What is a Show Home and Should You Consider Buying One?

Posted July 8, 2024
What is a Show Home and Should You Consider Buying One?

A show home, also known as a model home, is a fully furnished and decorated property in a new housing development. It offers potential buyers a tangible example of what properties in the development will look like upon completion.

Show homes aim to:

  • Display the style and design of the new homes
  • Help buyers visualise the space
  • Showcase the quality of materials and craftsmanship
  • Influence buying decisions by creating an emotional connection

What can you expect from a Show Home?

Design and Layout

Show homes typically represent the best of what the developer offers. Show home designers plan and execute the interiors to showcase:

  • Optimal layout for efficient use of space and room flow
  • Elegant décor to appeal to a wide range of tastes
  • High-quality furniture and fittings

Fixtures and Fittings

Expect to see high-quality fixtures and fittings, including:

  • State-of-the-art kitchens with top-of-the-line appliances and modern cabinetry
  • Luxurious bathrooms with high-end suites and stylish tiles
  • Designer light fixtures to enhance the ambience

Gardens and Outdoor Spaces

The exterior is equally important. A show home often features a well-manicured garden complete with outdoor furniture, providing a sense of lifestyle.

What are the benefits of visiting a Show Home?

Seeing is believing. Visiting a show home offers a first-hand look that floor plans and brochures simply cannot provide. You gain a better understanding of the room sizes and overall scale of the property, which helps you visualise living in the space.

A show home serves as a great source of inspiration for your own home décor. By walking through the fully furnished rooms, you can pick up on design ideas and colour schemes that you might want to incorporate into your own home. It also provides an opportunity to inspect the quality of finishes and the overall build, ensuring that everything meets your standards.

A show home makes it easier to decide to buy by building trust in the developer’s skills and reliability. Seeing the finished product first-hand creates a strong desire for the property, making it more tangible and appealing. Also visiting a show home allows you to compare it with other properties, giving you a clearer picture of what you truly want in your new home.

Tips for viewing a Show Home

Bookings and Tours

Most developers require appointments to view show homes. The experience usually involves:

  • During the guided tour a sales staff will provide detailed information about the property.
  • It is a great opportunity for you to ask about prices, options, and customisations.

Things to look For

Ensure the room sizes meet your needs

Take detailed measurements of each room to ensure they can accommodate your furniture and allow for comfortable movement. Consider whether the rooms are appropriately sized for their intended use, such as bedrooms, living areas, or workspaces.

Check the amount of natural light in each room

Observe the natural light at different times of the day to determine how much sunlight each room receives. This will help you understand if the spaces will be bright and welcoming or if additional artificial lighting will be required.

Evaluate the available storage areas

Inspect closets, cabinets, and any built-in storage options to see if there is sufficient space for your belongings. Consider whether the storage is conveniently located and if it meets your organisation needs.

Layout: Consider if the layout suits your lifestyle

Think about how the flow of the house will affect your daily activities. Assess whether the arrangement of rooms supports your routine, whether it’s cooking, entertaining guests, or having quiet spaces for work or relaxation.

Other considerations

Prices and Offers

Show homes often come with competitive offers. Look out for:

  • Incentives: Discounts, upgrades, or furnishing packages.
  • Negotiations: Room for negotiating prices or additional features.

Future Developments

Consider the future of the area:

  • Construction Plans: Other planned constructions may affect your peace and quiet.
  • Amenities: Check local amenities like schools, shops, and transport links.

What are the Pros and Cons of buying a Show Home?

Buying a show home can be an exciting prospect. They are often beautifully designed and represent the pinnacle of a developer’s offerings. However, like any property purchase, there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider.

Advantages of buying a Show Home

Fully Furnished and Decorated

  • Immediate Move-In: Show homes come fully furnished and decorated, so you can move in without the hassle of setting up the home yourself.
  • Professional Interior Design: Enjoy the aesthetics of professionally chosen decor and furniture.

High Specifications and Upgrades

  • Enhanced Features: Show homes often showcase the best features and upgrades available in the development. This means you may get high-quality fixtures and fittings.
  • Top-of-the-Line Appliances: Expect state-of-the-art kitchen appliances and luxurious bathroom suites.

