What You Need to Consider When Buying a Display Home

A display home or model home can be a great choice for your own residence or as a rental property. Display homes often have landscaping that has been well cared for, and may even come with interior furniture and fixtures that are a perfect fit for the home itself. However, as with buying any type of home, you want to ensure you know what’s involved and have covered all your bases before you commit yourself to a display home. Note a few factors to consider.

1. Inspections

A model or display home may look very good when you first walk in, but remember that its appearance may be the most important aspect of its construction, and the “bones” of the home still need to be closely inspected. A builder may have rushed through the plumbing or framing of the home in order to get the display home erected, and may have spent more time on the aesthetics, meaning the floorboards and crown molding. Be sure you have the home properly inspected and have it written into your offer for the home that you will wait for the results of those inspections before you move forward with the purchase, in case something was overlooked or rushed during construction.

2. Accessories

You may like a display home because of the granite countertops, cabinets, ceiling fan, and so many other items in the home, but remember that a builder may have the right to virtually gut the home of these things before you move in, unless they’re included in your contract. Be sure you make a list of everything that will be left behind, or have your agent note that nothing will be removed from the home, including carpeting, countertops, shower curtain rods, and so on.

3. Value

A builder may want to price a model or display home the same as a new home since it hasn’t technically had any occupants, but remember that a display home has still had a number of people walk through, potentially use the restrooms, open and close cabinet doors, and so on. The builder will also usually run the heating and air conditioning while using the model, so the furnace and central unit will have suffered some wear and tear. Be sure you’re ready to negotiate with the builder so they set a price reflecting the use of the display home and are not pricing it the same as a new, unoccupied home.

Author: Barbara Goodwin

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