Choosing a home builder is the most important step of your new home experience and that responsibility falls on you, the homeowner. Once you have decided on your needs in terms of home design and layout, it is your next step to find someone who can get the job done to your standards.
What is Your Design?
Before looking for a home builder, define your needs for your new home. For instance, if you are building a starter home, you are going to look for a first home builder, which is different from a builder that specializes in custom homes for multi-million dollar homes for wealthy buyers. The type of home you want will determine the materials used and the building process itself, which different builders specialize in different designs. That said, no builder may be able to meet all your criteria, but find a builder that meets most of your needs. Be willing to make sacrifices along the way. A quick look at a builder’s portfolio will tell you if their design style is at least along the same lines as what you are looking for. If you are looking for a more traditional home build, a builder that has homes with a more contemporary and modern look to them may not be the best fit. Some builders have varying expertise, but their portfolios will tell you if they are capable of the design you want.
Reliable builders are involved locally with the National Association of Home Builders. You can contact your local association for a list of home builders in your area, but you are going to want to do your own research on each builder on the list. Look for a builder with experience, like Robertson Homes, which has built homes in Michigan since 1945. Sure, every builder is a beginner at one point or another to get their career started, but having experience matters. Look at their website for past projects and galleries of photos. Also, take the time to read other homeowners’ reviews. Hearing real life experiences with the builder can offer personal input as to how the project went to give you an idea of expectations. Ask the builder for references and call them to see how satisfied they are with the job. Next, verify that the builder has the adequate applicable licenses and insurance. Builders are not necessarily required to have licenses or insurance, but you do not want to get stuck with a builder that is not insured during the process. Lastly, investigate what sort of warranty and service your builder provides. You can tell almost immediately if your builder takes time to explain warranties with you.
Learn From Past Projects
In addition to reading reviews and calling references, visit homes of your builder’s past projects. Look for signs of quality in the detail of the home, like using reputable brands. Another resource are real estate websites. Have your builder’s home increased in value? Homes that hold their value or raise in value are a good sign that they were built well. Realtors also mention builders in their ads that they respect, so keep an eye out for names in your area.