So you’ve decided to finally build your dream home. Great! A new construction home has a lot of benefits over buying resale, one of which is the ability to custom-design the home to your own personal style and taste.
But with so many options out there, how do you go about choosing the right builder to partner with on your new custom home?
What does a home builder do?
The home builder doesn’t just help design your home according to your unique vision, he/she also makes sure the project runs as smoothly as possible and stays on track and on budget. That’s why it’s so important to find someone you have good chemistry with and who can clearly translate your wants and needs.
The home builder works as project manager, overseeing subcontractors and making sure to address any problems that arise along the way. He also makes sure all the necessary permits and paperwork are acquired and filed in a proper and timely fashion.
Where do you find a good home builder?
A good place to start searching for the right home builder is with your local real estate agent. A real estate agent is the home builder’s leading sales rep, helping to get the lots sold and the construction started.
Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services has a full list of qualified home builders in Erie County. Visit our website at www.MarshaMarsh.com/New-Construction or ask your REALTOR®.
Of course, you can also try tapping into your own personal network. Some of the best builders can be found through word-of-mouth recommendations from your friends, family, or even neighbors or co-workers. Chances are if you find someone who was satisfied working with their home builder, you’ll be satisfied working with them too.
If you do search for lots on your own, make sure to confirm who can build on the land. Some lots have exclusive builders, while other areas allow you to select the builder of your choice.
What should you look for in a home builder?
Every home builder has his own unique personality, construction style, set of skills, and way of doing things. That’s why it’s important to take the time to interview at least two or three candidates before making your decision. This is an excellent way to get a feel for what types of options are available.
The number one criteria you should look for, in addition to proven experience, is someone who wants to understand your vision and turn it into a reality. The best builders are good listeners. They don’t spend time trying to convince you what you want; rather, they listen to your wants, needs, and concerns, and then come up with a design and plan that’s unique to you.
After you’ve had a chance to interview a home builder, and you’re comfortable that you’ll be able to get along with them throughout the building process, ask to see their portfolio and have them show you other homes they’ve worked on that are similar to the one you have in mind. Once you’re satisfied with their personality and design skills, ask them for some references and be sure to follow up on them. (Tip: If they’re not crazy about you calling their past clients, that’s a big red flag.)
It’s also important to be as honest as possible during the selection process. Make it crystal clear what you expect of the home builder and ask them about anything you don’t completely understand. Doing so can help you avoid any disagreements and discrepancies once the building phase officially begins.
Of course, the selection process is a mutual one, so be ready to answer any questions the home builder may have for you regarding your individual style, your budget, your time frame, etc. The key to a successful owner/builder relationship is transparency. Get it all out on the table before the first shovel hits the dirt. The home builder will help counsel you on matching your custom-build wish list to your budget.
Choosing a good builder can be the difference between an enjoyable building experience and a never-ending nightmare. Just be sure to make it a high priority right from the start and before long the home of your dreams will be a reality.