How to Choose the Right Builder for You
Building a home may seem like a big undertaking, but the right builder can make the process easier than you might expect. Trust and communication are key to a smooth building process, and you can jumpstart a great relationship with your builder by going into your first meeting well prepared. Doing your research and knowing what you’re looking for will help you foster connections with the right builder and recognize which builders won’t work well for your home. We’ve outlined five key steps to take before choosing a builder for your new home below.
Determine your budget and get pre-approval
The first step in any home-buying process is to determine what you can afford. This needs to take into account what you can budget for your mortgage, utilities, property taxes, and additional expenses and what a lender will approve you for. The best way to do this is to get pre-approved through a mortgage lender.
You’ll want to think about your timeline and when you’re hoping to be moved into your new home so that you can make sure any builders you speak to are on the same page right off the bat. A fully custom home will likely take much longer than if you choose a selected floor plan within a community. If you’re looking for new construction that’s ready to close quickly, you could look for spec or model homes that are already under construction or completed. An experienced builder will know approximately how long projects take and should be able to give you estimates on their expected timeline.
Decide on what’s important and the scope of the project
There are a lot of options when it comes to new construction. You could buy a completed model or spec home in a community, pick from an established set of floor plans that a builder provides, or even go fully custom with your own architect. Take some time to establish your wants and needs, keeping your budget in mind. If you’re looking to stay within a certain price range, prioritizing will be important. Think about the size and style of your future home, how many beds and baths you’ll want, and any particular features you know you need.
How custom exactly?
Once you determine budget, timeline, and scope, you can make some decisions on how custom you want your home to be. At The Gove Group, our builder partners typically build semi-custom homes. You would choose from a variety of established floor plans, make selections for the finishes, and likely be able to make some changes to the floor plan itself depending on the specific community, builder, and stage of construction. This can be perfect for some buyers, as it narrows down your options and may make it easier for you to make decisions about layout and design. These homes may have shorter timelines, and there could be a completed home with the same floor plan that you could walk through ahead of time to help you visualize.
A fully custom home may be a better option if you have very specific ideas on what you’d like your home to be. Fully custom may require more decision making and time on your part, but it means your home will be entirely your own, which can be very alluring for some buyers.
Research builders in the area
Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, you can start searching for a builder who seems like a good fit. Builders tend to specialize in certain types of homes, so you’ll want someone who is experienced in the type of home you’re looking for. Check out finished homes they’ve completed and any floor plans they offer to make sure the style and quality of work is in line with what you’re looking for. You’ll probably want someone with experience, so you should also look into how long they’ve been in business and what they have for reviews. If they have active projects, you could drive by and check out some of the sites, particularly if you’re interested in living in one of their new home communities.
With your budget, timeline, and scope all outlined before you even meet with a builder, you’ll be well prepared to make an educated decision on who is your best match.