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buying a home
May 27, 2014

Buying a Home? Here’s How to Choose a Homebuilder

The process of buying a home involves a lot of dizzying decisions, from choosing the color of the carpeting and paint to selecting a continuous look for the lighting to the outdoor landscaping. Before you get carried away by the excitement that buying a home presents, choose your builder carefully. Make the wrong choice, and you’ll join the throngs of other homeowners who failed to do their homework—and regretted it. Choose your homebuilder with due diligence, and you’ll have paid the cost to get the best home possible.

Step 1: Gather Some Names

You may have already gathered some word-of-mouth references from friends and family, but go beyond those recommendations. You can’t assume that your friends and family unturned every possible stone when looking for a homebuilder, so go the extra mile. Collect the names and numbers of as many homebuilders as you can in your area, and compare their credentials on their websites and through phone interviews. Check reputable sources like the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Nebraska State Home Builders Association for information about home building and service providers.

 Step 2: Investigate Credentials

 When you speak with homebuilders, ask questions about their credentials, experience and expertise. Make note of their answers to questions like these:

  • How long has your company worked in the area?
  • How many homes have you built?
  • What kind of warranty do you offer?
  • What certifications do you hold?

The NAHB offers designations such as the Certified Master Builder and the Certified Graduate Builder, an indication that the builder has passed rigorous training and follows best practices.

Step 3: Ask for References

Asking for references is one of the most important steps when choosing a homebuilder as it lets you see evidence of the builder’s craftsmanship firsthand. Ask the builder for a list of customers with whom they’ve worked, and then talk to the homeowners. Better yet, swing by their new homes and pepper them with questions about quality of construction, how easy the contractor is to work with, and if the builder follows up on complaints or changes in building plans in a timely fashion.

If you are able and the builder offers it, check out an open house or home show to get a look at the construction work. Ask questions about upgrades, their cost, and your options in terms of individually selecting features. Inspect the homes with the eye of critical homebuyer, not an excited home builder who may overlook certain components. Assess the quality of paint, construction of the cabinets, and the trim. Make a checklist and remember to ask the builder questions later in a follow-up interview.

Taking the time before you start your building project to properly vet your homebuilder will pay off in the end. You’ll be more satisfied with your home, feel better about its quality, and you’ll know what you’re getting for your money.

Custom Choice Homes helps residents in the Greater Omaha Metropolitan Area with their custom home-buying needs. Give us a call today to ask about our credentials and for references.

Nicole

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