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What new home upgrades does a typical home buyer choose?

“Always pick your yard based on your Summer lifetstyle.”


November 27, 2017 - Karl Yeh

Thinking about including some upgrades when buying a new home? What do other home buyer's include? In this episode, we look at the most common upgrades home buyer's usually select, how these upgrades impact your mortgage, and timelines when upgrades can be included with a new home purchase


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Hi everyone, and welcome to another addition of Homebuyer's School.

Today, I'm joined by Jessica McNabb, Area Manager with Brookfield Residential, and today the question we're going to answer is:

What does the typical home buyer choose to upgrade?

Jessica McNabb:              

When a home buyer's coming through our show home, they're looking at all the different inclusions in the show home.

What most people end up going with are the flooring upgrades, so they would upgrade to [00:00:30] laminate or hardwood, and the tile flooring, and they would also choose the quartz countertops, and cabinets to ceiling.

Karl Yeh:                             

Do you know why those are the key things? The countertops, the flooring, why is that?

Jessica McNabb:              

Those things are the upgrades that encompass the entire look of the house, it changes the entire look, and it's not a huge upgrade cost to do so.

Karl Yeh:                             

Okay. How about color? Is that another upgrade as well? Or is that something you have to do outside?

Jessica McNabb:               Like the color [00:01:00] of the flooring for example? Or-

Karl Yeh:                              Well, color of the house.

Jessica McNabb:               ... of the house?

Karl Yeh:                              Yeah.

Jessica McNabb:              

Most builders will have different color packages to choose from, so you would choose one color that would go over the entirety of the house, so there wouldn't be an upgrade cost for that, but in terms of baseboards, like if you wanted the gray baseboards or the gray package, there would be an upgrade cost.

Karl Yeh:                             

Let's say for some crazy thing I wanted to paint my house neon orange, but it doesn't match the color schemes with the builder? Would I have to do that after the fact? After I buy it? Or ...

Jessica McNabb:              

You would, yep.

With a new build, typically, all [00:01:30] the selections would have to be in place and it would be built exactly as per the agreement, and then after the fact, it's your home so you can choose your neon colors.

Karl Yeh:                             

Okay. Sounds good.

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Are all these upgrades included in the mortgage?

Karl Yeh:

So let's say for example, I got pre-approved for this amount, and I'm ready to buy my house, but then about four months away I said, "Hey, you know what, I want to include these things." What are some things-

Jessica McNabb:              

Yeah. That's a great question. [00:02:00] We see that a lot.

People will come through, do their agreement with us then a few months later, like you said, they'll say, "Actually, I want to add my deck to the mortgage."

Within certain timelines, we can add different upgrades to the home.

It's very important to know that you need to take that document with the additions and send it to the mortgage broker, so that amount can also be included in the mortgage.

Karl Yeh:                              Oh, okay.

Jessica McNabb:              

A lot of times, if someone's not aware of that at the time of closing, that cost that's not included in the mortgage, would be a cost that would have to be cash upfront. [00:02:30]

So, most times the area manager and the sales rep. will make sure it goes to the broker just to manage that piece in case, but good to know for homebuyers.

Karl Yeh:                             

Yeah, because just in case I really want to change my flooring, we're so far down the process, but there still usually is enough time for me to put it all in, right?

Jessica McNabb:               Right.

Is there a cut off time where you can't do anymore upgrades?

Jessica McNabb:              

They're typically as most builders would like you to at the time of the agreement, [00:03:00] go through the inclusions that you want in your home, because there's a build timeline that we need to maintain and to ensure that everything's efficient.

And we give you the timeline that we've estimated for you, to order the flooring, to have all the things maintained for construction, there needs to be a deadline.

Typically, it would be after the home's been started, we would select all the colors. So, after it's been dug, and before it's framed, that's when the selections need to be chosen.

Karl Yeh:                              Okay. Perfect. Anything else to add?

Jessica McNabb:               No, I think we've covered it.

Karl Yeh:                              Awesome. Thank you very much Jessica.

Jessica McNabb:               Thanks.

Karl Yeh:                              Thank you very much everyone, and [00:03:30] we'll catch you next time.


Your turn:

Let us know if you have additional home buying or selling questions that we can answer by submitting them in the comments section below. 

Homebuyer's School publishes new content weekly so subscribe or check back regularly for the latest information, strategies and tips from homebuying experts. 


About Jessica McNabb:

University of Alberta: Bachelor of Science in Registered Nursing 2011 McConnell Place North Alzheimers Care Centre 3 Years - Client Care Leader Brookfield Residential 6 Years - Area Sales Manager Sold over 200 Homes

While a career in Nursing was extremely fulfilling, I also wanted to explore a career in home sales. After 6 years of being in the New Home Sales Industry, I still feel the same sense of fulfillment through taking clients from start to finish building their home.

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