The new home construction industry is bustling, and choosing the right builder takes careful consideration. You’ll want to be confident the home builder you choose offers not just a quality home, but also a trustworthy customer experience throughout and after the build.
Your new home is a major investment – one that you want to make intelligently – so asking the right questions and doing your own research will help you make the right decision.
Where Do I Start?
Before you can start to vet home builders, you’ll need to determine your list of needs for your new home. A good new home builder will also ask you questions about your needs – things you may not think of today – but you should have a solid list of make-or-break features you want in your new home.
Details such as square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, budget, and home style are the most common items on the list.
But have you considered how you’ll live in the home? This would be things like:
- Where do you need electrical outlets?
- How important is outdoor space?
- How about a private home office?
- Do you need laundry on the main floor or upper floor?
- What about proximity to public transit or parks?
In addition to listing what matters to you about the home itself, list what you feel makes a good home builder. Maybe it’s the building process or the quality of the materials. Maybe it’s how they handle changes or problems. It could even be how long the build will take and why. How does pricing work and does their method make sense to you? How much help do you receive in the design process?
Make your list as comprehensive as you can; on everything you feel will help you make the right decision. Take your time on this task. Don’t feel like you need to finish your list in one sitting. Sometimes things come to you while you’re doing your day-to-day activities.
Research Past And Current Projects
When you start to consider the contenders for your new home builder, it’s helpful to view past projects and read reviews from past homeowners. If the builder’s website shows sold homes, perhaps a drive-by to see the finished product may be worth considering.
Most builders offer tours of showhomes. When visiting a showhome, pay attention to the details in the fit and finish. Showhomes are often upgraded, so be sure to ask about what finishes are standard with your new home build.
It may even be prudent to request a walkthrough of a home under construction if you have specific questions about the process. Not all builders are able to accommodate this on another client’s home, but it’s worth asking the question. The answer to any question not asked is “no”!
Browse for online reviews of the builders you are considering. These can be found most commonly on Google and Facebook, but make sure to check other review websites specific to your geographic area that can help you learn how past homeowners have felt about their experiences. You can also ask the builders for references if you feel this will help you.
Ask Plenty Of Questions
Once you start to interact with the home builders you are considering, be sure to discuss the list of needs you’ve made, and ask additional questions as you need to.
Some questions you may want to consider asking:
- How does pricing work? Is the price guaranteed or could it change?
- Has the builder taken the time to walk your homesite?
- What sort of warranty program do you offer?
- What finishes and specifications are included in my new home, and what will be an upgrade?
- Do you focus on energy efficiency?
- Do you use any superior building materials or processes?
- Can I customize my home’s floor plan or do I need to stick to the original design?
- Who builds the home? Are they employees of the company or subcontractors? How do you choose your trades?
- How long will it take to build my home?
- Am I able to make changes during the building process?
Pay Attention To The Interaction
While you’re discussing your questions and list of needs with your prospective home builders, be aware of how they interact with you.
- How do you feel conversing with the representative?
- Do you feel they’re open with their answers or do you feel they’re being vague?
- How intently are they listening to what you’re saying?
- Are they offering solutions to the problems you’re outlining, or asking questions of you in order to offer solutions?
You’ll be working with this representative throughout your build, and you’ll want to ensure you can sustain a healthy, communicative relationship. If there are problems during your build or after you move in, you’ll want to be satisfied this person will be able to handle them and come to the best resolution for all.
Choosing the right builder for your new home is a very personal choice. You know what it will take for you to be happy with the new home you move into and the experience it took to get there. Don’t be afraid to ask all the questions you need to in order to feel comfortable with your decision. In the end, it’s your home and your investment.