Moving From an Idea to a Contract!

Pricing on a new build home is quite complicated, with several different layers to work your way through. You start by choosing your floor plan, which has several different base prices, depending on the elevation you choose. At RiverTown, each floor plan has 5 different style elevations, (Craftsman, Coastal, Farmhouse, Low Country, and Territorial Ranch, from highest to lowest cost) with base prices that can vary by as much as $12,000. In order to stay within my budget, I had to compromise on the elevation, choosing the least expensive style in order to save the dollars I needed for upgrades. Then of course, there is the site selection, which can add $10,000 to $20,000 in lot premiums to your base price. I was lucky enough to get the last $0 premium lot in Homestead II, which saved me a minimum of $10,000 that I could spend on my upgrades. The other thing to be aware of is that included upgrades vary depending on lot size. For instance, within Homestead I, lots vary from 45 and 50 foot wide lots where the base selections of plastic laminate countertops and white or black appliances are standard, to 55’ wide lots in Homestead II, where granite countertops and stainless steel appliances are included in the base price. This is how I was able to afford a 500+ s.f. larger house for only a few thousand dollars more.

My Site Agent, Leslee, walked me through the various Architectural Options and their costs—extended lanai, larger sliding glass doors, trey ceilings, and that sort of thing. The cost of these upgrades are added to the base contract amount by the site agent. Because I had taken the time to do a preview visit to the design center prior to sitting down to write my contract, I was able to include most of my additional design upgrade costs in my original contract. If you don’t do that, your base contract will be missing many of the heftiest costs and you should be prepared for your bottom line to increase significantly at the design center.

Leslie and I refined the costs to come to a bottom line (or close to it, pending a final visit to the design center), and submitted my offer to her Sales Manager, who it seems works pretty much 24/7!  About an hour later we received her response, I countered, and before I knew it I had an accepted offer.  From there we went through the entire contract and disclosures (prepare yourself, the paperwork I’m sure killed several whole trees).  5 hours later I walked out with a lovely file bearing my contract and a head full of ideas. Additionally, Leslee went ahead and submitted my application for access cards to all of the amenities, which my family and I will be able to enjoy throughout the 8-month construction period.  I was so excited, I signed up for ballroom dancing lessons at the RiverHouse Dance Studio the very next day!

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