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For buyers

Things to bring for a smooth model home tour

Model HomeTouring model homes can lead to one of the most rewarding experiences of your life—homeownership. Floor plans, finishes, fixtures and future furniture arrangement… these are the elements that get a prospective homebuyer’s heart racing. It’s fun (and perfectly normal!) to get caught up in the fantasy of buying a new home. But it’s important not to lose sight of some of the more practical aspects of house hunting, including being prepared for your model home tour.

To ensure your model home tour goes off without a hitch, consider bringing along the following:

  • Someone you trust – You don’t necessarily want to bring an entourage along when you tour model homes. But that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone either. Whether you plan to live by yourself or with your spouse, significant other, family or current roommate, a second opinion from someone who really knows you—and your personal taste—can be invaluable.

    Even if you have sole decision-making authority (e.g., you will be renting a room in your home to a friend), it likely won’t hurt to have a sounding board along as you make one of the biggest purchasing decisions of your life. And who knows? He, she or they might raise important questions you haven’t considered.*NOTE: If young children will be accompanying you on your model home tour, be sure to bring along something that will keep them entertained, such as a coloring book and (washable!) crayons or an electronic tablet.

  • Your wish list – It’s good to have an idea of what you’re looking for in a new home and community before you even set foot in the sales office. Do your research ahead of time and bring along a list of the home features and community amenities that are most important to you. Access our free How to Build Your Dream Home guide to learn more about making your wish list.

    In addition to the basics like lot size, square footage and the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and garages, you will likely want to ask the sales associate about the types and quality of available finishes and whether or not the community has HOA fees. Even though you may be absolutely certain of what you’re looking for in your new home, you should also bring along…

  • An open mind – It’s impossible to predict which features or finishes will grab your attention while touring a model home. You may start your tour with a particular model or layout in mind only to discover that you don’t want to walk up and down stairs every day or you can’t possibly live without a sitting room off the master bedroom. Be open to new possibilities—you may wind up with a home that’s more comfortable, convenient and stylish than you ever imagined!
  • The proper tools – We highly recommend that you pack a pen, paper, camera and tape measure for your model home tour. Depending on your tech-level, the first three items can easily be replaced with a cell phone or tablet. The point is, these tools can help you record your thoughts, feelings and questions so you don’t overlook a single detail in your new home search. Even if your memory rivals that of an elephant, it can be difficult to match up rooms, features and decorative touches with specific homes after a long, exciting day of touring multiple models.
  • Comfy clothes and plenty of snacks – When it comes to scouting out model homes, comfortable clothes (especially footwear!) are a must. The same goes for convenient snacks, such as fresh fruit, a granola bar or trail mix, which can help keep your energy level up.

    Clothing and food may have seemingly little to do with house hunting, but being comfortable can make all the difference when searching for your dream home. After all, you never know where your model home tour might take you, and you’ll be less alert—and less inclined to check out another model at a different community—if your feet are sore and your stomach is rumbling!

Best of luck on your model home tour! For more help in your new home search, check out our comprehensive guides: How to Choose the Right Floor Plan for Your Lifestyle and Ultimate Moving Pack.