Budgeting for New Home Design Options

Couple meeting with design consultant at Home Gallery design center

If you’ve never purchased a new-construction home, there are probably many aspects of the process you’re unsure about. It’s common for us to get inquiries about the building timeline, how financing works and more. One popular question we hear on repeat is “How much should I set aside for design center options?”

The answer is not one size fits all! Location, home size and style preferences can all factor into choosing home design options. But don’t let the unknown stop you from starting the path to a personalized home! Though your budget may be unique to you, here is what you’ll need to consider in order to arrive at the answer.

Education on the number of choices

At Richmond American, we pride ourselves on the number of ways we have to personalize your new living space. Everyone thinks of the cabinetry, the flooring and the paint, but the truth is that your design appointment will cover much more than that. Lighting, window coverings, door hardware, stair railings and home technology are all on the list. Understanding the breadth of your home design options is a great first step. We recommend flipping through our appointment brochure.

Note: Don’t worry, you will not be alone at your Home Gallery™ appointment! Our design consultants are skilled and experienced at guiding buyers throughout the process. They are more than happy to help you balance your style preferences within the budget you set for your household.

Know your must-haves

Every Richmond American home includes a standard set of beautiful fixtures and finishes. In the end, it’s really up to you how many items on the list you would like to upgrade to get a personalized look. While the first step is simply to educate yourself on the number of options available, the second step is to make a list of those key options you want above everything else. If you’ve dreamed of hardwood flooring for years, put it on the list! If a large farmhouse sink is the first thing that comes to mind, write it down. When you know what’s actually important to you and make it a priority, you may feel less inclined to spend your budget on options less critical to your happiness and comfort.

Note: Your design consultant can and will likely suggest alternatives to keep you on budget! Who knows? You may fall in love with a beautiful wood-look flooring that both helps cut costs and is more practical for pets and kids. Love a specific countertop, but it’s putting you above budget? With hundreds of choices at the Home Gallery™, there’s sure to be a material that saves you money and still gives you a similar look.

Balance your tastes with the base price

Everyone we work with approaches the homebuying process differently. There are homebuyers who rely heavily on the design consultant to help make Home Gallery™ selections because they’ve never really considered their personal style. Then there are homebuyers who live and breathe Pinterest and have half the selections narrowed down before the appointment. Know thyself! If home interiors are something you dream about frequently, you may end up wanting more options and upgrades than then average person. In that case, you may not want to buy a home with a base price that’s already at the top of your budget. Talk to your sales associate about the final price of similar homes in the area to get a feel for what may be average and plan accordingly.

Note: If you love home design and want to maximize your interior budget, consider concessions you can make before you contract. Some homesites are larger or are in a special location and come at a premium price. Choosing a homesite with a lower price tag could leave you with more funds for the flooring or cabinetry of your dreams.

To conclude, just as no two homes are alike, no two budgets are alike! When it comes to how much or how little you will spend, it’s all about knowing yourself, your needs and how much you can afford. Speaking to a professional loan officer is a step in the right direction. We always recommend getting in touch with someone from our affiliate, HomeAmerican Mortgage Corporation (see licensing info), for a smooth, streamlined financing experience.


Have more questions about the homebuilding process? Our guide has the answers!

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Collage of homebuyer guide covers, including First-time Homebuyer Guide and Floor Plan Basics Guide.