Choosing a new home builder is like finding a significant other. And as with choosing a life partner, you want to be certain that the relationship will have strength to endure any and all conditions, and that you partner with someone who has your interests at heart.
Emotions can run high for buyers. Purchasing a home requires a tremendous financial outlay. For most people, the process can be intimidating and even daunting. However, with a few critical questions, you can evaluate builders so that you have confidence that your preferred builder, is the right one for you. If you remove the emotion from the process of creating a shortlist of builders, then you are able to evaluate them based on the criteria you require for your new home.
Start by creating a checklist of what you need
Each homebuyer desires and needs specific features in their home. We suggest you create a checklist of all the things you want in your home from numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms, to number of levels, lot size, area of town, building material preferences, flooring preferences, architectural style preference, community amenities, distance from work, or anything else that is critical to you. National Residential Mortgage has a home requirements checklist which you may use. With a completed set of requirements, you will be ready to find the buyer who builds precisely the home you want.
Ask your friends and family for referrals to builders
People closest to you living in the area where you want to live may have insights into homebuilders in their community. Referrals from friends and family are the most trusted way to find vendors of all types.
If you’re relocating to a new area where you don’t have a support system, ask colleagues at work or seek a reputable Realtor® to assist and support you. Realtors have local knowledge that helps identify builders who are trustworthy, reputable, and build in the locations that fit your needs. Give your Realtor your checklist to help them assist you in identifying the builder who will best fit your requirements.
Use the internet to find builders
With mobile real estate apps that locate homes in specific geographic areas, websites like CharlestonNewHomesGuide.com, buyers can harness the strength of the internet to identify homes that meet their criteria.
These days, the majority of home searches begin online. In 2015, 44% of homes purchased were found by their purchasers via the internet. Buyers often relied on Realtor’s to help them through the sale process. This is why it’s critical to use a Realtor who works primarily with new construction homes. It’s also important to visit individual homebuilder websites.
When you identify the builders, who are constructing homes that fit your criteria, evaluate them first by reviewing their website, reading testimonials, and reviewing their floorplans and communities. From this process, create a shortlist of builders whose communities you wish to tour. Be sure and bring your Realtor with you during this process. Your Realtor is a critical partner at this stage of the home search process.
What questions should you use to evaluate home builders?
Matchmakers employ an interview process to help match potential candidates. Adopting a few tactics from this strategy, you too, can find the perfect match. With support from your Realtor, use the following questions to gain evidence of the builder’s fit for your needs.
Evaluate your potential builders with the following checklist of questions:
- Please tell me about your company’s reputation.
- Do you follow through on agreements and promises? Specific examples?
- Do you meet building timelines? Specific examples?
- How are change orders handled?
- If there is a disagreement during the construction process, how is that managed?
- What is your company’s financial situation? Are you on a sound financial footing? Note: If the builder is a publicly traded corporation, you can refer to their published information. If they are a private builder, ask them about their years in business, number of homes built, expectation for length of time in the neighborhood that you’re looking at.
- Do current homeowners recommend and endorse your company? Ask for names of homeowners so you may contact them to learn more about the home building process with the builder. Ask these owners to tell you want it was like to work with the builder at every stage of the process: plan and lot selection, contract, design center selection process, construction process, closing, and post-closing. Ask also about the builder’s warranty process and how items are addressed.
- How does the builder respond to owners following the closing? Discuss the post closing process and how warranty issues are handled.
As with relationships, if you take time to rationally comprehend the strengths of your prospective builder, and let your head lead your heart, you will find the right home builder for your new home.
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