How to Buy Model Homes

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When builders erect new home developments, among the first structures to go up are the model homes. These are artfully designed and fully furnished homes that potential buyers can look at to see if they want the builder to build their home. Once all the lots in a development are sold and homes are built for those lots, builders no longer have a need to keep the model homes open, so they will sell them as well. Individuals looking to buy model homes need only to remain vigilant.

  • Identify housing developments where that you would want to live in. Make sure to select only housing developments that are still being built-out or where empty homes are still being sold by the builder. If you see advertisements for new homes in a development in your local newspaper or by the entrance to the development, then in all likelihood there are unsold models in that development.

  • Visit the model homes to narrow down which ones you like the best. Evaluate everything from size and location of the home to architectural features and even the décor.

  • Go to the builder's sales office to request a price list. Find the price for the model of home matching the ones you like the most. This will tell you how much that particular type of home, without all the upgrades likely done to the model home, will cost.

  • Ask the builder what specific upgrades the model home has, and how much each individual upgrade costs. Some builders helpfully offer a list of available upgrades with the price that each upgrade adds to the price of the basic home. While model homes typically include all kinds of upgrades and are fully furnished, these homes are also considered "used" when they go to market, even though no one has technically lived in them. Thus, take the price given to you for the basic home in that model, add in the price for all the upgrades, and factor in the cost of furniture when considering how much it may go for, but detract some money from your calculation for the fact that it's not a "new" home.

  • Ask the builder how many units in the development are still remaining empty. This will tell you how many homes have to sell before the model homes become available for purchase.

  • Call the builder periodically to ask how many homes are left unsold for the particular model you want to purchase. Once the last home has been sold, the builder will either sell off or auction the model home. By calling frequently, you can make sure to be in the know.

  • Ask whether the model home will be sold with all the upgrades and furniture. While this is the standard practice, you want to make sure that there are no surprises.

  • Make an offer on the model home before anyone else does. If the builder was considering going to auction with the home, he may simply accept your offer to avoid himself the hassle. To come up with an offer price that will be accepted the first time around, before others have the chance to put in higher bids, look up comparable homes in that neighborhood and find out how much they sold for, then bid on the home accordingly. Low-balling a builder on a model home may result in you getting outbid.

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  • Photo Credit home sweet home image by David Dorner from Fotolia.com
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