Trace ‘upgrades’ underwhelming

(I know I’m risking getting the worst parking spot or a bad move in time by criticizing Trace like this but what the hell.)

I was of course disappointed that I had no selection choices at Trace. No color scheme selection, no counter upgrades, no chance to put in a much desired shower instead of a lame tub, nothing.

Instead all I had to look forward to was the package they were putting together for ‘upgrades’ that I could roll into my mortgage.

While it is much appreciated that I can roll their cost into my mortgage (remember, I was surprised to find out that I had to pay cash months before close to get hardwoods or anything like that at the Meritage) I am completely underwhelmed by the upgrade info I picked up this week.

Here’s the info I got…

Two generic California Closets pamphlets. I guess I have to call Heather to find out the price range for doing something with my incredibly small closet.

Two generic pieces of paper from Bartlett Blinds. The papers have no graphics, no prices and no website addresses. They even use lots of words I don’t understand like ‘luminettes’ and ‘vidnettes/alouettes’ (spell check doesn’t even recognize those words!)

A bunch of photocopied pages from Audio Plus (who puts LLC in their URL?) outlining a bunch of different Bose ‘DVD entertainment options’ (who buys Bose?), a list of TVs and a security system (how many people get security systems installed in their condos?) There’s no model numbers on the TVs and there’s no pricing for anything. I can sorta understand why there might not be pricing for blinds and closets because they have to be tailored to every loft but with off the shelf items like a TV I see no reason not to include the price.

Of course the information I was really wanting was the appliance upgrade program since the units didn’t come with a washer/dryer and who wants a base level range? But alas there’s not photocopied sheet for that yet. But we do know that they hand carried all the appliances into all our units already. I suspect we’re not going to get much of deal since they have to un-install the unwanted appliances first. Also there is the problem of fitting a 36″ range where they installed a 30″. Hopefully they get the elevator working soon (though it’s Kone so I don’t have much faith that will happen.)

The other funny thing is that all the materials advertise ‘in-home consultations.’ The catch of course being that I don’t have access to my home making me wonder how I’m supposed to set these up before close and keep in mind that close is only a month away.

So what was I expecting? I was expecting a nice custom brochure or website tailored to my loft giving me clear options and price guidance. I’d love to see pictures of all the different window covering options since I’m not trained in interior decorating and design. I’d love to see a few sketches of what my closet would look like (Trace could give the vendors the dimensions.) I’d love prices for all the items. I’d like to know how I coordinate the vendors getting into my loft ahead of close.

What I think is going to happen is that I’m going to be too busy to call these different vendors just to get the information necessary to make a decision and I’m not going to do anything which is too bad because if presented properly I’m sure I would have sprung for window coverings, a TV and a range.

Bonus links: City of Seattle lists problem clubs and bars and Man shot outside Capitol Hill nightclub in early morning (surprising they didn’t name the club. was it Havana?)

About Matt

Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts, floating homes and mid-century moderns.

For years Matt resisted becoming a real estate agent preferring to be an executive in the startup world but he recently caved in the spring of 2014 and became an agent.

You can also find Matt on Twitter or skiing.

  • Rachel

    Matt,
    We have appointments scheduled with Cal Closets and Bartlett Blinds on Saturday. Orginially we tried to get “in-home” but instead we are just meeting in the Buyers Lounge. The vendors do have the dimensions. I was also pretty disappointed at the “information”. It would have been better if Trace made a marketing sheet with contact info only. I will let you know what happens on Saturday.

  • Rachel

    Matt,
    We have appointments scheduled with Cal Closets and Bartlett Blinds on Saturday. Orginially we tried to get “in-home” but instead we are just meeting in the Buyers Lounge. The vendors do have the dimensions. I was also pretty disappointed at the “information”. It would have been better if Trace made a marketing sheet with contact info only. I will let you know what happens on Saturday.

  • brettro

    i think the Stranger said the ‘club’ was the Starlite Lounge.

  • brettro

    i think the Stranger said the ‘club’ was the Starlite Lounge.

