If you are in the market for a home, you have two basic choices. You can purchase an existing property and renovate it to fit your needs, or you can build your own custom home from the ground up. And no matter what your price range or preferences, there are distinct advantages to choosing the latter option.
Working with a home builder allows you to dictate every step of the process, from the size of the house to the layout of its rooms to the time frame for its completion. But finding a home builder you can trust is not always an easy task. If you choose the right builder, you could be sitting in your new living room in no time. If you choose poorly, you could suffer months of unexpected delays and mountains of cost overruns. Here are some tips for choosing the right home builder for your needs.
Review Their Reputation
Home builders are business owners, and as such, they have a reputation in their local communities. Good home builders develop exceptional reputations over time as they complete local development projects, and bad builders also develop reputations.
If you want to choose the right home builder, start by checking out their reputation. Going online can give you a basic idea, but asking questions on the ground could reveal even more. So talk to your neighbors, ask your fellow home buyers, make inquiries of real estate professionals, and learn as much as you can.
Tour Their Homes
Reviewing the reputations of local home builders can be a real eye-opener, but if you really want to learn about their properties you need to tour their completed homes. If you are thinking about working with a specific builder, look for newly completed development projects and arrange a tour of their unsold homes.
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When you tour the property, take a close look at the workmanship, including parts of the homes that are easy to overlook. Do not be blinded by fancy materials or stainless steel appliances – look at the quality of the paint job, the quality of the windows and other details. These small details could reveal deficiencies in the workmanship or indicate that the home builder is taking shortcuts during the construction process.
Talk to Former Buyers
Last but not least, it is important to talk to the actual owners of the homes. Touring an unsold home can reveal important details about the fit, finish, and workmanship of the builder, but talking to buyers who are living with those homes every day will reveal far more.
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Once you have narrowed down your search to a handful of builders, reach out to the owners of their previously built homes. Ask about what those buyers like – and more importantly what they hate – about their recent purchase. At the very least, this exercise will help you customize your new home. And if the builder is not up to par, you could save yourself a world of trouble and years of home buying regrets.
Finding a home builder you can trust is no easy task, but it is important to get this decision right. The roof over your head is one of the biggest investments you will ever make, and choosing the wrong builder could be a very costly blunder. The tips listed above can help you choose the perfect builder, so you can spend more time enjoying your new home and less time worrying about it.