- Choosing Your Builder
If you're in the market for a new home, you should shop for
your builder as carefully as you shop for your home, and one thing I
suggest from the start is being prepared with your own blueprint.
- Whether you are buying a condo, a townhouse, a house in a
subdivision, or a custom built house, you want to know that you are buying a good quality
home from a reputable builder.
- Once you have thought about the type of house you want,
where should you look for a builder? First, check with the local builders association to obtain a list of builders who construct homes in your area. We
also work with builders every day and can help match you with a builder that fits your
- Look in the real estate section of you local newspaper for
builders and projects. Looking through the ads and reading the articles can help you to
learn which builders are active in your area, the types of homes they are building, and
the prices you can expect to pay. Make a list of builders who build the type of home
you're looking for in your price range.
- Ask friends and relatives for recommendations. Ask about
builders they have dealt with directly, or ask them for names of acquaintances who have
recently had a good experience with a builder.
- Do Your Homework
- Once you have a list of builders, how can you find out about
their reputations and the quality of their work? The best way to learn about builders is
to visit homes they have built and talk with the owners.
- Ask builders on your list for the addresses of their
recently built homes and subdivisions. Builders may even be able to provide names of some
home owners who would be willing to talk with you.
- Drive by on a Saturday morning when home owners may be
outside doing chores or errands. Introduce yourself and say you are considering buying a
home from the builder who built their home. Talk to several owners, and try to get a
random sample of opinions. The more people you talk with, the more accurate an impression
of a builder you are likely to get. At the very least, drive by and see if the homes are
- When you talk to builders and home owners, take along a
notebook to record the information you find and your personal impressions about specific
builders and homes. Doing so will help you to make comparisons later. Some questions you
can ask people include: Are you happy with your home? If you had any problems, were they
fixed promptly and properly? 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.
- Shop For Quality and Value
- Look at new homes whenever you can. Home shows and open
houses sponsored by builders are good opportunities to look at homes. Model homes and
houses displayed in home shows are often furnished to give you ideas for using the space.
You may also ask a builder to see unfurnished homes.
- When examining a home, look at the quality of the
construction features. Inspect the quality of the cabinetry, carpeting, trimwork, and
paint. Ask the builder or the builder's representative a lot of questions. Get as many
specifics as possible. If you receive the answers verbally rather than in writing, take
notes. Never hesitate to ask a question. What seems like an insignificant question might
yield an important answer.
- Always keep value in mind when shopping. Just because a home
is less expensive than another does not mean it is a better value. Likewise, a more
expensive home does not automatically assure higher quality.
- Another important aspect of value is design quality. When
you look at a home, determine whether will it suit your lifestyle. Is there enough living
space? Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms? What about storage space? Will you have
room to accommodate special interests or hobbiesfor example, a large kitchen if you
enjoy cooking or a room for a home office or exercise room? Think about the amount of
upkeep required both indoors and out. Consider also the location of the property. Is it
convenient to transportation, shopping, schools or other places of interest to you?
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OF LOCAL BUILDERS WE HAVE WORKED WITH