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Buying from plan and display homes

January 12, 2020

Experienced salespeople say there are two keys to successful home buying from the plans and displays. Most importantly, deal with a professional new home builder – someone with a solid reputation and professional sales staff who will work closely with you throughout the buying process. Secondly, don’t rush. Take time to consider all aspects of your purchase and ask lots of questions – the more information you have, the easier it is to eliminate uncertainties.

  • Go through each builder’s information package to find out what plans and features are offered. Drawings and floor plans will help you to visualise the homes. A specification sheet will list the standard construction materials, electrical and plumbing fixtures, finishes and appliances in detail. Check who the manufacturers are and that their products come with a warranty.
  • Take a close look at the overall quality of display homes, from their design and construction to the finishing touches. While a display may be only one of many designs offered by the builder, it is your best indication of the quality you can expect.
  • As you go through the homes, keep in mind that there may be upgraded features or options and finishes, that show you the full range of what’s available, but may not be the standard options offered with that home. Upgrades and options are usually indicated with separate labels or signs or the specification will list the standard options. If in doubt, ask for clarification.
  • When you find a display that really interests you, ask the salesperson to explain in detail what the standard options are and what is an upgrade, room by room, inside and out. Look at the selection of finishes and other additional features, or ask for an appointment at the company’s colour consultant or suppliers’ showrooms.
  • When you find a plan or display you like, try to imagine living in it. How will it work for your family’s daily routine? Will the home be suitable for the activities you enjoy (e.g. entertaining, kids playing, gardening, adaptable to future needs such as running a home-based business or an expanding family? Would you need to modify the design and how?).
  • Room size can be difficult to judge, even in a display home. You need to consider how your furniture will fit into the home. A few inches can make a big difference when it comes to putting a table in the dining area or making sure that a window view isn’t blocked by large furniture. Know the dimensions of your furniture and bring a measuring tape so you can figure out quickly if a particular home has enough room, or place scaled models of your furniture on floor plans. Also consider the placement of windows and doors as well as movement patterns. Even a large space can present challenges to furnish.
  • You may have your choice of lots for your home. When looking at lots, consider the location of the home and the area immediately around it. Will you get the sun where and when you want it? What about privacy? Protection from outdoor noise? Capturing breezes near water or on sloping sites?

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