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Are Appliances Included in New Construction Homes? Your Guide to Buying Appliances for Your New House

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Wow! You have the exciting opportunity to purchase a brand-new home! You’re going to be the first person to live there and you know you will create so many amazing memories. Here comes the fun part — you get to furnish it however you want and buy the latest and greatest appliances.

You can already imagine your touchscreen dishwasher, your oven that can be preheated from an app on your phone — and don’t forget about the fridge. Perhaps, one that has panels to look like your cabinets, or a fancy see-through fridge that requires you to keep its contents organized for nosy house guests.

Regardless of which appliances you choose, you will want to do a lot of research and see what the builder offers, if anything, to determine what will best suit your needs and your budget.

Buying appliances for new construction: Your questions answered

Let’s dive into some frequently asked questions about buying appliances for new construction homes. There’s a lot of ambiguity around this topic, so we will clarify the details so you can get the best appliances for the best price, and in the least amount of time.

Do new construction homes come with appliances?

Most new construction homes come with some appliances, but not all of the appliances you will need. According to Brad Gore, who works with 74% more single-family homes than the average agent in Branson, Missouri, builders often include standard appliances that you need to function in the home and that may be built-in. If the appliance is built-in, wiring is involved which will need to be installed during the construction phase.

Many new construction homes have dedicated laundry rooms, but builders still consider washing machines and dryers to be luxury features and usually don’t include them in the base package. Gore says that refrigerators are negotiable, but lately more builders have been including them.

Always talk to your builder to see what they offer and find out if the appliances come as a package and what you’re actually paying for them. You should be provided with a detailed list of costs for your new build, so pay close attention to what the appliance package is costing you.

Typical appliances that come standard in new construction homes include:

  • Over-the-range microwave hood combo
  • Standalone gas or electric range
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator (negotiable)
  • HVAC system
  • Water heater
  • Trash compactor or built-in garbage disposal
  • Pool equipment (if a pool is included)

Appliances that are usually not included in new construction homes include:

  • Washer and dryer
  • Small appliances such as blenders, toasters, and juicers
  • Microwaves that aren’t built-in
  • Wine fridge: Unless in a luxury home
  • Stand-alone freezer
  • Espresso machine

If offered, should you always purchase appliances from the builder?

Builders typically buy the appliances in bulk, Gore explains, so they’re likely to get a better deal because they’re buying a large quantity of appliances at once and have built a relationship with their supplier. That doesn’t mean that you have to buy the appliances from the builder, but it could save you both time and money if the builder is getting a good deal.

However, there are some other options. When you are working out the details of the purchase contract, you can opt to pay the difference between what the builder was going to spend on the appliances, and the price of the ones you really want. This may be applicable if you want to purchase a specific brand, model, or a really high-end appliance that wasn’t going to be included with the house.

What discounts can you get on appliances?

You can get discounts on buying appliances for new construction homes in a variety of ways:

  • Shop around: Price shop, compare appliances online and in-store, and weigh prices against what the builder is charging.
  • Read the fine print: Read the contracts with your builder so you know what is and isn’t included and for what cost.
  • Think long term: Find out approximately how long the appliance is meant to last and think about if you like the appliance enough to use it for all or most of its lifespan
  • Bundle: You’re more likely to get a discount if you buy multiple appliances from one place. There may be a deal on buying a washer and a dryer together or a package deal if you buy all of your kitchen appliances at once.
  • Installation, delivery, etc: If you buy appliances from the builder, installation and shipping costs will already be factored into the price and you likely won’t pay any extra than the agreed-upon amount.
  • Sales: Look for holiday sales, year-end markdowns, and specials on appliances online (and in person, if you can) to see where the best deals are.
  • Buying pre-owned or floor models: you can find significant savings by looking for floor models, appliances with open boxes, or ones that have been refurbished.
  • Warranty: Find out if the appliance comes with a warranty and if you can purchase an additional warranty from the store. This will save you money in the long run if the appliance needs to be repaired or replaced unexpectedly.