  • EconE

    Damn….you served me a nice lob here. Too bad it’s too early in the AM for my commentary. I’ll get back to this later ;o)

  • EconE

    Damn….you served me a nice lob here. Too bad it’s too early in the AM for my commentary. I’ll get back to this later ;o)

  • Jason

    Yeah, Paul and I are pretty bummed by the so-called “upgrade” options too. Since with our unit (212) the kitchen is basically right there IN the living area we really feel like more sleek, high-end, Euro-style appliances are in order. So frustrating…

  • Jason

    Yeah, Paul and I are pretty bummed by the so-called “upgrade” options too. Since with our unit (212) the kitchen is basically right there IN the living area we really feel like more sleek, high-end, Euro-style appliances are in order. So frustrating…

  • jo

    Econ – back already?

    “With thatIll retire from commenting on your blog and relegate myself to the sidelines as an impartial observer.”

    lol

    Seems somewhat bizarre they would be offering appliance upgrades so late. Doesn’t make any sense at all.

  • jo

    Econ – back already?

    “With that…I’ll retire from commenting on your blog and relegate myself to the sidelines as an impartial observer.”

    lol

    Seems somewhat bizarre they would be offering appliance upgrades so late. Doesn’t make any sense at all.

  • Jason

    I think the reality is there was never a Trace-initiated upgrade option whatsoever.

  • Jason

    I think the reality is there was never a Trace-initiated upgrade option whatsoever.

  • Dan L

    Most upgrades are usually either overpriced, poorly installed, add little value to the home, or all of the above. Usually you can do it cheaper and better yourself. Window coverings are easy enough to add later on. As for appliances, I wonder what they’d say if you called Albert Lee and told them “Hey, I’ve got a brand new GE range, never used. Give me $500 credit toward a Viking and I’ll trade you on delivery.” Of course the downside is you couldn’t finance that into your mortgage. The only upgrades I’d consider to be worth it are things that are difficult to change later on, like flooring, countertops, tile, etc.

  • Dan L

    Most upgrades are usually either overpriced, poorly installed, add little value to the home, or all of the above. Usually you can do it cheaper and better yourself. Window coverings are easy enough to add later on. As for appliances, I wonder what they’d say if you called Albert Lee and told them “Hey, I’ve got a brand new GE range, never used. Give me $500 credit toward a Viking and I’ll trade you on delivery.” Of course the downside is you couldn’t finance that into your mortgage. The only upgrades I’d consider to be worth it are things that are difficult to change later on, like flooring, countertops, tile, etc.

  • Phil

    What Dan L said; I would do all upgrades later – even floor coverings – as it will cost less.

    As for appliances, find out who the dealer was that preinstalled your unit, they might be willing to cut you a deal.

  • Phil

    What Dan L said; I would do all upgrades later – even floor coverings – as it will cost less.

    As for appliances, find out who the dealer was that preinstalled your unit, they might be willing to cut you a deal.

  • EconE

    Oh Jo…you know I just can’t help myself ;o). It’s just too much fun!

    I’ll just stick to the Bose upgrade here.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA.

    How much do they want?

    I checked out the Audio Plus website…it looks like the only high end equipment that they carry is Lexicon. From my understanding, Lexicon is made by Bryston (An excellent Canadian company) however…Bryston has a 20 year warranty on their amps(which is transferable for equipment manufactured prior to 2005 or so) vs. Lexicons 5 year warranty.

    I’d start checking out http://www.AudioAsylum.com or http://www.Audiogon.com before committing to any audio upgrades. Peruse the forums and even ask some questions. The community there is very helpful and there are many good deals to be had on used gear. Most of the people in the audiophile community are incredibly OCD so you can rest assured that you’ll be purchasing gear that has been well cared for.

    I’d even go so far as recommending that people listen to a good 2 channel system also and check out the stores up on Roosevelt near Magnolia to get an idea for what’s out there.

    Well respected and affordable equipment can be found from companies like Bryston, Creek, Naim, Krell, Musical Fidelity, and on and on and on.

    just my 2c FWIW.

  • EconE

    Oh Jo…you know I just can’t help myself ;o). It’s just too much fun!