Landscaped Gardens

  • Ready-to-Use Outdoor Spaces: The gardens and outdoor spaces are usually fully landscaped, providing immediate enjoyment without additional work.
  • Lifestyle Appeal: Seating areas and garden décor help create an appealing, ready-made lifestyle.

Competitive Pricing and Incentives

  • Special Offers: Show homes may come with special offers, discounts, or incentives as developers aim to finalise sales quickly.
  • Furniture Included: In many cases, you get to keep the furnishings, offering additional value.

Quality Assurance

  • High Standard of Finish: Show homes are meticulously finished to a high standard to showcase the developer’s capabilities.
  • Reliable Build Quality: These homes often undergo more rigorous checks to maintain presentation quality.

Disadvantages of buying a Show Home

Wear and Tear

  • Property Usage: Show homes are frequently visited by potential buyers, which means they can experience some wear and tear.
  • Close Inspection Needed: Conduct a thorough inspection to check for any damage or deterioration.

Unrealistic Expectations

  • Enhanced Upgrades: Not all the features in a show home may be standard; many are often expensive upgrades.
  • Premium Furnishings: The quality of furnishings and décor may exceed what is typically available for purchase within the standard packages.

Emotional Influence

  • Impulse Decisions: The perfect setting of a show home can cloud your judgment, leading to impulsive buying decisions.
  • Overlooking Practicality: Focus on functionality as well as design; it’s easy to be swayed by aesthetics.

Limited Customisation

  • Pre-Designed Layout: The layout and décor are pre-decided, leaving little room for personalisation.
  • No Structural Changes: Structural customisations like moving walls or adding rooms are unlikely to be possible.

Price Negotiations

  • Limited Wiggle Room: While special offers are common, there may be less room for negotiating on the price compared to standard homes.
  • All-Inclusive Price: The total cost may include high-end furnishings, which may lead to a higher overall price.

While the benefits of high specifications, immediate move-in readiness, and competitive pricing are compelling, it’s important to be aware of potential drawbacks, such as wear and tear, limited customisation, and the influence of emotional buying decisions.

Tips when viewing and buying a show home

Questions to Ask the Sales Staff

When visiting a show home, it’s crucial to ask the right questions, such as:

  • What are the standard inclusions and what are the upgrades?
  • What warranty and after-sales service are provided?
  • When will the development be completed?
  • Are there any additional costs or hidden fees?
  • How energy-efficient are the homes?

Customisation and Personalisation

Some developers offer options for customisation. Inquire about:

  • Can walls be moved or adjusted?
  • Are there options for different finishes or materials?
  • Can extra features like smart home technologies or additional rooms be added?


A show home is just one aspect; the location is equally important.

Also consider the following:

  • Proximity to public transport and major roads.
  • Quality of nearby schools if you have children.
  • Availability of shops, restaurants, and cafes if you enjoying socialising and eating out.
  • Proximity to hospitals and clinics.

Virtual Show Homes Option

With advancements in technology, many developers now offer virtual tours of show homes. This can be especially beneficial if:

  • You’re unable to visit in person.
  • You want to have a preliminary look before visiting.
  • You wish to revisit the show home from the comfort of your own home.

Other Considerations

  • Do Your Research: Know what standard features and optional upgrades are available.
  • Stay Objective: Focus on your needs and practicality over aesthetics.
  • Ask Questions: Clarify any doubts or concerns during your visit.
  • Use Other Resources: Don’t rely solely on the show home. Consult independent reviews, visit the area multiple times, and speak to current residents if possible.
  • Inspect Thoroughly: Conduct a comprehensive inspection of the property to identify any areas of wear or damage.
  • Verify Inclusions: Clarify which features, appliances, and furnishings are included in the purchase.
  • Stay Objective: Focus on your practical needs alongside aesthetic appeal to make an informed decision.
  • Consult Experts: Don’t hesitate to bring in experts for independent reviews or additional advice.

Show homes can inspire and guide your home-buying journey. Use them wisely for a more informed decision, and you’ll likely find the home that’s right for you.

Final thoughts

Show homes are a powerful tool in property sales. They provide a valuable opportunity to see, touch, and experience what a potential new home could be like. However, it’s essential to remember that they are showpieces designed to sell.