Choosing A Home Builder
If you're in the market for a new
home, you should shop for your builder as carefully as you shop for your
home. Whether you are buying a condo, a townhouse, a house in a subdivision, or
a custom built house, you want to know that you are buying a good quality home
from a reputable builder. Here are a couple of tips to help you choose a
Make A List of Possible Builders
Once you have thought about the type of house you want, you will need
to find a builder.
Look in the real estate section of you
local newspaper for builders and projects. Looking through the ads and
reading the articles can help you to learn which builders are active in
your area, the types of homes they are building, and the prices you can
expect to pay. Make a list of builders who build the type of home you're
looking for in your price range.
Local real estate agents may also be able
to help you in your search. Ask friends and relatives for
recommendations. Ask about builders they have dealt with directly, or
ask them for names of acquaintances who have recently had a good
experience with a builder.
Do Your Homework
Once you have a list of builders, how can you find out about their
reputations and the quality of their work? The best way to learn about builders
is to visit homes they have built and talk with the owners.
Ask builders on your list for the
addresses of their recently built homes and subdivisions. Builders may
even be able to provide names of some home owners who would be willing
to talk with you.
Drive by on a Saturday morning when home
owners may be outside doing chores or errands. Introduce yourself and
say you are considering buying a home from the builder who built their
home. Talk to several owners, and try to get a random sample of
opinions. The more people you talk with, the more accurate an impression
of a builder you are likely to get. At the very least, drive by and see
if the homes are visually appealing.
When you talk to builders and home owners,
take along a notebook to record the information you find and your
personal impressions about specific builders and homes. Doing so will
help you to make comparisons later. Some questions you can ask people
include: Are you happy with your home? If you had any problems, were
they fixed promptly and properly? Would you buy another home from this
Usually, people tell you if they are
pleased with their homes. And if they are not, they'll probably want to
tell you why.
Shop For Quality & Value
Look at new homes whenever you can. Home shows and open houses
sponsored by builders are good opportunities to look at homes. Model homes and
houses displayed in home shows are often furnished to give you ideas for using
the space. You may also ask a builder to see unfurnished homes.
When examining a home, look at the
quality of the construction features. Inspect the quality of the cabinetry,
carpeting, trimwork, and paint. Ask the builder or the builder's representative
a lot of questions. Get as many specifics as possible. If you receive the
answers verbally rather than in writing, take notes. Never hesitate to ask a
question. What seems like an insignificant question might yield an important