Selecting the right homebuilder can be a daunting task.
With a home being the largest and most significant purchase of one’s life, buyers understandably fret over the decision – the trustworthiness of the builder, the budget, and the quality of the construction. These 10 questions, however, will help you evaluate homebuilders and team with the right pro for the job.
#1: Might you connect me to recent homebuyers?
Reputable homebuilders are confident in their work and their ability to please clients. Connecting with current homeowners can provide firsthand perspective regarding a particular builder’s competency as well as insights on the construction process.
#2: How long has your company been building homes?
It’s true that every homebuilder was, at one point or another, a new homebuilder. That said, experience counts. Established, credible firms have a track record you can evaluate, deep industry relationships, and the wisdom to troubleshoot challenges.
#3: Who will lead the building of my home?
Homebuilders will generally appoint one specific individual to oversee the entire construction process. Meet this individual, as he or she will likely be your primary point of contact during construction.
#4: Will I be able to visit the worksite?
It’s completely understandable that you’ll want to see construction progress for yourself. Trustworthy builders will gladly accommodate a more in-depth tour, though it is often best to schedule these visits so as not to impede progress.
#5: What changes can I make to the floor plans?
All builders handle floor plan changes a bit differently, so understand if and how changes are addressed. While some only build to the precise blueprint plans, others will move walls, add windows, shift closets, and incorporate other architectural changes as requested by the buyer.
#6: What are standard features and what are options?
Homebuilders will often supply a comprehensive list of the standard features included in each home plan, many of which will be different than what you might view in the model home. Getting clarity on standard features, available options, and the pricing structure for upgrades, particularly those important to you, is imperative to your budget and landing the home you desire.
#7: Is there a homeowners association (HOA)?
If there is an HOA, it will certainly have its own bylaws. Ask the builder for this information as it could influence your final decision and what you can – or cannot – do with your home. (It’s worth noting as well that some homebuilders impose their own community restrictions, such as preventing two like homes from sitting side by side. So-called monotony clauses ultimately protect the community’s integrity.)
#8: What is the inspection process like?
While many municipalities require specific inspections, many builders have an inspection process of their own with buyers that might include a pre-drywall walkthrough or an “Orientation Walkthrough” in which the superintendent familiarizes the new homeowners with maintenance and operation and identifies any final issues in need of attention.
#9: How long will it take to build my home?
Get an accurate estimate of your build time and understand the factors – weather being a notable one – that could delay construction. Dependable homebuilders can offer rather firm answers, not wishy-washy replies.
#10: What is your warranty program?
While appliances and other home elements are often covered by manufacturer warranty, proven homebuilders typically offer their own warranty plans. Gather specifics on the length of the warranty, what is (or is not) covered, and how repairs are handled within the warranty period.