Are appliances included in a construction loan?

If you are purchasing appliances from the builder to be included as a part of the build, this cost can be included in the construction loan. In this case, the appliances will need to be included in the house plans and the builder’s contract to be included in the loan. Remember that things like televisions are considered electronics, not appliances, and aren’t usually included in a construction loan.

If appliances are not offered by the builder and you need to purchase them separately, they won’t be included in the construction loan. These will be out-of-pocket costs that you will be responsible for budgeting for.

How do I budget for appliances if I am not purchasing from the builder?

Appliances are an expensive, but integral part of your home. They often get used daily and make your life much more efficient. On average, buyers can expect to spend around $10,875 on appliances if the home doesn’t come with any. Higher-end appliances can cost you around $24,400.

Don’t forget to budget for shipping, delivery, or installation costs if you’re purchasing your own appliances. The national average cost to install a new appliance is $125, but most homeowners spend between $120 and $150.

You should also prioritize spending more on features that mean the most to you and appliances you use more frequently. If you have a large family, a fridge with extra space may be more important than a washer that can be controlled via Bluetooth.

Choose what’s going to add the most value to your experience. You may even need to consider trimming down on other costs such as higher-end fixtures or furniture to add room to your appliance budget.

Also, check out thrift stores, Costco (if you have a membership), and scratch and dent stores for pre-owned models if you’re on a tight budget. There can be downsides to this approach, however. If you buy a pre-owned model, it may be much less expensive upfront, but it could break down sooner, costing you more in the long run. Check with the retailer to see if they will include a warranty or if you can purchase one.

How long will it take to get appliances if I purchase them myself?

In 2022, there are supply chain issues, shortages of materials, and major shipping delays around the world. This issue, of course, has led to a serious interruption in the appliance market. In fact, nearly 90% of home builders are reporting having trouble getting appliances for their new homes.

You may also encounter these delays if you purchase appliances on your own. Buyers looking for refrigerators, freezers, washers, and dryers are experiencing the biggest delays — sometimes these appliances may be on backorder for months. Generally, you should expect to wait between 2 and 6 weeks for large appliances.

During the pandemic, more people were staying at home and using their appliances more, speeding up the wear-and-tear process significantly.

So, to circumvent the delays, start shopping early — well before your move-in date. You don’t want to move all of your belongings, unload your boxes, go grocery shopping, and realize you don’t have a fridge to store everything in — that would be very inconvenient! Instead, ask how long the retailer expects the appliances to take to be delivered and then factor in some extra time.

You can also inquire about purchasing a floor model or an appliance that is already in stock and ready to be taken home. Additionally, this may serve as a greater reason to negotiate with the builder to include all necessary appliances with the home sale.

Where can I start shopping for appliances?

There are certain things that are easy to shop for online like shoes, cleaning supplies, and gifts. But when it comes to appliances, shopping in person is usually the best bet. You can start online to get a price range of a particular appliance, but local appliance stores often have better customer service, and you can look in person and get your questions answered.

It can be fun to ‘try out’ different fridges and see if that dishwasher you saw online looks like a good fit for your kitchen when you see it in person. You may end up preferring a style or model in-store that you didn’t like online. You can also check out the colors in person, try some of the features, and double-check measurements.

Popular places to shop for appliances include:

  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s
  • Best Buy
  • BrandsMart USA
  • Costco: Membership required
  • Sam’s Club: Membership required
  • Ikea
  • Walmart
  • Wayfair: Online only
  • Target: Only sells small appliances
  • Amazon: Online only
  • Facebook Marketplace: For pre-owned appliances
  • OfferUp: For pre-owned appliances
  • Craigslist: For pre-owned appliances
  • Yard sales, garage sales, and estate sales: For pre-owned appliances

Which brands are the best?

