8. How to Choose a Home Builder

Posted by A.J. On June 26th

Home BuilderDon’t buy a home. Buy a home builder.

A responsible builder understands that he or she has a reputation to protect, constructs homes that live up to promises, and remains available should issues arise. More than a few builders, however, take your money, throw together a house that starts falling apart on day one, and then stop returning phone calls.

This is the eighth tip in What’s New in New Construction: 12 Tips for Building a Home in Southwest Florida Today, a free eBook.

The lesson is: don’t buy a house. Buy a builder. The builder should be focused on building a relationship with you, and effectively communicating with you throughout the process. This communication is absolutely essential.

Before deciding on a builder, consider talking to:

  • Other owners who live in the development you’re considering.
  • Homeowner association. If the development is run by a homeowner association, talk to the association members and the board of directors. If nothing has been built yet, talk to owners in a recently completed development by the same builder.
  • County planning or building department staff who deal with local developers. (Ask your questions positively, for example: “Does (company name) finish their projects on time, with few complaints?” These types of questions will probably be answered honestly and candidly. However, something like “Is it true (company name) is a nightmare to work with?” might make the person hesitant to share information.
  • Real estate agents who have worked in the area for a long time.
  • The state or local licensing or consumer protection agency that oversees contractors.
  • The local Better Business Bureau. Ask whether any complaints have been filed against the developer.

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