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3 Questions to Ask Before Upgrading at Design Center

Home Stager with Home Decor Christy

Entering the design center when buying a new construction home can feel like being a kid in a candy store.

As you wander through the sleek displays and countless upgrade options, you may be dazzled by possibilities you hadn't even considered.

But beware, it's easy for your eyes to become bigger than your wallet.

That's why it's critical to ask a few pointed questions before accepting or declining each new option presented to you.

In this post, I will provide you with some questions you can ask to ensure that each option that you accept or decline is in the best interest of your family and wallet. Let me explain further...


II. Understanding Your Needs and Preferences

Navigating between personal needs and preferences in real estate can be tricky, especially when you factor in future resale value. 

For instance, your heart may not be set on a built-in kitchen — a basic slide-in range could meet your culinary needs perfectly. 

But consider this: research suggests homes with your floor plan may falter in the resale market without this feature.

 In such instances, it may be wise to prioritize needs like these over certain preferences, like that elegant kitchen backsplash you've been eyeing.

 Finding the right balance is key, and sometimes it's about looking beyond the immediate to the potential future returns.

This leads me to the first question...


Question 1: Will this upgrade increase my home's value?

Determining whether an upgrade will augment your home's value requires a bit of homework.

Certain design features might be non-negotiable at a specific price point or within a certain locale.

Dig into market research or request your sales agent to pull up comparables.

Engage your consultant in discussions about the average design spends for your floor plan.

Understanding these dynamics will help make your upgrade decisions more strategic and potentially more profitable in the long run.


Question 2: How will this upgrade fit my lifestyle?


Before saying 'yes' or 'no' to an upgrade, pause and consider who will be living in the home.


For instance, wood floors are undeniably beautiful and a top choice for many new homebuyers.


However, they might not be the best option for households with large dogs or small children.


Imagine the havoc a high-speed "Hot Wheels" race could wreak on pristine white oak flooring.


It's important to choose upgrades that not only look good but also can stand up to the rigors of daily life.


Question 3: How much can I afford to spend at the design center?

Surprisingly, many bright-eyed buyers enter the design center without fully understanding their financial limits.

Overspending on upgrades can put your loan approval at risk while under-spending might leave valuable equity untouched. It's essential to consult with a loan professional to grasp how much you can reasonably afford to add in upgrades.

For an extra edge, ask your sales consultant about the average design spend for your specific floor plan. This will provide a guideline, helping you make the most of your design center visit without overextending your budget.


Read my post on what design center upgrades to avoid, I take a deep dive into which new home upgrades to consider and which ones to avoid all taking into consideration the three questions listed above. 

Final thoughts

Alright, it's time to wrap up our journey through the maze of design center upgrades. By now, you should be feeling a bit like a seasoned explorer, armed with the right questions to conquer this terrain.

Remember, when considering upgrades, it's not just about what looks good on the showroom floor. Think about your lifestyle, the pitter-patter of tiny feet, or perhaps the click-clack of dog paws. Match your choices to your life, not the other way around.

And let's not forget about future resale value. It's like a crystal ball peek into your home's future worth. Some upgrades are more than just nice-to-haves, they're a ticket to a higher sale price. So, keep your eyes on the prize and think strategically.
Lastly, your budget. Don't let the allure of shiny fixtures lead you astray. Know your limits before you waltz into the design center. Remember, an upgrade is only an upgrade if you can comfortably afford it.

Alright, now you're ready to embark on this exciting adventure. With these questions in your arsenal, you'll be navigating those design center choices like a pro. So go ahead, step into that design center, and turn your dream home into a reality. Enjoy the journey!

Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Christy, some home buyers can go crazy at the design center, and need to know their budget very well.

May 15, 2023 12:47 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.
May 16, 2023 03:26 AM
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

This is an excellent post with great information. Thanks for sharing it.

Have a super fantastic week!
Joe Jackson, Realtor-KWCP

May 16, 2023 04:45 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net




Welcome to the Rain. Enjoyed your blog page, and I added you as follows. I would love the follow back. Bill

May 16, 2023 07:32 AM