Pitfall: a hidden or not easily recognized danger or difficulty
A space is wasted if it goes unused. Have you ever seen a movie depicting a period where people have “parlors” in their houses – a special, little room with fringy furniture for courting, visiting, or – gasp – funeral viewings?
Living spaces evolve. Formal dining rooms and living rooms have or are being phased out because younger generations just don’t use them – they turned out to be nothing more than dust-gathering spots for formal furniture and grandma’s curios. Most families today don’t need or want a formal dining or living room and certainly don’t want to budget in order to furnish them.
As you tour model homes, you’ll notice that some 2,000 square foot plans have the same functional living space (the space where you spend 90% of your awake-hours) as a 3,200 square foot home because the latter has square footage chewed up by “lofts,” “sitting areas,” or large, out-of-scale spaces in master bathrooms. In larger production housing you’ll see huge master closets but with very few places to store your underwear and socks (of course you could spend $5,000 upgrading to include cabinetry, shoe racks, and dressing tables – just don’t expect it as standard). The hallways of the bigger homes will be just as narrow as lesser-priced models and you’ll encounter plans where, if you just pause, look and think, you’ll ask, “What would I actually use that space for? How will it fit in to how we really live?” or, “What were they thinking when they designed this plan?”
The great secret is that home building companies are followers on the design curve. Their job is to make money selling houses that appeal to as wide of an audience as possible – not to set design trends. Some of their designs are hits – others are complete misses that very few buy and are quickly dropped from the offering. Some are actively selling plans that have been around for 10-15 years while others may tweak the design to put a feature in their line-up that a consultant says is trending. They copy each other – a lot.
Home building companies worry more about offering a square footage and price range in the same series of homes than they do about design. It’s like, “Okay, we’re offering people houses in this neighborhood from $350,000 to $425,000 so we have to come up five different plans – each offering more square footage then the next.”
Builders model what they think they can sell the most AND make the most money on. They invest heavily in seasoned pros with large decorating budgets who know all the hacks to make that space look like it belongs on a designer’s Instagram or Pinterest feed (not to mention $65,000 of upgraded flooring, counter tops, cabinets, plumbing, and light fixtures).
Now it’s your turn. Invest the time. Get the floorplans of every single home in your price range, lay them side by side by side and critique to your heart’s content. Keep a Sharpie handy. Make notes. Walk through the space in your mind’s eye noting hallway widths, furniture placement and what you’ll see when you walk in the front door.
Pretend that you are living there, cooking dinner, lying in bed, watching TV while your spouse is taking a shower – you know, everyday stuff. Pit the marked-up plans side by side and have friends and family critique them. Set them aside and do it again a couple of days later. Guess what? Clear front runners will stand out and you’ll find a favorite or discover that a smaller plan lives larger than a bigger plan (wasted space).
At Springboard, we’re constantly searching and evaluating plans in all price ranges, that fit a variety of life styles. We’ll research and compile floor plans that are available in your price range and location and identify the not-so-obvious features or flaws – like wasted spaces – that eliminate the “I wish someone had pointed this out when we were buying” moments. It doesn’t cost you a thing. All we ask is that you let us represent you as you think about purchasing a newly-built home. You’ll not only receive executive-level research, but we can save you money, help you with choosing options and help make sure your home is properly built.
We hope that if you’re looking at buying a newly-built home anywhere in the Phoenix area, you think of Springboard New Home Advisors to represent you in your purchase. We’re realtors who provide guidance in buying from home builders. Plus we can save thousands by helping you pay your closing costs. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by phone.
Call now to see how we can help you 480-227-2218.