If you think a lot of work goes into buying an existing single-family home, just wait until you try to build the mountain home of your dreams from scratch! There are site plans to review and paint colors to narrow down. And while it can seem overwhelming at certain moments, mostly the process is delightful because you know in the end you’ll have the exact home you want.
However, one critical thing that could cause major hiccups in the process is the builder you choose for your new home. Inexperienced, unreliable, or overextended builders could delay the process and leave you with a castle that falls far short of a fairy tale.
So, how do you go about finding the best builder for your new construction home? Here are a few tips to help you narrow down your options.
Understand Who You’re Looking for
Many hands go into building a home. So when you’re ready to find a “home builder,” it helps to know just what kind of professional you need. Architects, draftsmen, and structural engineers turn your idea for a home into blueprints—each in different ways. General contractors take those blueprints, acquire the necessary permits, and manage the subcontractors who construct your home. Project managers and construction management companies are a more affordable solution to hiring a general contractor. But each offers a different level of service.
In contrast, home builders for hire will provide turnkey services to help you manage every stage of the project, from design and development to construction and installation. Similarly, custom home builders will handle every aspect of the build, but they typically construct homes to specification on land you already own.
Know What You Want
To help decide what kind of home builder you need, you first need to know what kind of home you want. Do you already own land on which to build the home? Are you constructing within a neighborhood with tight building guidelines? How big of a house do you want? And what features do you want in your home? It helps to create a must-have list of features you want and need to make sure your prospective builder can provide them.
Do Your Homework
In addition to offering different levels of service, most builders specialize in a certain price range or type of structure. In-town condos require different permits and skills than luxury homes on sprawling rural land. As you make your list of potential builders, look for those who have the right kind of experience for what you want to build. Along with experience and credentials (state licensing requirements), check ratings and reviews to get a general idea of how each company treats its clients.
A few places where you can find potential home builders include:
- Your local home builders’ association.
- The real estate section of the local paper.
- Friends’ and relatives’ recommendations.
- Your Beverly-Hanks real estate agent.
- Your Beverly-Hanks Mortgage Services lender.
- Other industry suppliers and professionals who work with builders on a regular basis.
Take a Tour
Once you have a list of several builders you feel confident about, it’s time to examine the quality of their work. Take a Saturday morning to drive by a few homes that have been recently completed. If you happen to see the homeowners, ask them about their experience in the building process. Are they happy in their home? If there were problems with the build or since moving in, did the builder help fix them?
You can also take a formal tour of a model unit. That way, you can see the quality of construction, amenities, and finishes up close. Don’t forget to examine the cabinetry, carpeting, trim work, and paint. The company should also be open to letting you tour a build site. If you choose to do that, pay attention to the materials, workmanship, and safety.
Ask Lots of Questions
Building a home is a huge investment of time and money. As you’re narrowing down your builder options, ask as many questions as you need to feel confident about the process. A few potential questions to ask your home builder include:
- Will you provide references?
- Do you guarantee your work?
- Do you offer a home warranty? And do you transfer warranties for fixtures and appliances purchased as part of the contract?
- Do you have a financial plan established?
- How will you determine allowances?
- How much “customizing” can be done versus standard features?
- Does the price include landscaping? What if the plants die within a year?
- Can I get that in writing?
PRO TIP: Start a notebook or journal dedicated to your home build. Write down all the questions you want to ask so that you don’t forget anything when you have your builder’s attention. And jot down their answers in case you need to reference them later.
Finding a Great New Home Builder is Easy in WNC!
Luckily for people living throughout Western North Carolina, finding a nearby new home builder is easy. That’s because out of the nation’s top 10 builders, nine already have a presence in North Carolina. According to New Homes & Ideas, that’s true of only four other states, making North Carolina one of only five states that can claim it has the best builders.
If you need more help narrowing down your great options, your Beverly-Hanks agent can help! Your agent can help you zero in on the home and neighborhood features that are most important to you. What’s more, they will stay by your side from contract to closing to help you meet deadlines, distribute documents, and account for all details. Our proactive management and attention to detail will help make sure your home build is efficient and seamless.
Learn more about buying a home with Beverly-Hanks.