When building your home, you need to take all decisions made. This starts with choosing the right company to build your home. Selecting the right home builder is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your home buying process. The good news is that there are some proven ways to speed up the research and selection process. This way you can ensure that you find a quality builder who’s a good match to construct your new home.
10 Points to Consider When Choosing the Right Home Builder
Define Your Needs. Some builders out there will construct a broad range of homes, but many builders also specialize in a specific type of home, price range, or style. There are not many firms, for example, that build starter homes for first-time buyers as well as multi-million dollar homes for custom home buyers. The building materials, trade contractors and even the building process itself can differ greatly by type and price of home. You want to find a builder that fits with this need first.
Experience Counts. Every home building company once built their first home. And many new home building firms were started by experienced veterans of other builders. Don’t overlook a new firm, especially if their team includes seasoned pros. You do need to look for strong experience overall, specifically in the type of home you seek.
Are Past Homebuyers Satisfied? Many builders offer customer references and referrals. If not, ask and follow up. Ask previous customers if they would buy another home from this builder? Or recommend them to close friends or family? You should also ask for the key reasons why they would or would not recommend a builder.
Is the Builder Licensed and Insured? Not every state or area requires builders to be licensed, but you only want to hire and work with a company that is fully licensed and insured. Ask about the insurance that the builder and his or her trade contractors carry. Make sure that they and you are covered during the building process.
Is There a Design Fit? A builder whose entire portfolio consists of contemporary homes may not be the best fit if you are looking for a traditional home. Many builders will have expertise in a variety of design styles and architectural details, but in general, you want to look for a builder whose work includes at least some examples of the style of home you want.
Warranty and Service. One of the top advantages of new construction is that your home itself and most of the products, systems and components are brand-new and under warranty. There is a peace of mind that comes with knowing that major repairs or a new roof are likely years away. You want to look for a structural warranty of ten years or longer on the home itself, and this will ideally be transferable to a new owner should you sell.
Resale Value. Good reputations follow good builders. Look for builders whose homes tend to hold or maintain their value. Look for realtor ads that specifically mention the name of a builder for a home for sale that’s now five or seven years old. A builder that a realtor clearly sees as valuable and reliable is a big plus.
Industry Involvement. Not every good builder chooses to join their local Home Builder Association, so don’t place too much emphasis on this. That being said, this membership does tend to show that a builder is committed to the area for the long haul. It is a sign that they are committed to new community developers, trade contractors, and product suppliers that are located within the local area.
Tour Model Homes and/or Homes of Past Buyers. Once you’ve narrowed down a list of prospective builders, the next important step is to take a tour. Tour their model homes or the homes of past buyers. Nothing substitutes for touring a home built by a builder on your short list. As you look around, pay careful attention to the look, feel and quality of the home. Ask yourself if you will be happy there.
Look for Signs of Quality. Look for signs of quality construction and attention to detail when you visit the model homes. Consider the building products that were used by the builder and whether or not they are brands with well-earned reputations for quality. Did you look at other homes under construction on your way to the model home? Did it look as though there was care and detail put into the construction? The quality of people who work for the builder is also something to pay attention to. Do they show sincere interest in you and your needs? Do they listen carefully? Did they provide good answers to your questions? Were they courteous, prompt and professional in your interactions with them in the model home, sales center or builder’s office? The answers to these questions and the ten steps above will help you select the right home builder for your new home.