You’ve finally decided to take the plunge into one of mankind’s most exciting, yet stressful endeavors. No, you’re not getting married-you’re building a house! Since you have trouble hanging a picture, let alone a roof truss, you’ve decided to hire a homebuilder. How can you find the best company for the job? Here are a few suggestions on what to look for….
First Things First
Before you make a list of potential builders, decide on a few important basics. First, what kind of home do you want? Some builders specialize in single-family homes, some in developments, others in condos, log cabins or beach properties. While every home has similarities, each style also has its own requirements. You’ll want to choose a builder who understands what you’re looking for. You’ll also need to decide how much you wish to spend: a builder who specializes in high-end materials is not going to want to build your $50,000 bungalow, and vice versa. You’ll also need to arrange any necessary financing details and purchase a building site.
Go to the Source
Once you decide on the style and price of your new home, check with your local homebuilder’s association for a list of licensed homebuilders and contractors. You can also visit area home shows and “parades,” in which builders like to display their best work. Just looking at local newspapers and real estate supplements will give you a good starting list, and realtors can be very helpful in suggesting top area builders. However, the best sources are typically those you already know: your friends, coworkers, neighbors and family members.
Get the Scoop
As you compile your list, you need to include references for each company. When you query people you know, ask about their homebuilding experiences, both positives and negatives. As you interview builders, ask for a reference list–then contact those people and ask what they liked and disliked about the building process, and their homes. If possible, tour model homes and examine the materials and workmanship. It can be instructive to look for older examples of the builder’s work as well, to see how it has stood up over time. The Better Business Bureau can tell you if the builder has any complaints on file.
Regardless of where you decide to call home, do your research and pick a good contractor. By following these suggestions and hiring the right team, you can make your homebuilding experience a pleasant one.