Choosing the right builder to custom build your new home can be one of the most important choices you will ever make in your lifetime. To avoid an unfortunate experience and long-lasting regrets, be sure to do your homework before selecting a builder to build your new home. Here are some questions to arm yourself with when making your decision:
- Does the builder have a permanent, local business location. and a good reputation with local suppliers?
- Will they provide you with the names of previous customers?
- Have you seen the builder’s work, both completed and in progress? Check for quality of workmanship and materials.
- Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids. If they unable to pay for materials and labor as the project proceeds, this can result in disastrous problems for you.
- Will the builder provide you with a complete and clearly written contract?
- Are the standard features provided by the builder what other builders list as upgrades for an additional charge?
- How long have they been in the building business? Has the builder built in your area for many years and are they dedicated to your community?
- Do they offer more savings to you after the sale (such as 30% on your heating and cooling) through their Home Energy Rating System (HERS)?
- Does the builder offer many different communities for different lifestyles and a large variety of floor plans?
- Is their staff knowledgeable with in-house designers and resources to make your home unique to your family and needs?
- Do they streamline the building process to make it as simple, enjoyable and stress-free as possible?
- Do they offer full Real Estate Brokerage (to assist in listing your existing home for sale), a Plan Designer and Interior Designer who are readily available to assist you with all of your home building needs?
- Do they offer you and your family free amenities, such as the use of a complimentary moving van?
- Will the builder be around after the construction is complete to service any warranties and to ensure that you are their #1 referral? Will they go beyond “Industry Standards” to make sure you are satisfied with your largest investment, a new home?
The custom homebuilding process should be an enjoyable experience. For many, custom building a home happens only once in a lifetime. Make sure the builder you select will strive to make your once-in-a-lifetime experience the best it can possibly be!
Written by Shery Oakes, a real estate builder, developer and broker for over 20 years and President of Design Homes & Development Co., Inc., Dayton, Ohio.