5 Tips for Choosing a Home Builder

Written by  //  March 14, 2013  //  Building Contractors  //  1 Comment

Millions of Americans choose new home construction, preferring to move into a house that is newly built than to deal with the many unknowns of an existing property. A new home can give you everything you want in a house, especially if you choose your own design and customize the home the way that you want it to look. An older home can have a secret history with structural problems and other drama hidden out of view.

Choosing a home builder mean carefully finding local builders, companies that are licensed to construct in your state. Read on and we will look at a number of important tips to help you find your new home builder.

1. Contact your local builders association. Every area of the country has them — building associations. Your local association is a natural place to approach to find member builders. Log on and find the association serving your area and review the builders listed. If you need more information about a particular builder, head to the builder’s website or pick up the phone and call the association.

2. Talk with real estate agents. Real estate brokers and their agents deal with home builders in frequency. When a new housing development goes up, builders rely on realtors to bring home shoppers to them. Your agent will know which builders serve your area and can put you in contact with them.

3. Decide between builder types. There are three types of builders in the market: custom, semi-custom and production builders. Production builders offer a fixed floor plan and are all about making volume. Semi-custom builders offer a bridge between the customer and production builders, allowing you to adjust floor plans accordingly. Custom builders take your specs and build a home according to your plan. Select the type of builder from these types and begin narrowing your list.

4. Interview your builders. Plan to interview at least three builders to gauge what they can do for you. Explain your project, taking care to go over the finer points including the home’s size, property location, home style, customizations and more. You will quickly gauge if the builder is interested in your project or up to the task. Talk budget and ask for an estimate.

5. Check references carefully. Obtain references from each builder and call them. Speak with the homeowner and ask if they are satisfied with their home. Most people will spill the details, enabling you to make an informed decision. Some questions to ask: are you satisfied with the workmanship? Was the builder approachable and personable? Did the project come in within budget? If you had to do it all over again, is there anything that you would have done differently?

New Home Considerations

Consumers that choose to build a home should consider the entire project including land costs, building construction, home insurance and property taxes. Understand your costs before going in and stick to a budget. Know that customizations will cost you more money and may be a cost that you will never recover. Have your attorney review your home building contract before you sign it.

Finally, do some sleuthing about your builder and his subcontractors before you sign your contract. You want to make sure that all parties that are working on your home are financially solvent. Ask your builder for a banking reference and speak to the banker. You can also check his credit with rating agencies and contact the Better Business Bureau and your state’s department of consumer affairs to learn if there are complaints pending against this builder.

References
J.D. Power and Associates: How to Choose a Home Builder — http://www.jdpower.com/content/article-base/qgYYRcg/how-to-choose-a-home-builder.htm
NAHB: How to Choose a Home Builder — http://www.nahb.org/generic.aspx?genericContentID=284

Author Information
Kiersten Gurry is a freelance writer in Flagstaff, Arizona. She writes on a wide variety of topics in the home improvement industry specializing in ornamental artwork. In her spare time she writes for First Impression Security Doors.

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One Comment on "5 Tips for Choosing a Home Builder"

  1. EthanWilliam April 19, 2013 at 6:34 am · Reply

    If you have decided to have a double storey home, you can inform your builder so you can discuss the necessary details needed for your new home. Double storey homebuilders Perth style and design is far more compact so it may match a single small lot. Nice article!
    Two Storey Home Builders Perth

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