One of the most important decisions that you will make when building a custom home is selecting the right contractor to oversee the job. While the research and selection process can be a tedious one, you can significantly speed up your search for a builder and feel confident about your decision by embracing these 4 tips:
1. Define your needs.
The appeal of the custom home building experience is that you can design a home that meets your exact specifications. Before beginning the hunt for the right contractor for your dream home, consider what your needs are. Not only should this list include "must have" features, but also your ideal square footage, style of home, and budget. Once you take the time to define your needs, it will be much easier to find a builder that specializes in the architectural style that you desire.
2. Make yourself familiar with the contractor's level of experience.
With the improving real estate market, we're seeing a lot of new custom home building firms pop up, and many of these are being run by seasoned builders. This means that even if the firm is brand new, it may still be comprised of builders that have years of experience in building the type of home that you seek. On the other hand, there have been a number of builders in recent years that have filed bankruptcies, leaving both clients and suppliers in very difficult situations.
The bottom line is to make sure you have an understanding of who the contractor is, the types and quality of homes that he or she has previously built, and how the customer/contractor relationship has been historically handled. It's also smart to talk to your prospective builder about longstanding trade contractor relationships as these can make a world of difference with the product and building schedule.
3. Tour properties that have been built by the contractor.
Ideally, the contractors that you are considering should be able to provide you with a portfolio of homes that they have built in the past. Once you have narrowed down your list of prospective builders, one of the most important steps that you can take is touring a home that the builder has constructed in the past. Doing this will give you a good perspective of the builder's look, feel, and quality.
4. Know what the builder's reputation means for resale value.
When researching builders, consider talking to real estate agents to find out who the reputable builders are in your community. Custom home building firms with good reputations tend to build properties that have either maintained or increased in value. Realtors will tell you that selecting a builder that is known for quality and superior craftsmanship can be a big plus when it comes to selling your home down the road.
If you follow these 4 tips referenced above, you will be well on your way to selecting the right custom home building firm that is the best fit for your needs.