A Free Activity That Could Pay Off Big: Go Look At Model Homes

Months before my wife and I even got engaged, we would randomly go and check out model homes at subdivisions under construction in the area.

When we first started doing this, we weren’t in the market for a home, new or otherwise.  We hadn’t even entertained the idea of living together.  It was just something we thought would be fun!

While looking through various homes, just like with anything else, we would talk about what we liked and didn’t like.  Without knowing it, we were making things much easier on ourselves a few years down the line!

Fast forward to 2007.  We had since gotten engaged and were only a few months away from the wedding.  We knew we didn’t want to live in my bachelor pad condo, so we had put it for sale, but with a softening market, we hadn’t spent any time at all looking for homes.

Or had we?

When an unexpected offer came in just a few weeks after putting the condo up for sale, we were taken by surprise and, after accepting the offer, turned our efforts into finding our home.  Now, with limited time, a wedding to finish planning, and everything else that life brings, it was a recipe for disaster.

But, what we quickly found out is that we already knew what we were looking for.  Without even knowing it, we had already hashed out the most important things we wanted in terms of a house that would work for us.  When we sat down with our realtor to begin our search, laying out our wants and needs was almost too easy.

Looking back, that wouldn’t have happened so easily without having gone through the process of looking at homes together.

So, if you even think you might be looking at a home purchase in the future, go look at some model homes (or even open houses of existing homes).  It’s fun and you never know, you might be saving yourself lots of time down the road.

6 thoughts on “A Free Activity That Could Pay Off Big: Go Look At Model Homes”

  1. Do they still have model homes? I remember doing that as a teenager with my parents (fun for them, booooooring for me!) but I wonder if the recession has curbed new building.

    At any rate, Peanut and I have been toying with the idea of going to open houses and that kind of thing, even though we're a few months away of actually being ready to buy a house. Your experience is a good kick in the pants to get on that, so when we do start looking, we'll know what we want!

  2. Just goes to show you how forward planning (even unintentional) can save you in the long run. Great story.

  3. Hmm, I never thought of that but it's definitely a good way to shop. Typically, if you can tell the realtor exactly what you want, she/he can do all of the leg work.

  4. I go to Open Houses all the time — in my area, every Sunday from 2 to 4 there are open houses. I love checking out the insides of houses for sale. Plus since they're not cookie-cutter (not in a subdivision), I get a good sense of what individual touches to the house look like.

  5. That's really a good idea! My wife and I looked when we were dating and serious but we never went looking before that. I think it would have been fun to see different types of homes and dream together. We do that now when we shop around but it would have been a great exercise for us when we still weren't sure we get married. Also would have helped us to start talking about our finances sooner.

  6. Open houses are an excellent way to get to know neighborhoods and home prices. Mrs. 101 always got some good decor ideas from our lazy afternoons tooling around. On second though, that may or may not be a good idea… for me. New interior decor ideas almost always evolve into honey-do's.

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