By Thomas McClain, AHBA President
If you’re thinking about buying a new home, one key decision you’ll have to make is finding a home builder. Working with an experienced, professional builder can make a difference when it comes to creating your dream home. Seeking out a home builder that will meet your expectations involves targeted research and asking the right questions. Below are some steps you can take to find a builder who is right for you.
Make a List of Potential Builders
With so many companies to choose from the best first step is to make a list of potential builders.as a list of builders who work in this area. If you want to add more names to your list, consider reviewing the real estate section of the local newspaper for builders and projects. Many builders advertise what type of homes they construct and may offer a price range. Another great source is local real estate agents or asking friends and relatives for recommendations.
Once you’ve generated a robust list of potential builders, reach out and ask questions. You can start by asking about associated costs in the short and long term such as financing options, fees, homeowner’s association dues and estimated taxes on the property. Don’t forget to secure references of recent buyers. A professional builder will be able to provide you with names and contact information of customers. When you connect with a reference, talk to them about their experience working with the builder in terms of planning, timelines and budgeting.
Get to Know Your Builder
Once you’ve narrowed down your list, make sure the home builder has substantial experience building the type of home you want. You can ask to see model homes, example floor plans and design options. Some builders have professional designations which is a sign that the builder has expertise in a specific area of building, for example, Certified Green Builder (CGP).
Establish Communication Expectations
Before you agree to work with a home builder, make sure to establish communication expectations. You both should agree on how often to connect to discuss updates throughout the project. It is best to determine what communication channel (email, text or phone) fits your needs. Taking this small but important step will help eliminate any confusion in the home building process and avoid damaging your relationship with your builder.