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How to Choose a Homebuilder

February 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 158

The "new homes for sale" signs and ads are everywhere. Spec homes in new housing developments are plentiful. There's no doubt it's a buyers market. Knowing what questions to ask when choosing a homebuilder will help ensure you have a good experience when building or buying a new home.

Most companies who construct new homes still in business today are seasoned professionals with good reputations. So how do you go about choosing the best company to construct your new home? The top five things to consider are:

The company's history and longevity.

Look for a licensed builder and ask realtors and others about the company's reputation. Finding out the tenure of their subcontractors is a great way to find out how the company does business in general. Ask the prospective contractor if the company is rated by the Better Business Bureau, and if so, what that rating is.

The location and amenities of available properties.

Unless you already own property, you'll also be shopping for a building lot. Many developers have several properties; a larger one often has more than one subdivision with multiple choices. Access to highways, shopping and services and the quality of the school system are a few considerations.

How do they work with clients during the homebuilding process?

Will you have direct contact with your builder? Can you track the progress while your home is being built? Some builders make good use of their websites by offering client-only areas that let clients view the construction timeline. Ask if you are able to visit the construction site. Ideally, your builder will encourage site tours with the construction manager in addition to a planned home tour that should take place just before the drywall is installed. Ask about the "final" walk through with the construction manager. That should happen perhaps a week before closing. You and the builder or his (or her) staff will conduct a tour through the home; you'll be shown how to use the mechanical systems (a programmable thermostat, for example) and make a punch list of anything that needs attention. Find out if you'll meet again with the builder before closing to go over the list and make sure that you are satisfied before you sign off.

How does the builder work with clients to stay in budget?

Whether it's less than $100,000 or more than a million dollars, everyone has a budget. Choose a homebuilder who will help you can make informed decisions and ensure you stay in budget. One way that a builder can do this is to maintain a design center. A design center staff will works with new home clients, helping to differentiate between needs and wants. They'll assist you in prioritizing those two lists. Does your dream home include granite countertops and a three car garage? A neutral party (your builder's design center staff person) might point out that by using laminate countertops, you will be able to keep that third garage bay in the plan.

How does the builder works with clients after the closing?

This one just may be the most crucial to your home-buying experience. Is there a warranty? How a company handles problems is the difference between nightmare experience and total satisfaction. A full-time customer care representative on staff is a good indication of how you'll be treated after you move in. Scheduled follow-up visits about a month after your closing and again in 11 months should take care of any problems while they're still under warranty. Ask what provisions they have made regarding emergencies. What happens if your furnace quits in the middle of the night? Some builders maintain 24-hour emergency lines.

The time to buy a home is now

With historically low interest rates and large inventory of new and older single family homes, there's never been a better time to buy a home. By doing your homework and finding the most qualified builder in your community, you can have that dream house!

Chosen Best of the Region by readers of the Northwest Indiana Times and Best of Northwest Indiana Business by readers of that publication in 2011, Olthof Homes has a varied selection of single family spec homes for sale in Northwest Indiana. We pride ourselves on our design center, allowing our cients to choose everything from siding to bathtubs to hinges under one roof. Our new home buyers appreciate exemplary service after the sale, including a 24-hour emergency hotline to handle after-hours problems. Whether you're searching for the best builder in Northwest Indiana or live elswhere, visit to learn more.

Source: EzineArticles
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