A Checklist for Viewing Model Homes

Touring potential new home contenders is probably one of the most fun parts of house hunting. Model home tours, with their perfectly staged décor and resort-like amenities, are a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.


If you are considering new construction homes in your quest for your new house, it is unlikely that you will see the building you will eventually live in. Instead, you will probably view a model home (also known as a show house) that the new home builders use to show what the finished properties will look like.


Touring model homes is slightly different than viewing resale homes. Here is what you will need to keep in mind while exploring your options for new construction homes.


Keep an Open Mind

When you visit a resale house on the market, what you see is what you get. That is not necessarily the case with model homes! A model house typically displays all the bells and whistles that the new home builders can offer as an option: high-end finishes, lavish kitchens, etc.


Besides, if you like what you see but are not entirely convinced by some elements, you can still modify the design of the house to ensure that it will better fit your taste and the needs of your family. For example, if you think that you will need an extra bedroom or a home office, the open floor plans are often flexible. If you would prefer the living room to be a different color or another type of layout in the kitchen, new home builders are happy to accommodate.


During your model house tours, make sure you know the difference between what comes as an option and what is the standard package. Make a list of all the things you like and dislike about each model house to get a better estimate of the price your perfect home would reach.


Keep Track of Your Must-Have and Nice-to-Have

Before you start touring model homes (or any home for sale), it is a good idea to establish which features you and your family cannot live without versus the ones you would like to have but can compromise about. Since new construction homes offer a lot more opportunities for home customization than resale properties, you want to be on the same page as your buying partners. It is easy to fall in love with some of the features displayed in model homes, and the chances are that you will discover a new element you will want in your new house. For example, you may find that some smart home devices could make your life a lot easier.


During your model home tours, make sure you keep in mind what is essential for you and the other people involved in the buying decision. Decide ahead of time which elements can make or break the deal, and how additional requests would fit into your budget.


Bring a List of Questions For The Builder

As you tour model homes, don't forget you are not only here to find out about the building itself, but also about the new home builders in charge of the project. It is easy to get overwhelmed during the visit, so set a list of questions ahead of time you want to ask the builder.


You will want to find out more about the house and the home building process. For example:

  • How long will the home building process take?
  • What is included as far as architectural options and design center choices are concerned? What can be customized?
  • Which amenities will be present in the community?
  • What are the HOA fees? What do they cover? Etc.


However, some other questions can make the difference between one new home builder and another:


For more information on Homeowners Associations (HOAs) check out our guide on what is an HOA?


Document Your Visit

After seeing multiple model homes in different communities, often within a relatively short time, things tend to get mixed up. Avoid any confusion by keeping track of the pros and cons of all the new home builders you will encounter in your search. Depending on your preferences, you can pick up some literature, take pictures on your cellphone, or go the old-school way, with some paper and a pen. 


If you are searching for the perfect home for you and your family, Pulte Homes is present in 22 states and offers multiple communities to fit your lifestyle. Don't hesitate to check out your favorite destination to tour our model homes and maybe find your new place. 



Contributed to Your Home blog by Alix Barnaud

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Published 12.30.20

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