Are Model Homes Misleading?

In today’s world where scammers are frequent and petty crimes can take place anywhere from your grocery store to your Facebook page, it never hurts to be cautious. In fact, when it comes to buying a new home–likely the largest investment of your life–you should absolutely be cautious. Some people believe that Realtors might try to sell damaged homes at appealingly-low prices and hide the scary truth about them, while other people believe that landowners will try to reach out to tenants by claiming that their repair responsibilities make your monthly rent a better investment than a purchase. Still another facet of the home-selling market that makes people wary is the idea of a model home. Many builders of low-quality and high-quality new and repossessed homes will show you a pristine version of what you will likely be getting.

However, this does not necessarily mean that you should not trust model homes in Washington County, Florida, at all. Caution is certainly important, but being overly concerned or even paranoid will lead you to miss out on a great new home. The solution, then, is to be wary in the right ways and know how to sift through the sales pitches and find the truth. Here are 9 tips for determining what you will actually get while you are visiting a model home:

1. Try to look past the decor. Model homes are staged to sell. It is your responsibility to be inspired by this decor but not be fooled by it.

2. Look past finishing details, like paint and unique lighting. These things are also added to sell to you; remember that these details might not even be in your home.

3. Ask about features that are present in the home, like molding, archways, special ceilings, and more. The company representative should offer details about these features, as they are selling points.

4. Look everywhere! Look inside the closets, in the cabinets, under the countertops to get the details behind the showmanship.

5. Ask how much older the model home is than the homes that are for sale. There is a chance that a model home might be much newer than the homes that are actually for sale. Get numbers; they tell you a lot about a property.

6. Ask if a new home can be built exactly like the one you are visiting. This will reveal if the builder has added features to the model home that they cannot create in yours or will add to yours for an extra charge. More importantly, this will reveal if your home will have the same materials as the model. Many model homes that have granite countertops will be used to sell homes with granite-like vinyl.

7. Try to work in your own customization preferences; is the company representative you are speaking with responsive to you potentially requesting changes? Some builders are not able to make significant changes to the homes they build and will instead work off an existing floor plan, which is just fine. However, having the freedom to customize your floor plan for your exact needs is essential. What if you love the model home but need to work in an extra bedroom?

8. How are the homes constructed? You need to ask this question. You do not see the upkeep that goes into maintaining model homes. What if the walls are extremely weak? What if the roof is flimsy? On what kind of foundation will the home be constructed? Get as many details about this as possible. If builders have nothing to hide, they will willingly offer extensive detail about their homes’ construction.

9. Do not rely on photographs! Photographs of new homes are frequently altered to be more appealing to buyers. Some “photographs” can be retouched to remove flaws, and even have computerized alterations, like grass with the green hues turned up or kitchen counters that are given artificial shine. Always see a model home you can examine for yourself.

When you take this knowledge and these tips with you, visiting model homes in Washington County, Florida, can actually be a positive experience! If you see honesty and integrity behind sales pitches–virtues that are certainly out there among builders in the housing market–you can successfully find a beautiful, comfortable, spacious, and–best of all–affordable home that is right for you, your family, and your pets.