Will You Still Love Me In 30 Years?


There is something special about being able to build a home from the ground up. Of course when you are buying from a floorplan or model home you need to be ready for the head exploding list of options you will have to choose from. Most Northern Virginia builders priced above $350,000 are including granite counter tops and base level stainless steel appliances as standard. It’s a good start but it’s not usually where a buyer stays.

Over the last few weeks I’ve had home buyers in the design center for two major home builders picking out their new kitchens. In each case the kitchen in the model home featured upgrades in granite, appliances, faucets, flooring and the highest ticket item kitchen cabinets. Yet the kitchen in the “standard” package looked far different than what they saw in the model home.

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether to get the dream kitchen you saw in the model home can you afford to being paying for it for the next 30 years in your mortgage? The upgraded three door fridge might cost you $2000 at a local appliances center but will cost you at least the same $2000 PLUS the interest on your mortgage for 30 years. If your fridge lasts for 10 years you are still paying for it in your mortgage for 20 years after it’s gone to the local dump.

I know that might sound a little harsh but it something you need to think about when you sit at the new home design center. It’s also one of the reasons having a buyer’s agent represent you might actually save you money. The sales person in the model home isn’t going to point out to you what the long term cost of your upgrades might be. Figuring out what is structural and makes sense to upgrade versus what can be upgraded later when you’ve had a chance to settle in is important.

Just another random thought about Northern Virginia new home construction and making the right choices for your future. Curious about some of the new homes available in Prince William County VA? Call Cindy Jones at 703-346-2213 BEFORE you head to the model home. Let’s talk about how my experience in new home sales can save you thousands of dollars at closing.

2 thoughts on “Will You Still Love Me In 30 Years?

  1. Cindy, what a great way to look at this!!! Cabinets, counters and tile…that’s not something you want to change everyday (although I can hardly wait till I can change mine!) but that fridge. Yep. Better to go buy it on your own. Same with a Washer and Dryer, unless they are offering them up to sweeten the deal and you are not paying for them!

  2. Thom,

    Sorry I should have checked in long before now. I have two new homes closing in the next week. Having worked with a developer knowing the markup on some items it’s easy to say hold off on paying for the upgrade. You’re going to pay 50% more for the convenience of having it in the house when you close versus calling Home Depot for delivery tomorrow.

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