Selecting the Right Home Builder For You
When you make the big decision to build instead of buying your next home, you’ll find that you now have an even bigger decision to make—which home builder do you choose?
There are so many builders around the country that can build your dream home for you, but selecting one of them for your home isn’t a one-builder-fits-all decision. It is very personal.
“Building a home is one of the most important and expensive decisions that you will make in your life,” says Grant Heinauer, Vice President, and Construction Manager of Barrington Homes, a family-owned luxury builder in western Pennsylvania. “It is a very personal decision that involves intense feelings and emotions. In some cases, the builder that you meet with may just not mesh with your personality or may just rub you the wrong way. You need to select a builder not only by their reputation and experience but also by how they make you feel about the process.”
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when selecting a builder is not doing their research.
“One of the biggest mistakes people make when selecting a home builder is not doing their research before signing agreements,” he says. “It is also very important to read thoroughly through your contract and spec sheet. This tells you what is included in the home and what is not, and reading through these documents will help alleviate any issues during the building process, as you will know what to expect as the home is being built.”
To help make the big decision a little easier, Heinauer provides these 5 things to consider when selecting a home builder:
- How long has the home builder been in business?
The building industry has been affected significantly in the last ten years, and if a builder has been in business for many years and has been a good performer throughout that time period, that is evidence of a strong company with a good product.
- Is there someone that will help walk me through the building process?
Many people have never built a home before and do not know what to expect with the process. It is important to have a contact and full team in place that will help answer questions and guide the customer through the ins and outs of building.
- Are there specific home plans to choose from, and if so, am I able to make any changes to these plans?
Some builders have a gallery of plans to choose from but are not very flexible in making changes to these plans. What will work in a home for one family may not work for another, due to their wants and needs. So, it is important to find this out up front, especially if there are certain specific aspects that you are looking for in a home.
- Where is the builder allowed to build?
If you are looking for a home in a certain school district or certain area of the city, it is important to find out up front if the builder is able to work in that area.
- Personal Feeling about the Builder: When you meet with the builder, are you comfortable around them?
Do you feel like they have good ideas and creativity when it comes to design? Do you feel comfortable dealing with them, as in most cases you will be working with them for at least 6 months to a year?