How to Use a New Home Builder’s Design Center

If you choose to buy a new home from a homebuilder, the new home will, to varying degrees, have features in common with other homes. This gives those searching for a new home to buy the advantage of being able to compare existing models to the new home they are considering. However, most people want their new home to reflect individual tastes. That’s where the design center comes in. Because many higher-end new home builders offer custom design centers, this article seeks to explain how to use the design center – and how to finance your options and upgrades.

Homebuilders offer design centers for at least two reasons. One is that the homebuilder wants to offer those searching for a new home to buy the ability to customize a new home based on individual aesthetic preferences. The other is that, because the designing can be financed as part of the mortgage, the new home buyer is in a position to choose features that might otherwise be cost prohibitive.

New home builder Orleans Homes has an award-winning design center and, because of the company’s reputation, their design center is used as a reference point for evaluating how to use a design center and finance new home design. To preview the Orleans Homes Design Center, click here.

When you buy a new home from a quality homebuilder, you will be invited to browse options for enhancing your home. Some pre-priced home enhancement options will include carpet and flooring, lighting and sound, kitchen cabinets and appliances, doorknobs and stair rails, and windows and doors. Obviously, the selection can be quite extensive. When you sign on the dotted line, you will be invited to meet personally with design consultants to review your options. The advantage of personalizing the look of your new home before completing the purchase is that you can finance all of it as part of your mortgage – obviously a tremendous deal.

When you first meet with a design consultant, bring your options manual. As part of the new home buying process you will likely be given one, typically by a sales manager. Then, using the manual or viewing staged home interiors, you and the design consult will discuss options and pricing. Remember, you will typically have 45 days from your agreement of sale to complete all your selections for eligibility. When you go to the appointment, it is a good idea to bring fabric, pillows or even furniture drawers to coordinate furnishings with the new interior finishes of the new home. Then, when you make your structural selections, the decorative process begins. A deposit will be due as final decorator selections are made.

When meeting with the design consultants, come knowing what you like – and what you don’t – and remember that even though the financing is a good deal, you will owe the money at some point so don’t be talked into options you don’t like. And of course, if you are browsing new home builders, it may be wise to avoid homebuilders that don’t present options for personalizing your new home.

* You may republish this article provided you retain the active hyperlinks. Copyright 2006, Robert O’Shaughnessy.