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May 11, 2015

Choosing the Homebuilder That’s Right for You

For your next home, you’ve chosen a new home – one that will be built especially for you, with the features and special touches that reflect your taste and lifestyle. But how do you know if the homebuilder you’re considering is the right fit for you? What factors do you need to consider before moving forward with a contract? Here are some important things to think about when you’re in the market for a custom home. What do you need? Most homebuilders have a ‘niche market’ that they cater to. Most companies don’t build homes that run the gamut from inexpensive starter homes to large, multi-million dollar homes to condominiums for senior citizens. They usually provide a certain type of home for a specific sort of customer. Look at their offerings critically and decide if what they build fits into your future plans. Experience is critical. It’s always great to deal with a homebuilder that has been in business for a good many years. If an organization is celebrating their silver, gold or even diamond anniversary, you can be sure they’re doing everything right. However, every homebuilder that has been in business for decades built their first house at some time, so be on the lookout for eager, talented up and comers or new companies headed up by a professional with many years of experience. Client Comments Count. When you’re looking for the homebuilder that best fits your needs, don’t forget to check reviews and feedback online, and conduct detailed interviews with previous customers. Homebuilders should offer a list of references. If they don’t, ask for one. You’ll often glean important facts that won’t be readily available from other sources from past customers. If a homebuilder gets a consistent “thumbs up” from their buyers, ask exactly what it is that makes them so special. Ask questions about the materials used, the schedule followed and the openness of communication between the buyer and the builder. Does the homebuilder carry all necessary insurance and licensure? If licensing is required in the area where you live, be sure that the builder you choose follows all local regulations. Ask detailed questions about the kind of insurance they carry, and what insurances their contractors or sub-contractors carry. You want to make sure you’re adequately protected from loss at every stage in the building process. Does their aesthetic appeal to you? Many builders have a certain “eye” and prefer to work in certain styles. If you love clean, modern, uncluttered lines, a builder that specializes in American traditional homes probably won’t deliver a result you’ll be happy to call your own. However, look closely at their full portfolio before making a decision. Some builders have the ability to design and build homes in many different styles successfully, while some do not. Warranties and service can seal the deal. When you’re buying a new home, it’s likely that the materials, products, systems and work will be guaranteed for a certain period of time. This can give you great peace of mind, knowing that you won’t have to worry about unexpected repairs and expenses for quite some time. However, all builder warranties aren’t the same. Look for a company that offers a minimum of a ten year warranty on the home itself, and check the builder’s service record to make sure that when repairs are done, they’re completed swiftly and properly. A good reputation means great resale value. If a builder’s homes tend to hold on to their value the longer they’re in business, it’s likely that their reputation for quality precedes them. Ask realtors for recommendations and they’ll often mention the builders with the best track records first. Local involvement is a sign of commitment to the area’s economy. For many buyers, a commitment to the local economy is important. Homebuilders that give local tradespeople and artisans work tend to become – and remain - successful. If materials are sourced locally along with this initiative, all the better. Look for a homebuilder that is active in their local Homebuilders’ Association or has been recognized by the community for their exceptional work. Take the tour of homes. This is the last - but the most important – step in the process. Whether the homes you view are furnished models open to the public, or appointments set up with past buyers to visit their homes, be sure to see a homebuilder’s work in person before signing a contract. Look carefully at the small details as well as the overall quality and appearance of the home. Does it look and feel sturdy and sound? Are the materials, appliances and fixtures well-known brand names? Try to see a home that was built several years ago, if possible, to see how it is standing the test of time. You can also inquire about visiting a current building site to get an idea of how the homebuilder handles their construction process. At Ernest Signature Custom Homes, buyer satisfaction is our main priority. We’re open to your questions, so be sure to contact our team at 912-756-4135 or send us an email today!
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