Anytime we look at buying a house it’s important to ensure that a custom home builder was used and that the house is built well. This is equally important if you’re looking at purchasing a brand new home. In fact, it’s possibly even more important as any potential issues will not be visible for several years. This is why it is so important to spend some time choosing a good builder.
Going about choosing the best custom home builder can be difficult. Homes can look beautiful but the quality of both the building and finishing materials vary greatly. Follow a few of these tips to make sure that you are working with the best. They will help ensure that you are happy with your purchase for years to come.
Create a List of Possible Builders
The first step is to create a list of potential builders. This gives you something to work off of while narrowing down your options to who you feel will create the best value for your money. There are several different ways to go about creating this initial list.
Local Home Builders Association
This can be a great way to get a general list of all home builders in the area. Keep in mind that they likely won’t give you any additional insight on the quality or value of any of these builders.
Newspaper ads are a great way to see who is currently building homes that you can buy from. If they are investing in newspaper ads that means they will likely have homes available in the near future.
Real Estate Agents
Your real estate agent might be able to help you with a few potential builders. They will likely have more knowledge on who does quality work and who to avoid. However, keep in mind that your agent does have strict standards of conduct to follow so they may be limited on what information they can share.
Another potential source of information on custom home builders are home inspectors. They inspect hundreds of new homes every year and know first-hand who does quality work and who cuts corners. This will also begin to build a relationship with a home inspector prior to needing one of your own.
Friends and Family
Ask your family and friends if they or anyone they have known has recently used a custom home builder. If so, this can be the best way to get honest information. They will be able to tell you about the process, the quality of the home, and if there’s anything they would have done differently if given the chance.
Narrow Down the Options
Now that you have a general list of who you could potentially use to build your home, you’re going to need to narrow it down even further.
Drive by Recently Built Homes
One of the first steps is to decide if you even like the style of houses that each builder is making. Drive by some of their recent developments. See if you like the homes and neighborhoods. Can you imagine your family living there?
Ask Other Homeowners Questions
While driving around talk to homeowners. Ask anyone who appears to live in these homes if they are happy with their purchase. Most homeowners will tell you the truth, especially if they have had a negative experience. If there’s been a negative experience don’t simply stop there. Ask how or if the issue was resolved. This can give you great insight into how responsive the custom home builder is.
Balance Quality and Value
Now that you’ve got yourself down to a few builders it’s time to actually start interacting with them. This will be your final step in selecting the perfect custom home builder for your forever home.
View Their Finished Homes
At this point they will likely take you on tours of some of their finished homes. These may be staged to give you an idea of what it would look like to actually live in one of their homes.
Look at Quality
While walking through their model home make sure that you pay attention to the quality of the finishing’s. Are the cabinets high quality? What kind of materials did they use for the countertops? Is the paint cut in well and do the windows appear to be high quality? If any of these things are lacking on the model home, they will likely be lacking in all of their finished homes as well.
Ask Your Custom Home Builder Lots of Questions
Now it’s time to sit down with the custom home builder and ask all of your questions. Don’t be afraid to ask any question that comes to your mind. This is a very important decision in your life. If they are unwilling or uncomfortable answering questions, they are not the right builder for you. A good builder will be happy to share with you all of the information you request. They want you to feel comfortable as you move forward with the purchase.
It takes a lot of effort up front to ensure that you’re buying a great home. But, once you have settled on a builder you can rest easy knowing that your future home is being built with the attention to detail that you need.