To spend or not to spend, that is the question
You have found a home plan that you love. You have found a homesite that you cherish even more. Now, to close the circle on your dream home, you need to select options. However, you chose a home that was a bit larger than you had planned for and the lot premium with the killer view was also a bit over the top. So, with more flies than cash swimming around in your wallet, you walk into the design center convinced that you can put off many of your design selections and just add them to the house later.
STOP RIGHT THERE. Think about this for a minute. It is kind of like buying the Mercedes, but seeing if you can get cloth instead of leather with no sunroof or navigation. You may have fallen in love with the floor plan and backyard view, but the reality is that you live inside of your home. The bulk of your time will not be spend staring out the windows, but most likely sitting in your family room or kitchen. Make sure the areas where you spend the bulk of your time live up to your quality and finish expectations.
I know what you are thinking. I can either do some of the upgrade work myself or just contract with someone else to do it cheaper later. This typically sounds good, but, in reality, is usually a bad idea. First, let’s review the types of things you would normally consider putting off. Crown moulding, interior paint, backsplash tile, laundry room cabinetry, exterior landscaping, a pool. You get the idea. It can be a long list. I also understand that maximizing your design selections with the builder can really stretch your budget. However, putting it off is many times an example of truly being pennywise and pound foolish. First, working through the builder allows you to roll these options into your mortgage. Spreading the cost of these options over thirty years at 4.5% is really an inexpensive way to pay for these items versus paying in full or putting the expense on your credit card. Second, having the work done by the builder maintains all your home warranties. If someone else comes in to do work after the fact and damages something in your home, the repair will not be the responsibility of the builder. Also, if the work is not done right, getting the contractor back to complete repairs may be more difficult than working through the builder on a home warranty item. Finally, when selecting finishes during the design process, you typically have a trained designer working with you – for free.
I know that a home purchase can oftentimes prove to be a more expensive decision than you had originally planned. However, once you make the decision to get what you want, don’t be afraid to truly go all in up front. In the end, what you think may be a more expensive decision may instead truly be the move that saves you the most money while also providing the greatest long term satisfaction.
Until next time…
Keep kicking the dirt!