Now that you’ve decided that you’re going to purchase new construction, you need to look closely at which upgrades you’ll add on to your new home. It’s almost inevitable that you’ll want a few, but if you’re like most buyers, you need to make some decisions when it comes to where you’re going to spend the extra money. Everyone’s pocket has a bottom, and you want to make sure you get the best long-term value for the upgrades you eventually choose. At some point in time, you may be looking to sell your brand new home to another family (even though you can’t imagine it now) and the upgrades you choose can boost its resale value in the future.
We’ve polled both experts and recent buyers to find out which upgrades “make the grade” with homeowners and prospective buyers. If these possibilities are on your list, they’re definitely worth a second look.
While not strictly a construction or product upgrade, spending a little more to get a more desirable location in the community should certainly be a consideration. Corner lots, larger lots or lots that back up to beautiful views may have a higher price tag, but in the long run, you’ll be pleased with your choice.
Adding a bonus room, adding extra length or width to rooms, raising ceilings, installing fireplaces, adding more windows, enlarging or adding closets or creating a larger master bath suite with additional sinks and bathing options is much more difficult to do once your home is built, making it much more expensive in the long run. And don’t forget your garage! Adding an extra bay to your garage may seem silly – why invest in a three-car garage when you only have two cars? Simple…people love stuff, and always run out of room to store their stuff. And keep in mind that your grinning two-year old toddler will be driving her own car one day, and you might want a place to stash it when the time comes.
Brick and Stone Upgrades
If you think you’d like brick or stone accents to the façade of your new home, it’s much more expensive (and unsightly!) to add these later. It’s wise to have your builder take care of these important external features.
A Bewitchin’ Kitchen
You can’t go wrong with most kitchen upgrades. Many families spend large amounts of time in their kitchens, and even if they don’t, a gorgeous kitchen with a few great upgrades makes selling your home easier when you’re ready to move along. Key items include larger (read this as taller) cabinetry that will give you more storage space, a kitchen island that can be used for meal preparation, additional storage or for a casual dining area, a roomier pantry, granite countertops, a trash compactor (how cool is it to take the trash out only once or twice a week!) under-cabinet lighting and garbage disposals in all sinks. Keep in mind that kitchen remodels are usually the most expensive (and inconvenient) home renovation projects, and plan accordingly.
Outlets, Switches and Lighting
You can never have enough outlets, so add as many as you can. Consider an outside outlet for Christmas lights, pantry outlets, additional garage outlets and extra outlets for media, computers, video games and charging electronics. You may also want to have your builder wire your new home for surround sound or enhanced connectivity while you’re at it. It can be expensive to have a house rewired after it’s completed. 3 way light switches or lights that can be turned off in two places are great, so go over your floorplan carefully to see how you will be entering and exiting each room. If you’re thinking about recessed lighting or skylights, these are much more difficult to add later. Make sure task-focused rooms like the kitchen, bath and potential home office have both overhead fixtures and lamps or sconces that shed additional light on key areas.
Most people get energy efficient appliances in their kitchens and call it a day. But don’t forget that tankless water heaters, high-end windows, HVAC units with high efficiency ratings and additional insulation can make a big difference in your energy costs right away.
If hardwood floors are your dream, most of the time it’s smart to have these installed at the beginning. True hardwood is very expensive as a replacement material, especially if you’ll be covering large areas. When factored into the overall cost of a new home, the price tag for hardwood is much less shocking.
If you have any questions about ranking your upgrades, trust the professionals at The Gallery at Ernest Homes to walk you through the process. We’re here to help you build your ideal home!