Congratulations! You signed a contract to purchase a new home or villa in Marina Bay Fort Myers and the builder is ready to break ground.
So how do you customize it and truly make it your own?
The answer is a bit more complex than you might think. One of the main reasons home buyers choose to purchase a new construction home is the ability to select many of the home’s features and finishes that reflect personal tastes and lifestyles.
Whether you are a first time homebuyer or not, the amount of choices you have to make can be overwhelming.
Some of the options/upgrades available include: countertops, cabinets, flooring, fixtures, appliances – and even structural changes like additional bathrooms, bedrooms, garage size as well as lanai options that may include the addition of a pool or spa.
Here is a list of 8 tips for selecting Options/Upgrades-
1- Structural Changes
It is very important to select any structural changes or additions early in the process. Keep in mind that structural changes are very limited to what the builder can and cannot do. As you will learn from us throughout the process, it never hurts to ask! Buyers who want to add rooms or garages, move doors or add recessed lighting need to communicate those structural changes early with the builder because this can have an impact on what type of building permit needs to be pulled. These types of changes as well as any electrical or plumbing changes that require walls to be opened are much more expensive after the home is completed.
2- Post-Purchase Upgrades
Some upgrades or changes may be cheaper to do after the closing. Specific cosmetic features such as paint, landscaping, lighting and plumbing fixtures, epoxy coating garage floor, crown molding, chair rails, window treatments and even some appliance upgrades can often be made after closing, especially if you are on a strict budget.
The benefits of purchasing these types of upgrades through the builder can be the option of rolling the cost into the mortgage, as opposed to paying out of pocket. Another advantage of going with the builder is having your upgrades covered by the builder’s home warranty. Many home buyers are not willing to spend the extra time needed after closing to do specific changes and upgrades after having to wait 4-6 months for their home to be built in the first place.
3- Builder Timeline
Pay attention to your builder’s timeline and follow it when selecting options or upgrades. Typically, two to three weeks after your initial contract is signed and approved, the builder will arrange a meeting on site at their design center. Depending on the builder, Buyers may or may not be able to make any changes after this meeting, so it is crucial that you come prepared with a list of items/options you want. It is a good idea to bring in any photos or examples to show the design team exactly what you are looking for.
4- The “Model” Look
We have all been struck by “Model” home envy. When you walk in and see the professionally designed model homes at Marina Bay Fort Myers which are loaded with the latest and greatest options, you will want Everything you see.
But……… In order for you to replicate that model look into your new home, prepare to spend thousands of dollars $$$$.
Marina Bay does include granite countertops in kitchen and bathrooms, tile floors, 42” cabinets in the kitchen and a covered lanai as standard features in each of their base homes- marble countertops, crown molding, upgraded lights and fans, and hardwood floors are not “standard”. Sometimes builders will negotiate on upgrade packages (but you have to ask).
5- Prepare a Budget
Sounds easy. Prepare a budget, and STICK to it.
The Marina Bay design center will have everything you can think of for your new home within arms reach. Buyers will see cabinets, granite and top of the line flooring samples. In order for you the buyer to make sound financial decisions, it is important to have your budget prepared prior to the design meeting. Typically, buyers can expect to spend between 10%-13% of the base price of a home on interior upgrades. It is important to make sure the price of the home, including any upgrades, will fall within your prequalified mortgage amount.
6- Needs Vs. Wants
The best way to stay on budget is to make a list of must-haves and want-to-haves, and follow it as you begin to choose your upgrade items. Some of the major items that would be on the must-have list could include appliances, flooring, upgraded pool and granite countertops. The items that could fall into the want-to-have list could be kitchen backsplash, upgraded fixtures, recessed lighting and coffered ceilings.
The goal is to do your homework ahead of time and show up prepared with lists and a realistic budget. If you do this properly, your new home will include all the important upgrades and options that reflect your individual lifestyle.
7- Resale Value
As you decide on the upgrades and options that will be included in your new home, an important factor to keep in mind is the resale value of the home. This may not be true for all owners, but some homes will be put back on the market for one reason or another, so don’t over customize the home.
Keep in mind, granite countertops that are purple may reflect your personal style and taste, but may make reselling the home more difficult. Wild paint colors are fine and can be easily neutralized when you decide to put the home back on the market, but be aware of permanent upgrades and fixtures that can’t be easily changed.
8- Builder Trust
At the end of the day, people want to buy a home from a builder they can trust. GL Homes does have a very good reputation and has a rich history of providing quality homes and developments throughout Florida.
Although the Marina Bay design team does represent the builder, they will, along with your Realtor guide you through the process and offer expert advice.
We hope these tips help you during the initial stages of your new home purchase.
Contact the Marina Bay Team of Bob Nuorala and Brad Dohack
to Schedule a Tour Today!