Which upgrades should you choose for your new construction home?
You’ve made it. That new construction home is yours! But before you sit back and relax, there’s still one more step: deciding which upgrades to pick.
Customizing your home can be one of the most fun parts of buying new construction. But are some upgrades really worth it? Upgrades can be expensive, but not all of them will pay off when you go to sell your house later. Much like our mullet hairstyles in the 80s, some looks and features can go out of style in the next couple of years, which can affect your home’s resale value. Money spent on upgrades that can’t withstand the wear and tear of daily usage can also lead to expensive repairs or replacements later on. To help you figure out which upgrades to go for, we’ve listed 4 new construction upgrades that we think are worth investing in now.
1. Hardwood floors
Yes, hardwood floors. Surprising, right? The desire for hardwood floors hasn’t changed, even as other options, such as laminate flooring and bamboo flooring, have become available. The rise of cheaper alternatives to hardwood floors may indicate that people still want the hardwood look.
But the most important feature of hardwood is that they’re easy to clean and they’re incredibly sturdy. Hardwood floors may get scratches over time, but unlike carpet, you can replace individual boards or re-stain the wood to make them like brand new again.
(Expert tip: You can prevent scratches on your hardwood floors by putting felt pads on the bottom of your furniture.)
It seems like yesterday that those luxurious-looking homes on HGTV featured granite countertops and natural dark wood cabinets. But nowadays, kitchens on HGTV have transformed into more of a farmhouse look with white cabinets, tiled backsplash, and butcher block countertops. From a design standpoint, it’s hard to say what look will be “in style” in 2030. But kitchens have always been a place for social gatherings (except maybe during the pandemic). After all, who doesn’t like food and drinks? And when you’re trying to make a meal, isn’t it so much nicer to have lots of countertop space to work on?
The kitchen space is one of the focal points of a home, and it can also be one of the most expensive to renovate later on. For us, that extra countertop and storage space is an upgrade that will go a long way, both for yourself and for your future buyers. With formal dining habits on the decline, eating at kitchen islands is becoming the new norm. A kitchen island that is multi-functional for eating and as an extra workspace is now highly desirable among buyers today, making it another good investment.
We also suggest upgrading your cabinets, choosing taller and premium materials and opting for higher-quality hinges and drawer slides. Since handles and knobs are easily replaceable and are more design-orientated, we suggest that you pass on making these upgrades with your builder.
As for the type of material for your countertops, that is entirely up to your tastes. Granite or quartz countertops will still add some value to your home because they’re high-quality and sturdy. The con is that they tend to be very pricey. You may also find that trends may shift in a couple of years, and perhaps the new “in-style” countertop material is butcher block or something else. Depending on your buyers’ tastes, they may want the latest trend. We recommend that you choose the countertop material you love and suits your needs but keep in mind that you may need to upgrade to suit your future buyers’ style and tastes to maximize your home’s value. The good news is that replacing countertops is a relatively non-invasive procedure, especially compared to re-designing your kitchen layout or replacing your cabinetry.
3. Master Suite
We’re here to say that if you want that extra nice jacuzzi bathtub for yourself in the master bathroom, we fully support your decision. You deserve it. Master bathrooms are another highly desirable feature, adding to your home’s resale value. Much like the kitchen, bathrooms are expensive to renovate, mainly because of plumbing. So it’s best to upgrade on features you want personally for your home and think about what your potential buyers may want now.
One upgrade to think about is a separate shower and tub. The basic tub-shower combo may satisfy your needs for cleanliness in a master bathroom, but it may not do very well in attracting future buyers. Although you may not use a separate tub, many homes on the market today feature separate bathtubs and showers in the master bathroom.
Having a luxurious look to your master suite will give you a competitive advantage over other homes on the market when it comes time to sell. For many, the master bathroom is a place to de-stress and get ready for the day. If you do not see the need for a tub, we suggest that you opt for the standard tub with the basic features and use the money towards a larger shower. This way, you will still have a competitive edge without pouring money into something you won’t use. And who knows, maybe you’ll find that a separate bathtub is perfect for your weekend pampering.
When it comes to windows, we’d like to just say that more is more. More windows = more light. When going outside isn’t as easy as it used to be, we don’t want to be stuck in a dark home all day. More windows will give the insides of your home more airiness and give the impression that it’s bigger than it really is. When we can enjoy the outdoors again after the pandemic ends (yes, we are remaining optimistic), windows will still be “in style.” You just can’t go wrong with them. Keep them simple, high-quality, and what suits your house’s design the best.
For the types of windows, we recommend energy-efficient windows. They may have a higher price tag right off the bat, but they will save you money on energy bills over time. Higher quality windows can also last longer, saving you money on repairs and replacements later on.
Our best advice is to choose upgrades on structures or features that will be timeless, not necessarily on design aspects that are simply on-trend for 2021 unless you personally love the design. It is not uncommon for sellers to renovate specific spaces in their homes to help add more value, sometimes upgrading their already pricey upgrades from when they built their new construction. Remember that you do not have to make all the upgrades offered by your builder because they do not necessarily guarantee a bonus to your home’s value later on.
If you’re stuck on whether or not to make an upgrade, ask yourself if one option would make you happier than the other. It may be tempting to base all of your decision-making on whether or not certain upgrades will help your home sell for a higher price in the future. But first and foremost, you should find and build a house for yourself. You don’t want to invest all this time and money in your new construction and then realize you hate living in your new home because it doesn’t suit your needs.
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