The question of whether or not buying the show house is a good idea is an on-going debate and certainly, there are pros and cons but experienced buyers know that the long term advantages tend to out-weigh any of the short term disadvantages.
You might need to wait for a few months before closing and moving into the property. In other markets, particularly in the US, a buyer might close the purchase and then agree to lease the property back to developer for the sales period, which could be up to two years. This does not happen in the Irish market, in fact, most developments would only use their show house for a few months or a year for phase one. It is common for developers to sell one show house and simply kit out another so two show houses in the space of a year or two years is not unusual and can work well for both the developers and the buyers.
Another perceived disadvantage is that the site adjacent to the showhouse is often used for car parking so it can be busy/noisy at times. Again, this is a very temporary inconvenience.
As anyone who has ever bought a home in the early stages of a new development launch will know, the show house is highly sought after and generally commands a higher price.
There are multiple reasons for this but the main one is that the show house is generally finished to an excellent quality, beautifully styled and furnished with top end, luxury brands that the developer writes off as a promotion and marketing expense so the full (trade) cost is not passed on to the new buyer.
Also, at a more basic level, all new developments up -sell ‘extras’ that a buyer can pay for if they want a higher specification throughout. This is always demonstrated throughout the showhouse so you can expect that it comes equipped with the highest specification available.
There is nothing standard about a showhouse.
The kitchen, including worktops and light fittings are invariably top quality. This is also true of flooring, however, do remember that what is visually beautiful might not always be practical for families (cream carpeting comes to mind!).
In addition to the high-end finish, showhouses are a feast for interior design enthusiasts with opulent furnishings that a buyer might never be able to buy at the early stages of buying a home. In most cases, the house is sold with everything included, right down to the bed linen, duvet covers and soft furnishings like cushions and table lamps.
Mirrors are a surprising expense for new homeowners and most showhouses use them throughout the house to enhance the light and space available.
Outside the house, the garden is usually architecturally landscaped in a low-maintenance finish (very important for busy families).
In the short-term, showhouses tend not to give new owners the same teething problems as standard new homes as settling cracks are dealt with as they arise – the sales agent will always ensure the showhouse is kept in top condition throughout its use. The same principle applies to snaglist issues. These are generally dealt with as soon as they are identified.
For many buyers, the convenience is irresistible. You can walk into your new home with a only suitcase and there’s no waiting around.
In the long term, as the glossy interior of any home fades over a few years, the showhouse quality will generally stand the test of time.
We are currently listing a former showhouse and the high-quality fit-out is still evident throughout.
1 Woodlands Drive, Gorey, County Wexford is a superb four bedroom detached home and garden, in excellent condition throughout (asking price €235,000).