As you think about buying a new home, you’ve undoubtedly been told that you should visit a show home. At the most basic level, show homes allow you to get a glimpse of what the builder’s work will look like, but there’s more to them than looks alone.
Learn more about what to expect when you visit a show home below.
A Storefront for Builders
When you want to buy shoes, you go to a shoe store. When you want to buy groceries, you go to the grocery store. When you want to buy a new home, you go to a show home.
Show homes are a builder’s storefront. Each community has a New Home Sales Consultant that specializes in building homes in that community, and you’ll be able to talk to him or her when you look at the show home. You’ll see the show home, but you’ll also be able to pick up various brochures about some of your other options.
An Example of a Builder’s Work
Perhaps most importantly, a show home allows you to see what a builder’s work looks like. You’ll be able to check out quality by doing things like opening and closing the cabinet doors and touching the materials that the builder uses. If you’re touring the show homes of different builders, you’ll start to see that each has its own sense of style. One might favour classic looks, while another prefers to create modern spaces. One of these styles may fit your preferences.
A Chance to See Floor Plans in Action
Floor plans that look good on paper might not feel right to you in person. It’s important to tour the homes to get a greater sense of what your family needs. On paper, the bedrooms in two different floor plans may look similar, but they could have very different dimensions. One might be too big or too small for your taste, and you won’t know that until you see the floor plan in action.
As you tour show homes, you’ll also start to notice things that you like or don’t like about homes. For instance, you might like the idea of an open concept floor plan in theory, but as you tour homes that have this style, you may find that you prefer something else. People are also often surprised by how spacious homes with “low square footage” can feel. If you thought you needed 2,500 square feet to be happy, you might find that you actually like homes that only have 1,800 square feet.
A Way to Generate Ideas
Show homes are also a good way for you to generate some ideas about the things you want in a home. If you’ve always had the washer and dryer in the basement, you might like the way that a second-floor laundry looks. If you hadn’t visited the show home, you may not have considered that as an option. In touring several homes, you’ll get to see things like light and dark coloured kitchen cabinets, quartz and laminate countertops, vinyl plank and tile flooring, and so on. This helps you choose what you want in your home, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the choices.
Quick Possession Homes
Sometimes, builders turn their show homes into quick possession homes. This usually happens in the fall, when the brand-new show homes are unveiled at the Parade of Homes. Keep an eye out for this special event, and you may be able to get a show home of your own that’s move-in ready!
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to wait for the builder to put the show home on the market. They often have a few quick possession homes available in each community.
Standard Materials vs. Upgrades
As you tour show homes, it’s important to pay attention to which features in a home come standard and which features are upgrades. Sometimes, a home that has a low starting price quickly gets much more expensive when you add some popular features like a tile backsplash or granite countertops. Other times, builders use these higher quality materials in all of their homes, so you can get the home you want at a more affordable price.
Be sure to ask the New Home Sales Consultant which materials are standard and which are upgrades. It’s a good idea to ask what the cost of the home you’re looking at would be. You might be surprised by how expensive - or how affordable - it would be to own a home just like the show home.
Touring show homes is a fun way to get a sense of what you want in a home as well as an opportunity to check out the quality offered by various builders. When you’re serious about buying a home, though, you should schedule a time to tour the home with the New Home Sales Consultant. This way, you’ll have their undivided attention to answer your questions.