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Old 03-27-2012, 04:14 AM
 
Location: San Tan Valley, AZ
55 posts, read 57,570 times
Reputation: 98

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tnp - Definitely do your research on the builders, too. Some of them include a better list of "standard" features than others, and this should be taken into consideration with the price, as well. When we built, we got granite countertops, ceiling fans, better base cabinets (although we did upgrade those), etc. When we were researching builders, we would start comparing the two figuring out what one included that another did not and how much out of pocket cost it would be to upgrade, replace, or add whatever it was that one was missing versus the other and whether that was important to us or not.

Also, I personally recommend using a realtor on a new construction, too. They should have the experience to be able to negotiate a bit around the price and/or some of the things that the builder will include for you.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:18 AM
 
970 posts, read 1,640,731 times
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Thanks for all the helpful info, everyone. I'm only going to consider a new build if I can't find an existing home in my price range. I thought of this option as I watched yet another house on my possibilities list of under $100K homes get sold overnight (this one was in San Tan Valley). Just trying to come up with a good plan B if there's nothing decent left under $100K when I get there.

Also thinking about calling some contractors and seeing what a new build would cost if I bought my own land instead of a lot in a planned new build community. I don't need community things like a rec center or kids park. I could be quite happy being a little further out from a town. All I need is a good vet within a reasonable distance, and a super Walmart and dog park within a half hour's drive.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:16 AM
 
1,232 posts, read 1,468,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by observer53 View Post
Things like that always have been included, sometimes you have to go to the "design center" for the builder and choose them-- there may be fancier ones that you pay extra for (just like upgrades in carpet and pad, etc), or you will pay for any additional towel rods, say, over a certain number, but the basic ones are included.
Just to clarify-- You mean things like towel bars and shower doors, not ceiling fans, window coverings and backyard landscaping, right?

I think those 'design center' upgrades cost waaayyy more than out in the real world. A ceiling fan might be $500 from the builder, for example, when it's a $80 fan anyone could install in 20 minutes. I think they make a lot of their profit on upgrades.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:47 AM
 
202 posts, read 158,401 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadyFreddy View Post
I think those 'design center' upgrades cost waaayyy more than out in the real world. A ceiling fan might be $500 from the builder, for example, when it's a $80 fan anyone could install in 20 minutes. I think they make a lot of their profit on upgrades.
I think you are correct from what I have seen in my own market they might charge you 5k to upgrade your kitchen from laminate to granite but the total cost if you didn't have any countertops to begin with would be slightly less than that.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: South Tempe, AZ
14,203 posts, read 17,763,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadyFreddy View Post
Just to clarify-- You mean things like towel bars and shower doors, not ceiling fans, window coverings and backyard landscaping, right?

I think those 'design center' upgrades cost waaayyy more than out in the real world. A ceiling fan might be $500 from the builder, for example, when it's a $80 fan anyone could install in 20 minutes. I think they make a lot of their profit on upgrades.
You are right, I'm talking normal fixtures, not window coverings (which are NEVER included) or landscape packages, which are a different animal altogether, and ceiling fans, which are still extras like they were 25 years ago when the home I'm in now (which was a spec home at the time) was fitted out (it was just a shell, so everything from the floor covering to lighting to towel bars and countertops had to be picked out).
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:11 AM
 
Location: In an alternate universe according to some, AKA Aspergers
10,721 posts, read 11,909,194 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by observer53 View Post
Things like that always have been included, sometimes you have to go to the "design center" for the builder and choose them-- there may be fancier ones that you pay extra for (just like upgrades in carpet and pad, etc), or you will pay for any additional towel rods, say, over a certain number, but the basic ones are included.
Really? So when I bought my brand new Pulte home they lied to me when they tried to charge me $800 for a basic shower door ($100 at Lowes) for my stall shower?
We were surprised that there wasn't one on there and when we asked we were told "you can go down to Wal-Mart and get a rod and put up a curtain if you wish or for just $3 more a month you can have a door". Yeah, I'm going to finance a shower door over 30 years.
As for towel bars, there was one, a single above the toilet so if all you're going to use is a hand towel then I guess I stand corrected.
Yes, you can go to the design center but it isn't for free, nothing a builder does is ever "free". That's not a bad thing, it just is what it is so it's up to you to be aware.
I'm sure others will chime in and back me up when I say I can't count how many times I've sat there and been told "it'll only raise your payment $5-$20 a month for those."
Truth is, like any other sales person (would you like the jumbo upgrade ring a bell?) builders depend on those upgrades as a profit center. Lot premiums, decent flooring, decent carpet,patios instead of a step to dirt, power plugs,cable/phone plugs,fan boxes in each room etc. all are dropped on you while you're sitting at the table and justified by "it's only this little bit per month to your payment" totally avoiding it's true total cost.

