I promised not too long ago a post on the surprises we have encountered this time around as we began to purchase our new home. In this post, I will share what we’ve learned so far and introduce what will most likely be our first project once we move. Read on to get all the details!
In 2014 when we bought our first home, the process seemed straightforward. We knew our budget and scheduled multiple visits to five or six homes before deciding to purchase a two-story townhome in a quiet neighborhood. The home was built in the ’80s and was in pretty good condition but needed a bit of a facelift. The market at the time was not like today, so we offered a price slightly under asking, and within a week, we had started the process, scheduled inspections, and a tentative date for the closing. (Good times)
The 1400 square foot house had a small run-down kitchen and the smallest patch of grass I had seen, but I was incredibly excited. The house also included the lights and appliances, and aside from the down payment, there weren’t any additional expenditures until closing.
This time around, in our excitement, I admit that we forgot that many of the upgrades we would have had the option of addressing at our pace in an older home are now required upfront in new construction. Before the walls are even up, you must make determinations about the space that are not always included in the listed price. For example, most new homes have carpet in the bedrooms, recreation rooms, or dens. Including hardwoods or laminate floors throughout the entire house is an added expense addressed somewhat early in the process. I have listed below a few of the items that we never thought about but needed to determine if they were included in the purchase cost. Maybe this list can also help guide you if you are interested in purchasing a new home.
- The same floors throughout
- Unique insulation for interior walls (apparently that is not always included)
- Selecting the stair rail and balusters
- Interior door styles for the entire home
- Door hardware styles for the entire home
- Taller kitchen cabinets and larger islands
- Electric or gas connections for the dryer (costs vary depending on each selection)
- Fireplace mantel style
- Window grid options
And that is to name the ones that I can recall at the moment! Additionally, in New York, it has been my experience that in older homes, for the most part, the kitchen appliances are included with the purchase. However, we realized that this was not the case with new construction and would be something we would instead have to purchase all at once. Yikes! Now, this part was a blessing since it offered us an opportunity right in the beginning to buy appliances that serve our specific needs, fit our aesthetic, and are within our price point. We were also able to select all our exterior and interior light fixtures to match the look we wanted the home to have in the future and help make it feel unique to us.
I’m sure that there are going to be a lot more surprises between now and December – we just realized we must install our mailbox, which may not sound like a big deal, but we have never dug a hole and poured concrete on anything, so it will all be a new experience.
In the meantime, the planning for the interior continues, and we have settled on our very first project! The lower level of the home will house two rooms that my husband and I will use as offices. Since he has worked in our bedroom for the last four years, it felt appropriate to kick things off by starting with his space first. We will decorate it to create an office that will be entirely his, allowing him to focus on his work in style.
Every design plan is continuously evolving, and we will not ultimately finalize everything until we move in; however, after measuring and creating a space plan, we settled on the layout below.
This home office measures 12′ by 11′ and has plenty of space not only for an L-shaped desk (allows for a computer desktop as well as plenty of space to write) but will also have built-in storage on the opposite wall and a lovely leather sofa where I can relax when we are chatting at the end of the day.
The elements below are some of the items we have already settled on and cannot wait to see them in the room.
Thank you for reading and sticking around! Let us know what you think about the plan and stay tuned as we continue to craft and design plans for every corner of the #LPIHomestead.