How To Choose a New Home Builder: Here are 7 Questions to Ask Yourself
How do I choose a new home builder?
Once you decide that your next home will be a custom new home – one you can help design and customize to meet your family’s lifestyle and personal tastes — this might be the first question to ask. But who should you trust with this huge project? The prospect of finding the right home builder to be your valued partner in the new home construction process can be simply overwhelming. Our advice for making the perfect match: ask yourself these questions…and take your time exploring the answers.
1) What exactly am I looking for in my new home?
Decide with certainty what size and square footage you’re looking for, along with the general type of home and of course, your price range. What general design style and architectural details are you interested in, with what building materials? Look for home builders who have built a lot of homes with the same specifications.
2) How many years has this home builder been in business? Are they licensed and insured, active in industry organizations, and have they won any accolades? You’ll want to know not just how long a builder has been building homes, but how many homes, and how many in your particular area. It also matters if they’re an industry leader or involved member of the industry, which means they’re likely up-to-date on current best practices in home building. If home builders in your area are required to be licensed, you’ll want to make sure a builder has the necessary accreditation. It’s also important that the builder be insured so all trade contractors – and yourself – are covered during the building process.
3) What products, components, and systems does the builder use? Are they high quality and come with warranties? Find out what construction material and design brands the builder partners with or prefers to use, and decide whether those are a personal match for you as well. Focus not just on home elements you can see, like countertops, appliances, and flooring, but also ask about the quality of structural materials you can’t see, such as the foundation and framing.
4) Are past buyers satisfied, and is the home builder willing to give you references you can check?
If you can get in touch with buyers of this builder’s homes, ask questions about what the builder was like to work with, if they would build with that builder again, and if they would recommend the builder to friends and family. When looking to build in a new home community, don’t be shy about taking a drive through the neighborhood and asking residents about their experiences.
5) Have previously built homes by this builder retained their resale value? A builder may be able to point you to homes that are on the market so you can check their listings. Ask a realtor if they see this builder’s name and reputation used as a selling point for a home. If you’re building in a new home community, see if any existing homes recently sold and at what price.
6) Are there model homes or previously built homes by this builder that you can tour? This is a vital step – and a fun one! Don’t skip it. If there’s a furnished and decorated model home built by the builder, make it a must-see. If not, ask if you can view a previously built home, especially one that is the same or similar floor plan or model to one you’re considering. Keep your senses and instincts tuned in to the look, feel, and quality of this home.
7) What is the home builder’s team like to deal with on a day-to-day basis? How is their communication style? From your first point of contact with a builder’s office or a sales center, have you been treated with courtesy, honesty, and professionalism? Were your inquiries and goals heard and addressed? Did you feel that the team was transparent in all information they gave you, and did they make you feel comfortable asking more questions – even the “dumb” ones? Most importantly, do you see yourself enjoying the experience of working with this team for the months-long home construction process? You are embarking on a true partnership, and you should be able to see that partnership as positive from Day One.
We hope this information helps you on your new home construction journey, wherever you are! Here at Sleight Farm, we want our homebuyers to come into the home construction process as informed and comfortable as possible. Learn more about our home builder LMD Companies, which was founded by Luke Regier, Michael Meyers, and Dave Stenger, who collectively share more than 75 years of construction and development experience.