When you decide to build your first home instead of buy it, there are an entirely different set of issues to navigate. Choosing the right builder is far different than choosing a real estate agent. How do you know whether the builder you’re thinking of hiring is the right one for you? Try asking these four questions.
How many years have you been in business?
Experience is an important factor in hiring a builder. You want to find someone who has been in business for many years and built many homes. But numbers aren’t the only thing that matters here. Confirm that they are licensed and insured and that homes they’ve built previously are still in good condition without a lot of issues. Check on both recent builds and ones that go back to their early years as a builder.
Can you give me references from previous buyers?
A good builder should have references from clients they’ve worked with in the past. Some may even have model homes you can tour. You might also ask if there are any new home listings that are homes they’ve built. You can then tour those homes to see what you think. You might even find a home they’ve already built that you want to buy.
Do you only build from home plans you supply or can I provide my own?
Whether you have your own plans or not, understanding how the builder works is important. You may find plans elsewhere that you would prefer to use, and if you hire a builder who isn’t open to that, you may find yourself either using plans you don’t like or possibly paying fees to cancel a contract.
How and when can I make changes and upgrades before and during construction?
Many people who build their own home make at least minor changes and upgrades to the home at some point before or during construction. Knowing the process and timing for these changes and upgrades is important to make sure you don’t miss your window. You’ll also want to find out what kinds of fees are associated with these changes and upgrades so you can be prepared.
Building your own home is an exciting and fun process. Working with the right builder can make the experience even better. Take your time and ask the right questions so you can be sure the builder you hire has the same vision you do for your future home.