So you’ve decided to build a custom home for you and your family. You’ve also secured a budget for it. The right step is to find the right people who will bring your dream home to life: new home builders.
To help you find the perfect home builder for your new home, here are 12 factors to keep in mind.
Identify your needs and expectations first
Before hiring a new home builder, make sure your needs, personal preferences, and budget limitations are apparent. Ask yourself:
• What kind of home do you want in terms of size, type, design, and architecture?
• Do you prioritize sustainability and energy efficiency?
• Do you have any upgrades in mind?
• How much are you willing to spend?
By having clear expectations, you can effectively communicate with your prospective new home builders what exactly you want from them. It will also help narrow down your choice, as some builders may not be able to provide them for you.
Look for experience
Experience matters when it comes to building your home. You’re about to construct a building you and your family will call “home” for the years to come. You can’t risk your comfort and safety to a bunch of amateur workers.
Do your research. Find out how long the company has been in the business, and how long has their principals been building homes. Don’t hesitate to ask what they’ve done in the past. They’re likely to have a website where they show their portfolio.
Determine the expertise of the home builder
Navigate through their website. Does the home builder have the knowledge in the style of home you are looking?
A builder whose entire portfolio consists of typical homes may not be the perfect pick for the sleek, contemporary home you’re looking for – and vice versa. Generally, a home builder, whose work includes at least a few examples of the style and architectural details you want for your home, is your best bet.
Hear it from their previous clients
Are the past buyers satisfied with their homes? How is the service? How do they communicate with their clients? Would they build another home from this builder, if given a chance? Would they recommend the builder to friends and family? Some home builders provide customer references and referrals. If not, you may deepen your investigation by reading reviews about the company.
Ensure they’re licensed and insured
Make sure you’re working with a licensed builder, whether or not your state requires such. Next, to the proper licensing, ask about the insurance your builder, and his/her trade contractors carry. They should have the appropriate coverage for you, their company, and their employees in the event of a loss or accident during the building process.
Ask for long-term warranty
One of the significant perks of new construction is that your home, and most of its components, products, and systems, are brand-new and under warranty. Look for a long-term written and insured structural warranty, not just a spoken promise to perform. It should also be transferable to a new owner should you decide to sell your home.
Industry involvement is a bonus
See if the home builder is a member of a local home builder’s association. It isn’t a requirement but a plus point since it shows a sign of commitment to new home community developers, trade contractors, and product suppliers in your town or city.
Tour model homes
Scanning through the website gallery for their previous projects isn’t enough – you have to see it for yourself.
After you’ve made a list of builders who have met the above criteria, ask if you can tour display homes, and if possible, the homes they have under construction. This way, you can examine the quality of work they provide.
Observe the quality of materials and artistry
When you visit the model or display homes, look for the signs of quality construction and attention to detail.
Are the building products of high quality? Do they use quality brands? Do they have attractive design features? Are the floor plans suitable for your lifestyle? Is the builder detail-oriented, or are there elements that look unfinished?
Examine the people who work for the builder too
Next to assessing the quality of the construction, observing the employees and subcontractors who work for the builder is also crucial.
Are they professional, experienced, and knowledgeable? Did they show genuine interest in your needs? Are you satisfied with their answers to your questions? Were they prompt and courteous during your meetings in the sales center, model home, and builder’s office? How about the appearance of their job sites? Do you see any safety issues?
If you’re satisfied with what you’ve witnessed, then you’re likely to be a step closer to a good deal.
Talk to real estate experts
Real estate professionals, including real estate agents, building material suppliers, builders associations, and inspectors are reliable references for your search. They can provide essential perspectives on the best builders in the area.
Take your time
Given that your home is your most significant investment picking the right home builder is a significant decision that shouldn’t rush. Give yourself time to compare, evaluate, and ponder – you’ll be living that decision for the years to come.
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