    I’ll just stick to the Bose upgrade here.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA.

    How much do they want?

    I checked out the Audio Plus website…it looks like the only high end equipment that they carry is Lexicon. From my understanding, Lexicon is made by Bryston (An excellent Canadian company) however…Bryston has a 20 year warranty on their amps(which is transferable for equipment manufactured prior to 2005 or so) vs. Lexicons 5 year warranty.

    I’d start checking out http://www.AudioAsylum.com or http://www.Audiogon.com before committing to any audio upgrades. Peruse the forums and even ask some questions. The community there is very helpful and there are many good deals to be had on used gear. Most of the people in the audiophile community are incredibly OCD so you can rest assured that you’ll be purchasing gear that has been well cared for.

    I’d even go so far as recommending that people listen to a good 2 channel system also and check out the stores up on Roosevelt near Magnolia to get an idea for what’s out there.

    Well respected and affordable equipment can be found from companies like Bryston, Creek, Naim, Krell, Musical Fidelity, and on and on and on.

    just my 2c FWIW.

  • Willamina

    You can get what you want post move-in for potentially less $. At 2200 Westlake we put together IKEA closets (at about 1/5th the cost of Cal Closets) and got quotes from three window covering companies before selecting Pacific Northwest Window Coverings. Both turned out great.

  • Willamina

    You can get what you want post move-in for potentially less $. At 2200 Westlake we put together IKEA closets (at about 1/5th the cost of Cal Closets) and got quotes from three window covering companies before selecting Pacific Northwest Window Coverings. Both turned out great.

  • Peckham

    “Bryston, Creek, Naim, Krell, Musical Fidelit”

    You forgot NAD.

  • Peckham

    “Bryston, Creek, Naim, Krell, Musical Fidelit”

    You forgot NAD.

  • EconE

    NAD is mid-fi…but a good place to start…I had NAD stuff years ago. I would however like to hear their new Masters Series fwiw.

  • EconE

    NAD is mid-fi…but a good place to start…I had NAD stuff years ago. I would however like to hear their new Masters Series fwiw.

  • seattle67

    Just make sure to get a good bass package! You might want to check out this nice 23″ 12,000 watt subwoofer.

    http://www.cardomain.com/item/MTXT992244

    :)

  • seattle67

    Just make sure to get a good bass package! You might want to check out this nice 23″ 12,000 watt subwoofer.

    http://www.cardomain.com/item/MTXT992244

    :)

  • kpom

    “Just make sure to get a good bass package! You might want to check out this nice 23? 12,000 watt subwoofer.”

    Is that their Condo Special?

    :)

  • kpom

    “Just make sure to get a good bass package! You might want to check out this nice 23? 12,000 watt subwoofer.”

    Is that their Condo Special?

    :)

  • kpom

    “Just make sure to get a good bass package! You might want to check out this nice 23? 12,000 watt subwoofer.”

    Is that their Condo Special?

    :)

  • kpom

    “Just make sure to get a good bass package! You might want to check out this nice 23? 12,000 watt subwoofer.”

    Is that their Condo Special?

    :)

  • mhays

    I once had a neighbor who spent $5,000 on a TV with subwoofer. He worked for the landlord, Harbor, no less. It was pure hell for about two months, though he’d act “nice” and turn it down to a thump that was merely massage level upon request. I talked to Harbor, as others probably did also, and he was gone soon after.

    If a neighbor is that thoughtless, I’m very happy to be a jerk in return. That’s the great thing about a condo — most boards will be very aggressive on liveability issues, particularly if your board has lots of empty-nesters.

  • mhays

    I once had a neighbor who spent $5,000 on a TV with subwoofer. He worked for the landlord, Harbor, no less. It was pure hell for about two months, though he’d act “nice” and turn it down to a thump that was merely massage level upon request. I talked to Harbor, as others probably did also, and he was gone soon after.

    If a neighbor is that thoughtless, I’m very happy to be a jerk in return. That’s the great thing about a condo — most boards will be very aggressive on liveability issues, particularly if your board has lots of empty-nesters.