When you decide to buy or build a new home, what factors should you consider in selecting the right builder? Buying a home is likely to be the largest investment you will ever make— so it’s critical to make the right decision. You are not only buying a home, you are buying a company and its ability to construct a quality home, to consult with you through the building process, provide the personal attention you deserve, and take care of any warranty issues once you live in your home.
Make a list of possible builders
Select builders who build the kind of home you want in the areas/communities where you would like to live.
Do your homework
First, research the builders’ backgrounds and reputations.
Visit the builders’ websites, see their home designs and learn more about them.
- How long have they been in business?
- How many homes have they built?
- Are they financially stable?
- Have they been recognized as an industry leader in design and/or customer satisfaction?
- Do they have a good reputation with their customers, Realtors and the industry?
Check References from Homeowners
Ask for a list of recent homeowners to contact. Even better, drive through a few of the builder’s neighborhoods on a Saturday morning and stop to ask the homeowners about their experiences.
- Did they do what they say they would do?
- Did they complete the home on time as promised?
- Did they take care of the little things that will arise during the building process and after you have moved in? Were they taken care of promptly?
- Did they keep you informed at all stages of construction?
- Did they return your phone calls promptly?
- Were they professional and knowledgeable?
- Did the quality of the home meet your expectations?
- Would you buy another home from this builder?
Usually, people tell you if they are pleased with their homes. And, if they are not, they’ll probably want to tell you why.
Get to know the builder
- Ask about the building process and who you will work with directly.
- Are the sales counselor and construction manager friendly, experienced, knowledgeable, service-oriented and trust worthy?
- Does the builder also offer interior design services?
- What warranties do they offer?
- Do they build an energy efficient home?
Look at the builder’s construction quality and ask questions
When examining a home, look at the quality of the construction and the brands of appliances, fixtures and heating and A/C systems that they use. Inspect the quality of the cabinetry, carpeting, trim work, and general workmanship. Ask the builder or the builder’s representative a lot of questions. Get as many specifics as possible. Find out if they have a third party company that inspects and certifies the quality of the home. If you receive the answers verbally rather than in writing, take notes. Never hesitate to ask a question. What seems insignificant might yield an important answer.