Can You Negotiate Upgrades on New Construction Homes?

Upgrades can really raise your home’s value. But did you know you could actually use them to negotiate with your builder?
Written by Cheryl Knight
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
When you buy a new construction home, you want to get it for as low a price as possible.
Unfortunately, many builders stay firm on the price of the homes they build. This is because builders have to sell their new homes at a certain price to meet their costs and maintain the value of the neighborhood they build in.
But here’s a little secret that could save you a lot of money: One of the best ways to negotiate the base price of a new construction home is through upgrades. Upgrades are the little things that spice up your home, such as the style of cabinets in your kitchen, the type of wood flooring in your living room, and higher ceilings throughout your home.
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Tips for negotiating upgrades with builders

So, is negotiating new home upgrades possible? A lot depends on the time of year that you buy and where you buy, among other factors. Here are some tips for negotiating for the upgrades in your next home.

Choose a cheaper lot

Start by choosing a cheaper lot. By going with a cheaper location for your home, you might be able to talk the builder into allowing you to put that money toward upgrades on your home.

Buy during the slow season

One of the best times to buy a new home is during the builders off season. In the U.S., this is in the fall and winter. This allows the builder to give more attention to your home and gives you a little bit wiggle room when it comes to price. You can then put the money you save into extra upgrades.

Ask the builder to cover the closing costs

Another option that many people ask for when buying a home is for the builder to cover the closing costs. This can run into the thousands of dollars depending on the price of your home, and that's money which you can use for upgrades if you can get your builder to agree.

Buy an unsold new home construction

Another way to get a great deal on upgrades for your new home is to look for a new home construction that's on the market. In an effort to make a sale on a home that has been sitting around for a while, a builder might be willing to throw in some upgrades that you want as an incentive to buy. Keep in mind that certain upgrades, such as elevated ceilings, won’t be available because the house is already built.


You could also just ask. Many builders will offer special deals to lower the cost of a new construction home throughout the year in an effort to get people to buy. These savings can easily be used for additional upgrades, which make your home worth more in the long run. So, it is a win-win for everyone involved.

Upgrades that add value to your home

When asking for upgrades, there are a few that can really raise the value of your home. Keep in mind that not all of these upgrades will be available with all builders. Here are a few:
  • Elevated ceilings: Elevated ceiling can make a room appear bigger and give it an exciting design element, especially when combined with crown molding.
  • Wood floors: Getting hardwood floors as an upgrade when first buying your home can save you the headache of having to do it later, plus it increases the value of your home.
  • Tilework: Tilework in such areas as the master bathroom can really raise the value of your home. Unless you have the money for it, refrain from putting tilework in all of your bathrooms, except for the master bathroom, otherwise it can get expensive.
  • Radiant floor heating: While getting tilework installed, you can also add in radiant floor heating if your builder offers it. Doing it when your home is first built saves you the money, and the headache, of doing it later.

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