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An important part of the new construction process is selecting what design and floorplan upgrades you’re going to include in your new home. Most builders offer a diverse selection of tempting options and it can be challenging to stay on budget during this process. Some things are important to spend the money on upfront like ten foot ceilings vs. nine foot, or an upgraded tub w/separate shower in the master bath…things that would be hard to change later on down the road when you might have the time and money. Other things make for easy swaps or additions that can be completed after you’ve closed and are living in the home. Check out this list of affordable upgrades form HouseLogic that will make your home more enjoyable and provide a great financial return when you sell:
- Adding wood molding. This easy addition adds an undoubtable touch of class and is easily accomplished by even the least-experienced DIY-ers. Molding comes in a variety of styles and can easily be painted or stained to match your décor. Molding along the ceiling can add the appearance of height to a room and the addition of chair rail at 1/3 the distance of the floor to the ceiling quickly adds an air of elegance. According to HouseLogic, “Buyers consistently rank both crown molding and chair railing in their list of most desirable decorative features they seek in a home (#3 and #7 respectively), according to the annual National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey, ‘What Home Buyers Really Want.’"
- Installing good quality ceiling fans. This is a great way to reduce energy costs and stay cool during the hot Charleston summers. It is worth it to have your builder install the ceiling fan hook-up while the house is being wired. This will ensure that the wires are where you need to be and there will be a switch for the fan. You can easily buy nice fans at a home improvement store after closing and install them on your own, along with any light kits that you choose. Be sure to look out for Energy Star rating and keep in mind that if you’re buying fans for the long haul, it’s best to avoid the cheapest option.
- Plant some trees. The average new construction home comes with a sodded yard and two newly planted trees in the front. Be forward-thinking and plant some more trees. In addition to providing some valuable shade, marketing research has proven that mature trees increase a home’s curb appeal and resale value. HouseLogic says “A recent study of home sales by the Pacific Northwest Research Station of Portland showed that street trees growing in front of or near a house boosted its sale price by an average of $8,870 and shaved two days off its time on the market.”
- Add a patio. Builders will typically offer you several options for outdoor living often including a concrete patio slab or a covered patio. Adding the patio after the fact might be more cost-efficient and give you more options for the material used. Keep the patio simple to maximize your return on investment. Pizza ovens and outdoor kitchens typically don’t recoup their investment but a basic functional patio slab will.
- Energy efficient upgrades. One of the huge perks of new construction is that almost all builders include green elements in your new home and they build with energy efficiency as a priority. HouseLogic provided a telling statistic from the National Association of Homebuiders: “Nine out of 10 potential buyers would select an efficient home with lower utility bills over a less efficient home priced 2% to 3% less.” Research additional energy efficient technology and features you could add to your home. It will save you money on utility bills in the short term and increase your resale value in the long term.
- Add some creative storage. Another benefit with new construction tends to be the storage. Homebuilders research what buyers are looking for and tend to build their homes with the buyers lifestyle in mind—this often results in very livable floorplan that are chock full of storage. In this case, the adage that “you can’t have too much of a good thing” applies. Keep your eye out for additional spaces for storage opportunities that your builder might not have already utilized.
- Install additional lighting. Lighting can obviously brighten a living space and can even be an increased safety feature when installed outdoors. Did you know that in some cases, the addition of an outdoor motion-detecting light can lower insurance premiums? Exterior lighting is a huge (and often missed) feature that home shoppers are looking for.
Are you still in the process of shopping for your new home? The Guide has easy to use search features and a comprehensive selection of the new construction options available in the Charleston area, whether you’re shopping for a built to order home that you can customize or a home available for quick move-in.
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