Solstice Insider

The Hidden Costs of Buying a New Home

Hello, future homeowners! As we dive into the exciting journey of building a new home, it's crucial to chat about the not-so-fun part: unexpected expenses. Knowing these costs upfront can save you from headaches later. Let's break down what you might not see coming.


Upgrades will likely be your largest expense on top of the listed sale price. You will select them in phases, starting with structural upgrades like saying yes or no to a covered patio or fireplace. Then, you will select smaller options such as choosing between showers or baths, lighting packages, stair railings, and more. Finally, you will visit the design center where you will choose the finishes on your home - cabinet colors, tile options, countertops, and more. Upgrades will add up quick, and can be anywhere from 10 to 20% of your purchase price. The model homes usually include all the top-of-the-line upgrades, and often feature special finishes that are not even offered as upgrades (think built in shelves, accent walls, and decorative wood beams). It's easy to want everything, but I can help you choose which options are worth it and which are not.

Landscaping and Outdoor Spaces

While your new home might come with a perfect interior, the outside can be a blank canvas. Backyard landscaping, extended patios/decks, and fencing are not included in Solstice. These projects will add significant costs, especially if you're doing work with pavers, gas for firepits, or water features. As your real estate agent, I'll ensure you're aware of what's included with the property and help you budget for any additional outdoor elements. I recommend getting started on landscaping quotes early, as the local landscapers tend to be very booked out.

Window Coverings and Interior Design

Those gorgeous model homes are often decked out with custom draperies and designer furniture which aren't part of the standard package. Window coverings are something many buyers forget to account for. After all, privacy is key, and those bare windows will need some dressing up. And we haven't even talked about furniture and decor. My advice? Set aside a good part of your budget for these, given the amount of windows in most models.

HOA and Metro District Fees

Be aware that Solstice has a monthly HOA and Metro district fee. The HOA covers the high-line house amenities such as the pool and gym, while the metro district covers trash service (through the monthly fee) and the open space and utilities maintenance (through the mill levy taxes, more on that below).

Property Taxes and Home Insurance

Property taxes can be a bit of a wild card. The taxes you initially see in your payment might be based on unimproved land value -- meaning, just the lot. Once your home is built, the taxable value will jump, and so will your payment. Currently, it is expected that taxes will be 1.19% of your home's value, which can be quite a lot. Similarly, home insurance for a brand-spanking-new house can be higher than you might expect. I'll walk you through these costs so you're not caught off guard.

Maintenance and Upkeep

New doesn't mean maintenance-free. While your brand-new home will definitely require less upkeep than an older one, it's not immune to the occasional need for repairs or maintenance. Having a little financial cushion can help tackle these costs as they come up without too much worry.

Building your dream home is thrilling, and I'm here to help make it as smooth as possible. By being aware of these additional expenses, you can plan better and enjoy the process with peace of mind. If you're ready to start this journey or just looking for more information, don't hesitate to reach out. Let's get you into the perfect home with no surprises in your budget. Douglas County follows the International Residential Code, which requires regular inspections during the building process to ensure the home is built to code. These inspections will be completed in many stages and any issues will be posted as part of the public record.

Let's find your new home!

Chris is a real estate agent who specializes in helping clients build, buy, and sell homes. Here are some benefits I offer to new construction clients:

  • Projected Budget of Your New Home
  • Pre-Drywall Inspection
  • 3D Matterport Model
  • On-Site Photos During Construction
  • Lot Selection & Design Center Consultations
  • Full Service Realtor Services

Remember, the builder pays my commission, so these benefits are available at no cost to you!

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