When it comes to appliances, brands matter. This is not because they’re ‘designer’ or are thought of as ‘cool’ or ‘luxurious,’ but because brand reliability can help you avoid the headache and cost of repairs or replacement.

When shopping for different brands of appliances, consider consumer reports, review sites, customer feedback, and lists of rankings. These brand reliability rankings can help you avoid the ‘lemons’ of appliances. They survey consumers to find out how long their appliances have lasted and then use this data to predict how well a certain brand’s appliances will perform over the first five years of use. They will then assign them a quality score that ranges between poor and excellent.

Some of the top-rated brands include:

  • Speed Queen
  • LG
  • Café
  • Ikea
  • Thermador
  • Bosch
  • Miele
  • GE
  • Roper
  • Signature Kitchen Suite
  • Kenmore
  • Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove (all one company)
  • Whirlpool
  • Frigidaire

How about energy efficiency?

Energy-efficient appliances are better for the environment, can save you money upfront with rebates, and can save you money on your gas, electric, and water bills.

The average family in the U.S. washes about 300 loads of laundry each year and Energy Star-certified washing machines use about 25% less energy and 33% less water than other washers. This can save you more than $370 in energy costs over the lifetime of the washer.

When you purchase certain energy-efficient appliances, such as heating and cooling systems and water heaters, you may qualify for a state and/or federal tax credit and may claim up to 10% of the cost, subject to a lifetime limit of $500. This, however, is subject to the IRS renewal of this program for years to come.

There are also tax credits for using alternative energy sources to power these appliances, such as solar, wind, or geothermal energy. For specific details on tax credits for energy efficiency, it’s best to speak to your local tax professional.

Some utility companies will also offer you an incentive for purchasing an energy-efficient appliance because you’re reducing your energy consumption. This can be a rebate on your appliance purchase or a credit toward your monthly bill. Check out this database to see what programs are offered in your area and make sure you are taking advantage of these major savings opportunities.

What not to forget when purchasing a new construction home

While these items aren’t exactly appliances, here are some must-have home essentials that you should think about (and budget for) when buying a new home:

  • Window treatments: Will you want blinds, curtains, or motorized shades? It may vary by room and even by season. Some mornings you may want to be able to watch the sunrise from bed, and others you’ll need blackout drapes to let you sleep in.
  • Security system: There are many different options on the market and you can get a basic alarm or a more secure system with cameras, motion-detecting sensors, and multiple control pads.
  • Sprinkler system: This will help water your grass, plants, and trees, and can be set on a timer.
  • Shower curtains and bathroom decor: You will need bathmats, extra towels, wash cloths, and possibly extra storage solutions.
  • Area rugs: If your new home has mostly hardwood, marble, or tile floors, area rugs can make the place feel warmer and can dampen sound.
  • Light fixtures and ceiling fans: You may want to add sconces going up the stairs, an extravagant crystal chandelier in the foyer, or ceiling fans in the bedrooms.
  • Kitchen gadgets: Don’t forget the toaster, blender, mixer, paper towel holder, and trash cans.
  • Furniture and accessories: Furnishing an entire house can get expensive, especially if you’re moving from an apartment to a larger home. You will need bed frames, mattresses, tables, couches, chairs, pillows, linens, and more.
  • Electronics: Televisions, gaming systems, computers, and more can be essential for families in our modern world, but can really add up, so budget accordingly.

The wrap-up

Buying appliances for new construction homes requires research, comparison, and communication with your builder. It’s best to know exactly what you’re getting as soon as possible, so you can budget for additional appliances or upgraded models you may want or need. A new build checklist can also help keep you on track and organized.

Keep in mind that builders are in business to make money, so you want to check exactly how much appliance packages are going to cost you and compare them with what you would pay if purchasing on your own. Working with a top agent can help you sift through the details and get an amazing deal on your new home.

Header Image Source: (Sidekix Media / Unsplash)