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  • Writer's pictureMariel Megan Ross

How much will a new construction home *really* cost you in Denver?

Mariel chats about the "all-in" price of a Lennar, a Brookfield, and other builder homes

Parkwood's model home in Littleton's Sterling Ranch master-planned community

You’ve probably noticed homebuilders market the price of their new homes in a rather vague way.

You might see Lennar’s website say a floorplan “Starts in the low $500,000s.”

Maybe you’ve seen a Taylor Morrison ad on a billboard that says: “Priced from $600K.”

Framed home in Sterling Ranch

So what’s the real “all-in” price?

Great question.

If you chat with a builder’s sales representative, they'll likely give you a general ballpark number in terms of what their homes actually cost after lot premium, base price, and upgrades. They might even give you a range and say something like "Most of our buyers of this floorplan close around $700K." But they almost never give you an exact price.

So how much does a Parkwood, Lennar, Tri Pointe, Taylor Morrison, Dream Finders, Brookfield, or Richmond *really* cost in Littleton’s Sterling Ranch and other new home communities around the Denver metro?

Here’s how to price out a new construction home in many new construction master-planned communities in Colorado:

(1) base cost


(2) lot premium


(3) structural upgrades


(4) design upgrades

(5) lender and other incentives

= All-in home cost.

In this video I walk through a Parkwood model home and chat pricing in detail:

Mariel chats about new home pricing in a Parkwood home

Going back to our formula, you our your realtor can get (1), (2), and (5) from your builder.

However, for many potential buyers, (3) and (4) are unknowns.

This is why builder sales representatives are reluctant to provide specific “all-in” pricing. They don’t know what structural upgrades you might fall in love with. Nor do they know what you’re going to pick at the design center after you’ve signed your purchase agreement. Perhaps you’ll spend an extra $30,000 on upgrades. Or maybe you'll spend $100,000.

Sterling Ranch is located in the top left of the photo

The short story is your builder might give you an estimate of what typical buyers spend on your floorplan, but they don’t want to tell you a home costs $650,000 and then when all is said and done your home comes in at $700,000 and you have financing/loan issues.

Also, another interesting tidbit we’ve learned going to design center meetings with our clients is that all builders are a little different. Some builders’ base package items are wonderful, and you might not want to upgrade much. Others? You might end up upgrading quite a bit.

Moreover, some of the more custom builders like Parkwood allow you to make many floorplan and design changes – which means pricing can vary for the same floorplan by quite a bit.

Other builders like Lennar don’t allow much or any structural changes and the design center process is streamlined, so it’s much easier to figure out where you’ll finish from a pricing perspective.

As a brief aside, since we’re chatting about upgrades and pricing, I’m often asked by friends and clients what to do if they have a limited upgrade budget.

Sterling Ranch's community center

Here’s my typical answer:

If you have a limited upgrade budget, spend your money on those items that are difficult if not almost impossible to add after you’ve moved in – and also, your floors.

For example, some builders will let you add a breakfast nook or an outdoor room to your main floor. Others will let you add a large mudroom as an upgrade. These upgrades require structural changes to your home that could be cost prohibitive to add after your home is complete.

On the topic of floors, in my experience it can be expensive and difficult to replace hardwood floors. If you’ve ever watched one of the house flipping shows on HGTV, you’ve likely seen contractors trying to save and re-finish the original hardwood floors. Now you know why! Get the floors right the first time, and you’ll save yourself dollars and headaches in the future.

Now back to our pricing formula. Since our unknowns are (3) and (4), what I typically do for my clients here at Focus Real Estate is go through the data we've collected on upgrade and structural pricing from our meetings with builders and build an estimated "all-in" budget for our clients. We’ve helped over 150+ of our wonderful clients build homes around the Denver metro as their realtors and have quite a bit of pricing data we can lean on to give you an estimate.

Mariel tours a Lennar home

The real final cost of your home ultimately depends on what you select for your home of course, but knowing what you could be in for up-front is important.

If you’re thinking about building a home, I’d love to chat and walk you through the costs and process! Remember, your builder pays your realtor and your new home is the same price whether you use a realtor or not, so our services are at no additional cost to you.


Mariel Ross is a realtor who specializes in helping clients budget for, design, and build their dream homes. At Focus Real Estate we've helped clients build hundreds of new homes around Denver with Lennar, Parkwood, Richmond, Wonderland, Shea, and many other builders.

Learn more about what I do here, as well as the cost. In short, your builder pays your realtor, not you, so our services are at no additional cost to you - which is how we're able to offer our free New Home Package.

If you'd like to chat, shoot me a note at and be sure to "Like" the Roundup on Facebook. The Sterling Ranch Roundup is powered by Focus Real Estate.

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