I selected the Homestead neighborhood due to the smaller floor plans, lots, and lower costs. Retirement is on the horizon and I knew the max I wanted to spend. I also loved the neighborhood’s proximity to the river and all of the amenities. Next I got the floor plans for the models I liked best and drew in my furnishings to scale. I wanted to make sure the house itself would meet my needs both for lifestyle and love of entertaining/hosting guests (one of the main reasons I wanted to make a move.) I can do the same for my buyers.
Leslee prepared preliminary estimates for me so I could compare my 2 top choices. One Plan would provide a great step up from my current home but did not excite me. The other one, I fell in love with, but preliminary estimates put it out of the price range I had set for myself. I knew a visit to the design center would assuredly add thousands of dollars, and because a client had just experienced the shock of totally blowing her budget at another builder’s design center, I knew I could not make a decision until I had analyzed the actual costs of my must-have upgrades. These included upgraded flooring and upgraded cabinets as well as an extended lanai, the biggest ticket items. I encourage all of my buyers to do a preview visit to the design center before signing their contract if budget is a concern and I accompany them on their visit to offer insights from my own experience.
When I went for my preview visit to the design center, I was shocked at how much all of the other little things I wanted would increase the cost of the house and blow my budget, so I made the decision to accept the standard selections on items that I could easily change out later as I had cash available. This included such as door hardware, plumbing and lighting fixtures, screening the porch, and custom painting.
If there had been a large enough difference between my bottom choice and the model I loved, I probably would have gone with the less expensive option just to get into the neighborhood and avoid being stressed over finances. However, with Leslee’s help, I was able to negotiate a contract that included all of my must-haves and the home I loved within my budget. I highly advise anyone contemplating building a home to take the time and effort to know their bottom line before committing any dollars and signing a contract.