrades and Options

It's good to see a forum for my questions!

Wife & I have selected a floorplan for a one-story home in Denton County just north of Dallas County (TX). We're doing some of the preliminaries such as getting the earnest money together and getting pre-qualified. We've been told by the builder that within a couple of weeks after putting our $5K down, we would sit down at their "design center" to hash out all the little details...everything from the wall paint, cabinets, etc., to options such as maybe a two-way fireplace for the master bed/bath.

The design plan we're studying indicates among several options are a covered back patio and a third full bath. I spoke with the builder's agent at the development and he has stated that the patio and extra full bath are actually "standard" for our chosen model. He said they are options for the same model being built elsewhere in the country, but standard here. Should I get that statement in writing?

Considering these options are really standard, we feel more free to consider upgrades and the other options. What add-ons do you recommend for us to look for at that point in the process as wife and I sit down with a designer? We've been given an extensive list of "standard" features that I'm sure would not have been standard for lesser-valued homes, but what in your opinion are "should not miss" items?

Thanx for your attention and Merry Christmas to all! :wmann3:
Old 12-22-04, 04:51 PM
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Small world. I'm a native of East Texas (Gladewater, near Longview), and I graduated from North Texas (back in the other "Ought One"...LOL). Been here in NC for many years though.
In any case, get EVERYTHING in writing BEFORE you sign the dotted line.
Kitchens and bathrooms are the place to get most of the extra features. Things like swimming pools are a drawback in most places (except CA and FL).
You're going to be living there for a while, so pick and choose what YOU would like to have.
I don't know about that see-through fireplace between a bedroom and bathroom, though. LOL
Good luck!
Old 01-05-05, 06:00 PM
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I would be cautious whenever a salesman moves his lips...

As Mike said. I would definitley want to see it all in writing before signing. I would want to see the floor plan, a description of the finishing details and the cost before signing.
Old 01-05-05, 06:18 PM
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Its all about been said here. Get it on paper. On upgrades Think where and what they are if it means a lot of rework later on do it now. Any thing that looks like it can be added on later dont do it now. Like Mike said in the kitchen good cabinets skip the good top now it can be done later. heat and AC go for a good one now not that you have to rawork it later.

My .02 cents

Old 01-09-05, 09:08 AM
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I was a superintendent for a high end construction company dealing in higher end homes. I would hate to see you have buyers remorse because you went with affordability now. If you have wants and desires it is far less expensive to purchase now rather than pay twice for an item. Once for an affordable product and then later for a more expensive one. The other thing to consider is that if you purchase now many of the items will be included in your mortage where as later they will be out of your own pocket.

Often when our homebuyers spent less upfront they would then argue and fight about how unhappy they were with their own choices and try to get the upgrades later because we should have known. We to had a design center with designers who worked for hours trying to get the buyers house exactly how they wanted it.

I always say list wants and needs and then prioritize to get the best value possible.

I hope this helps.

Brian Garrison
General Contractor/Professional Building Designer
Old 02-11-05, 06:49 PM
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Just built 5000 square foot home in Parker County, west of Fort Worth. Went way over budget on extras...

Hardwood floors upstairs and down
Doubled our allowance for kitchen appliances
Two way fireplace between master bedroom and bath
Two way fireplace between kitchen and living room
Fireplace in study
Tile - this one will bite you in the @#$%. 1X1 glass or iridescent mosaics are AWESOME but much higher than what your allowance will cover
Vessel sinks (you can buy them yourself on Ebay for a fraction of the price with an incredible assortment - much more than the local stores)

There is a great place in Dallas with slabs of every kind of granite, marble, and onyx imagineable.

Upgraded lighting where it means the most to you - for us we got cool pendant lights over the island.

I know a great lighting company in Fort Worth that really works to your budget...

Old 03-20-05, 12:53 PM
Michael F.
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Thanks to all for your suggestions and input. To summarize what has happened in the months since that first post, we suffered a bout of buyers' remorse. This is partly due to the fact the builder and the city were wrangling over an issue that prevented a building permit until it was settled--prolonging the wait period before breaking ground. We also realized that we may be overreaching in what would have been our first home purchase. Combine those two ingredients and you'll get a buyer who'll pull out when given the opportunity.

We're now looking at a smaller 20 yr-old home with many updates done to it which we can appreciate. Having dealt with design centers and levels of options to consider in that initial home, we like what we see with this second home.
Old 03-20-05, 03:53 PM
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Michael F.,

Good or bad experiences do help us in making better choices in life. Not always are the choices we make wise ones but choices we desire. May this venture prove worthwhile on your behalf.

Good Luck!

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