So I wouldn’t say I am cheap, but I would say I am very “value conscious” or “thrifty” or many other synonyms of cheap.
So when the sales manager told us that we would probably be spending at least $20,000 in upgrades I did not believe her as I thought this was only “most people”.
I am telling you that you WILL be spending AT LEAST $20,000 in upgrades.
The positives are they are offering half off on upgrades (for right now at least)… so even if you spend $20,000 you are only actually paying for $10,000… Things like crown molding, granite countertop in the kitchen, nice appliances and hardwood on the living room level are all included automatically.
The negatives are that some of the “Level 0” options (included options) you are going to want to upgrade for sure even if you are cheap.
Some of the things you are definitely going to want to upgrade are:
- - The “Level 0” hardwood floors do not look great because of the limited available colors.
- - The Level 0 carpets and especially padding are pretty poor. (Only three shades of very thin beige are available.)
- - You cannot get white kitchen cabinets unless you go up to Level 2 which, in the gourmet kitchen, is VERY expensive. For some folks (like my wife) white cabinets are a must. Level 0 only includes a few similar shades of light brown.
- - If you have the wet bar in the loft, it is comes with laminate for the bar which, in my opinion, should be upgraded. Keep this in mind when deciding to add the wet bar.
- - The great room (living room) does not have ANY overhead lighting included – so you’ll probably add some inset lights.
- - Smaller things like a garage door opener are options you pay for when you’d think they would be included.
The thing is I have many co-workers who have built new homes and they have all said their experience was much, much worse. At least with Stanley Martin you are getting brick in all elevations, crown molding and granite and some other goodies included.
I think upgrade costs are just a part of the new home purchase process and the experience we had in the design studio was great. They were very helpful and the process was pretty smooth.
I will detail my selections in the next post.