We might be the right builder for your new home, but we might not. Whether we are or not, we want to make sure you get the home you want at a price you can afford.
Since we are builders, we know the best way to find one that will be fair, cost-efficient and timely. Here’s how we would pick a home builder.
Ask the bank
As we’ve written about previously, bankers tend to know what type of reputation builders in the community have. After all, good builders make life easy on lenders, and getting a construction loan might depend on the builder you’ve chosen.
Ask a banker which builders are reputable. If you have been researching a few, be sure to throw their names out there. A banker might not be able to give you specifics or recommend somebody, but they should be able to give you an idea of whether or not a builder is respected.
Look at a builder’s jobsite
What you’re looking for here is whether the jobsite looks neat, tidy and safe. Are the materials well-kept or just thrown around? Does everything seem haphazard? Part of what you’re paying for is the waste of a job.
If the jobsite isn’t neat it could mean that the builder is disorganized or doesn’t pay much attention. And a lot of money goes out the door in waste, and that kind of builder winds up paying subcontractors more in trips.
Talk to trades or subcontractors
Take this with a grain of salt, since in every profession there are people who are just unhappy no matter what. But if there are workers out there, it’s okay to ask their opinion. A subcontractor might give you some hints as to whether or not a builder is easy to work with and timely.
Search for the builder’s reputation
It’s very easy today to get on the web and find the reputation of virtually every business out there. While every builder is going to have a couple of not-so-great reviews, you should be able to spot a trend. Do customers generally wind up happy and offer a recommendation? Are there consistently bad reviews about the builder going over budget or taking too long?
See how fast the builder builds
This isn’t always extremely easy to do, but it can be useful to make occasional trips past a particular jobsite. How long is it taking the builder to complete a house? Does it look like significant progress is being made or does construction appear to be barely moving along?
Those are the methods we would use if we had to pick a home builder. Pick one or two of them yourself, and see what you can find out about a particular builder you’re considering.