Now that you’ve decided that building is the way you want to go with your new home, it’s time to start looking for a builder.
Since this is probably the biggest purchase you’ll make in your life, you’ll want to get the best builder possible to bring your dream home to life.
Here are some things to keep in mind when searching for the perfect fit in a home builder:
Make a list and check it twice
Create a list of home builders in your area. Look at any feedback you can find on each of them. What kind of reputation do they have? Have an actual look at their craftsmanship. Is the workmanship exemplary? Do they have a reputation for staying on budget and on schedule? These are all questions you should ask.
Attend open houses
Builders always hold open houses in their model homes. Take advantage of them and do walk-throughs. You’ll be able to compare the work of one builder with another this way. Model homes are staged (furnished), so you will be able to see what works in the rooms. You can also ask the builder to see a home that isn’t furnished. Here are some things to look for when you visit a model home:
- Quality of cupboards/cabinets;
- Quality of carpeting and/or other flooring like hardwood, ceramic tile, laminate, etc.;
- Quality of trimwork;
- Quality of paint used;
- Quality of windows and doors.
Once you’ve narrowed your list down, go even further in your investigation. Actually interview the builders you’re interested in. Here are some questions to ask a prospective builder:
- Can you provide references?
- Do you have a financing plan we might take advantage of?
- Can the floor plan be changed in any way? For instance, can we add a sunroom?
- Can we upgrade or downgrade appliances?
- Will there be any additional fees in relation to the build?
- Can we customize anything to our own tastes?
- What kind of warranty plan do you offer?
- Does the price include landscaping: trees, plants, flowers, grass?
- Can you provide tax estimates?
- What are the development plans for the area for the next five years?
- How are area schools, shopping facilities, emergency facilities?
Remember – always ask questions. If the builder is hesitant about answering, it should send up a red flag. Find a builder who is transparent and will do their best to address your concerns.