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Understanding Base Model Pricing

Wow, look at that model with the gourmet kitchen, the hardwood floors, the luxury owner's bath and that outdoor kitchen! That's the house I want ... but that costs what? Why do builders put so many options and upgrades into their model homes? If they built a base model home and just let it speak for itself, then you would know what is really included, right? But would you be enticed to buy a home in that community?

What's included in the base model pricing of that new home? That depends. Don't assume that all new homes come standard with the elegant finishes and details you find in the model homes. Everything you see is available but much of it will require upgrades and option selections. What should you expect the final price of your home to be? Since we are talking about the home itself, this is true regardless of the type of community. If the community is an active adult community or a planned community with lots of amenities, that will have an impact on HOA or Condo fees and closing costs which we'll talk about in a future article.

How about a basement?

That used to be easy in Coastal Delaware - NO! But now there are some builders that are including an unfinished basement in the base model price like Blenheim at Bay Crossing and KHovnanian at Nassau Grove. Other builders like Schell Brothers at Independence offer a basement on certain lots as an upgrade. At Heritage Creek however, an unfinished basement is standard on all of the Schell Homes. So the answer to that question varies by builder and community, especially in the Coastal areas of Delaware.

Are 42" cabinets standard?

The kitchen may be the most upgraded room today. That plus the master bath are almost always shown in the model with all the bells and whistles. In the base model at the price listed, some homes come standard with 36" cabinets, formica counters and vinyl flooring. The Gourmet Kitchen upgrade varies from builder to builder. In some, the gourmet kitchen upgrade includes a cabinet upgrade, granite counters and ceramic floors. But the definition of a gourmet kitchen with other builders relates more to the layout of the kitchen and appliance upgrades to a gas cook top, double wall oven and an Island. At the Design Center, additional upgrades of flooring, cabinetry, fixtures and special appliances are available. Lots of choices depending on the builder.

Is a Sunroom included?

Perhaps the most popular option is the addition of a sunroom and it is typically not included in the base model pricing you see advertised. Options may include the choice of a sunroom or a screen porch or a paver patio or perhaps all three. If a sunroom option is available, I recommend adding it - everyone wants one if you ever do have to sell.

I love the hardwood floors!

Probably an upgrade but there may be a wide selection of woods and width. Most popular these days is to put the same hardwood flooring in all the main living areas including the kitchen. Standard is generally carpet and vinyl with some wood or ceramic tile accents.

I think you get the point. When the builder lists their model homes, they are listed at the Base Model price. Just how much additional will you need to spend to have your dream home? Are incentives available that give you some upgrades at a better price? Staying on top of that is part of what we do for our clients.