Questions to Ask When Choosing a Home Builder

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Have you decided the time is right to build a new home? Whether it is your first home or a replacement for your existing one, selecting the right builder is critical to the success of your project.

Building a home may be one of the largest investments you ever make. You want to get it right and end up with a high-quality home that is worry-free and provides you with years of comfortable living.

Here are some things you should consider when choosing a builder for your new home.

Wish List

Put together a wish list of features you would like to see in your new home. Decide if a double storey house design or a single-story is right for your family.

Your list should identify those features you consider a “must-have”, and those that you would like to include but could do without if there are budget or design constraints.

Make a List

Contact your local home builders association, peruse local real estate listings for builders, ask real estate agents, and ask friends and family for any recommendations. Ask about builders they have dealt with directly or ask them for names of people who have had a good experience with a builder.

Different builders specialize in different architectural styles and some of those will be more appealing to you than others.

Homework

When you have a list of potential candidates, do your homework. Visit subdivisions and recently built homes. Many new subdivisions have model homes that you can walk through to preview the finished product.

Talk to other owners and find out what their experience was like. Do they like the neighbourhood? What was it like working with the builder? Is there anything they would have done differently? Recent customers can give you a very good idea of the type of experience you will have working with that builder.

Keep a notebook of your findings. If you are considering two or more builders, this will help keep things straight in your mind when you and your spouse are discussing things afterwards.

Questions

Here are some specific questions you should get answers to from your prospective builders:

  • Does the builder have references from recent customers?
  • Ask for the builder’s license and insurance
  • Does the builder arrange financing?
  • Are there options in the floor plan?
  • What features of the home are standard?
  • What features can be customized?
  • Are there any additional fees related to the lot or home development?
  • Will there be a homeowners association? If so, what is the cost of dues and what does it cover?
  • Does the builder have a warranty program?
  • Is landscaping included in the price?
  • Are there any restrictive covenants?
  • What are the estimated property taxes?

Look at new homes whenever you can. When you visit, look for quality in the construction. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are lots of good builders out there, make sure you pick one that will provide you with quality and value.

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