Smart sales strategy for the unsuspecting buyer.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
17,580 posts, read 20,896,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimj View Post
Really? So when I bought my brand new Pulte home they lied to me when they tried to charge me $800 for a basic shower door ($100 at Lowes) for my stall shower?
We were surprised that there wasn't one on there and when we asked we were told "you can go down to Wal-Mart and get a rod and put up a curtain if you wish or for just $3 more a month you can have a door". Yeah, I'm going to finance a shower door over 30 years.
As for towel bars, there was one, a single above the toilet so if all you're going to use is a hand towel then I guess I stand corrected.
Yes, you can go to the design center but it isn't for free, nothing a builder does is ever "free". That's not a bad thing, it just is what it is so it's up to you to be aware.
I'm sure others will chime in and back me up when I say I can't count how many times I've sat there and been told "it'll only raise your payment $5-$20 a month for those."
Truth is, like any other sales person (would you like the jumbo upgrade ring a bell?) builders depend on those upgrades as a profit center. Lot premiums, decent flooring, decent carpet,patios instead of a step to dirt, power plugs,cable/phone plugs,fan boxes in each room etc. all are dropped on you while you're sitting at the table and justified by "it's only this little bit per month to your payment" totally avoiding it's true total cost.

Smart sales strategy for the unsuspecting buyer.
It's even worse today than years ago. They give you less and less to keep the prices down and then pad it all back in at the design center.

Your 30 years for a shower door, though, needs an asterisk. It is only 30 years if you actually live there that long and pay for it that long. Typically, people move in five years, so that shower door costing 3 bucks ends up costing you 180 bucks over the five years - a better deal than buying one for 600 or whatever if you are likely to move on. One has to consider all the angles.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Casa Grande, AZ (May 08)
1,154 posts, read 1,935,920 times
Reputation: 793
Ponderosa,

Asterisk to your Asterisk.

If you do move (and sell the home) in 5 years, you will have less of an outstanding loan to repay if you didnt buy the 200.00 door for 500.00 (that in 5 years you will have barely touched as far as principle).

So, you will still pay the higher cost in the end...
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
17,580 posts, read 20,896,059 times
Reputation: 9208
Quote:
Originally Posted by sh9730 View Post
Ponderosa,

Asterisk to your Asterisk.

If you do move (and sell the home) in 5 years, you will have less of an outstanding loan to repay if you didnt buy the 200.00 door for 500.00 (that in 5 years you will have barely touched as far as principle).

So, you will still pay the higher cost in the end...
Asterisk cubed. You will sell your house for more. The buyer will pay the increased amount. You pass the cost on to the next owner. The value of your upgrade will go into the appraisal on a new home setting the basis for that home. (I haven't bought new in a while, but back in the day the appraisal was always EXACTLY the sales price of the home including any design center upgrades). If you buy the door after the sale, you will get pennies on the dollar in your appraisal, if that. Furthermore, you can use the 500 bucks for the door to buy better window coverings improving the livability and the resale value of the house.

Well, it is convoluted. For me when I was buying, it simply killed me to pay 2-3 times what it would have cost me for an upgrade in the aftermarket. But the down payment and closing took all the money I had, so I had little choice.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:23 AM
 
Location: San Tan Valley, AZ
55 posts, read 57,570 times
Reputation: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by observer53 View Post
...I'm talking normal fixtures, not window coverings (which are NEVER included)...
Does depend on the builder. We did get ceiling fans, although they are nothing special - but we also did get 2" Faux Wood Blinds. They, too, are not anything fancy, but they are better than nothing. Plus, once we take them down and paint them something other than white, I imagine that they will be a bit better on the eyes.

Although I do think that both of those are in the name of energy consumption than anything else, considering our builder (Fulton) tries to taut the EnergyStar bits around.
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