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Touring a Model Home

Posted on April 20, 2021 by Miller and Smith Blog Team

How To Tour A Model Home

Touring model homes is an important part of the home buying process. Model homes exist to make it easier for you to picture yourself living in a home.

You get to delight as every finish and feature of the home is immaculately shown off, complemented by furniture and art arranged with a designer’s touch.

Touring a model home is exciting and eye-opening, but can also be very overwhelming.

Getting the most out of a model home tour is work. You need to do your homework and have a plan. If you do, you’ll turn a model home tour into an important learning experience.


A Model Plan for a Model Home Tour

The best model home tour plan is divided into three parts: before the tour, during the tour, and after the tour. Each part has its own assignments and things to focus on. The information you’ll gather from this plan will not only make your model home tour more engaging, but it will also yield the most information useful for your new home decision.


Before the Tour

This is the “homework” section of your tour plan. You need to show up to the tour already armed with knowledge which the tour will build upon. Here’s what to do before the tour:

  1. Create a new home feature list. This is a list of all the features, finishes, and rooms you want in your new home. Create the list and then give each item a priority. Some you definitely want and some you could be happy without (but really would like).
  2. Review floor plans before a visit. Before you head to a model home, review its floor plan. Get a lay of the land, so to speak, so you enter the model home with a clear expectation on what you’ll be seeing.
  3. Generate a list of questions. Think of everything you might want to know about a new home. Does it come with a warranty? What are the HOA fees? How much is the average buyer spending on design options? New Home Source has a great list of questions to ask. Write your questions down.


During the Tour

Most of your work will occur during your tour. Wear comfortable shoes, as your tour might extend outside the home and into the community to see more of the area and amenities. During your tour, make sure to:

  1. Ask your questions. Home tours are often a great time to connect with someone working for the community or home builder. All those questions you wrote down earlier? Well, now’s the time to get answers.
  2. Take notes. Don’t just trust yourself to remember the answers to your questions and all other important details learned as you tour. Take notes. Write down the answers to your questions, all the features and finishes you enjoy, and any bits that don’t impress you much. You might even want to sketch out room layouts you like as a guide to where you might put your own furniture.
  3. Snap photos. Take photos of every room with as much light as possible. Take photos of features like dedicated office space, and finishes such as wide-plank hardwood floors. Your notes and photos are going to help you remember the home so you can continue to evaluate it after the tour.


What happens after the Tour?

After you tour a model home, take some time for reflection. This is the time to review your notes and recall your experiences.

  1. Summarize your findings. When it comes time to compare homes, you don’t want to have to sort through pages of notes. A concise summary will be super helpful when you sit down to either narrow your choices down or select your perfect forever home.
  2. Give the home a grade. Look at your summary and give the home a grade. Whatever grading scale you use, keep it consistent and write it very conspicuously on the first page of your notes so you can see it easily. This will help you sort your potential new homes even faster.
  3. Stay organized. All this hard work is for naught if you can’t easily put it to use. So, make a spreadsheet, put together a binder, or however you best like to keep important things together. Again, the more organized you are, the easier it will be to find the information you need to make the important decision on where to call home.


The Model of Home

As stated before, touring a model home is work. But don’t think if you don’t get all your answers, or think of questions after the fact, that your one chance is gone. The great thing about model homes is you can always go back to see them again.

Take our Sutton model home in Tapestry of Clarksburg, MD, for example. With up to 6 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms generously spread across three spacious levels, it’s a lot to take in at once. You might need a second visit to really get to see every nook and cranny, and every expertly selected finish and feature.

One good piece of advice is to limit the number of model homes you tour in one trip. Stick to just a couple of homes per day. This way, you won’t tire yourself out, miss things, or not be able to spend the time needed at each location. And sometimes, like at Tapestry, you can tour multiple model homes in one location. Our Atwood model home shows off another home style you’ll want to consider right across the street from the Sutton model home.

Model homes exist to make it easier for you to picture yourself living in a home. And sometimes, you can live exactly there, as model homes are often sold after the rest of the community has been purchased. If that is something you’re interested in, make sure to ask on your tour. And maybe, the model home you tour today will be your new home tomorrow!