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Old 03-15-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
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Who has had a new home built? Let's chat...

How was your experience?
What regrets do you have?
What do you wish you added but didn't, or vice-versa?
Did you use your own realtor in addition to dealing with the development/builder's realtor?
How negotiable was the price or upgrades and options?

We are looking at a move to the York, PA area. Just looking to hear some experiences from those who've been there.


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Old 03-15-2013, 03:16 PM   #2
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It's been a few years since I built mine (2004), which we sold in 2009 and bought this current place. We were buying from a large, regional developer (since then they went bankrupt). Back then, during the building boom, the price was the price. X upgrade cost $y dollars, and that was that. We did not use a realtor, as it really wouldn't have helped us since the prices weren't negotiable. I'm sure the landscape is different now, with people not climbing over each other to buy any available house.

Add the upgrades that will be difficult for you to do later or will be there for a long time. You will usually be paying a premium for them to do certain things, so if you can do them easily later, save some money. We picked out upgrades like cabinets, oak railing & stringers, upgraded insulation. We passed on easy things like taking the base-level baseboards and changed them out as we painted the rooms the way we wanted them (couldn't paint for a year after construction or they wouldn't fix drywall pops they told us, so it was white for a year).

One of the best upgrades we did, that I truly miss from that house, was the natural gas line we had run outside for the grill. I hate having to buy propane.


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Old 03-15-2013, 10:45 PM   #3
Stuck in the 70's
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We had a small 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath home built in central Texas back in '92. While it was technically a subdivision, the lots were 5 to 20 acres and there wasn't a specific builder tied to the development.
We chose a builder/GC, and he drew up the blueprints off of our ideas and sketches.
This was in rural Texas though. Probably a lot less hoops to jump through than where you are.

No major regrets except for not enough closets/storage. But then does anyone ever have enough?
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:17 PM   #4
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You might want to do a search on the subject on this site and on contractor talk.

What you are asking is what would one want in a house.

Everyone wants something else.

Exterior access to basement (staircase)
Basement egress windows
walkout basement
mudroom/entry with lots of cabinets
heated floors
electronic air cleaner
humidifier on furnace
3-way switches on ceiling fans in bedrooms-at door & at bed
3' doors everywhere
4' hallway
energy star
brick veneer
tiled floors throughout
tiled bathroom walls
hip roof
4' soffits
Filipino maid-25-35 years old
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:17 PM   #5
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granite floor
large soaker tub
separate steam shower
library/den with floor to ceiling mahogany bookcase
second staircase upstairs
Theatre roomw/leather recliners
indoor pool with retractable dome for summer
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:49 AM   #6
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I'm also a big fan of 1 3/4" solid core doors.

I have a friend who had a fairly pricey house, and the first thing he did was take off all the white hollow core doors and put up some decent ones. Not only do you waste the money spent on the cheesy hollow cores (because they are only fit to be thrown away), you also have to buy, finish, and install the decent doors.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:21 AM   #7
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1 x 3/4" solid core doors -
Use Oak.
2 X 6" exterior walls.
Any plumbing going into an outside wall?
Keep it, at least - 3 & 1/2 ", away from the sheathing.

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Old 03-17-2013, 01:24 PM   #8
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for an energy efficient home try SIP's (structural insulated panels). come pre-made at the with all openings framed, electric conduit in the walls. Can get them with finishes on the interior side. Go up very fast (of course have to know what you're doing) I've used them many times and you'd be amazed at the heating/cooling bills.

lot's of great suggestions!!!!!!



"You get what you pay for, and sometimes free costs more!"
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