Find the Right Homebuilder-Getting Started–Part 1 of 5

Right Homebuilder-Getting StartedFind the Right Homebuilder

This is the first in a series of articles outlining how to find a good match when it comes to finding the right homebuilder for your new home. Sure, you could flip a coin or draw names from a hat, but the steps we outline have a better chance of giving you the desired result.

Let's get this out of the way right up front: The process of finding the right homebuilder for you is not just a matter of following the steps outlined in this series. If by following these steps our logic says you shouldn’t consider a particular builder, but you have a ‘feeling’ about them, by all means keep them on your list! Trust your gut and listen to that small voice in your head.

Before you begin a search for the homebuilder that’s right for you, you need to know what you want, where you want it and what your price range is. Answering these questions may not seem like it has much to do with finding a builder for your home, but by doing this work upfront you can evaluate homebuilders more easily and you can quickly eliminate builders that can’t give you what you’re looking for.

How much should spend for your new home?

The amount of money a lender will let you borrow towards a home and the amount you can handle the payments for may or may not be the same. Based on your own situation, you may decide that borrowing less than the maximum is best for you.  Frankly if more people had listened to that small voice inside their head, the mortgage crisis would not have been so severe.  Check out the New Home Budget Worksheet in the resource section below. The worksheet will allow you to enter your own information and experiment with different interest rates and payment scenarios.  Use the worksheet to help you determine your housing budget.

Many homebuilders have their comfort zone (deliver their best product) selling homes in a specific price range.  This does not mean they can’t effectively build below or above that range, but you don’t want to be too far from their median price range.  For example; if you have a ‘starter home’ budget, you would probably not want to consult a builder of luxury homes.  On the other hand, if you are thinking about a track built home you could consider production builders, semi-custom builders and custom builders.

The point here is simply this; establishing your housing budget first may help you narrow in on some homebuilders and possibly rule out others.

What type of home do you want?

The next step is usually fairly easy; what type of home are you looking for? The main choices are condominium, townhouse (including duplex) and single family. Not all homebuilders build condos or townhomes, so there are fewer choices when it comes to finding builders of these types of homes.  Fewer choices means there will be fewer homebuilders to evaluate than if your preference is for a single family home.

The single family home category can be broken down into many sub-categories including (but certainly not limited to):

  • Contemporary
  • Green
  • High efficiency
  • Log
  • Patio
  • Post-modern
  • Pre-fabricated
  • Ranch
  • Split level
  • Timber
  • Traditional
  • Transitional

There are homebuilders who build in all or most categories and builders who specialize in a few categories or only one.  In some cases you may want to seek a specialist. Decide on a home style that suites you before you begin your search for a homebuilder.

You can use your house type decision as part of your rating criteria for evaluating homebuilders on the worksheet in the resource section below.

Where do you want your new home located?

You can certainly start this step on your own, but you should not finish it without the help of a good realtor. You will narrow your location choices based on school, work, family, neighborhood, activities or a host of other viable criteria that only you can determine. Set your priorities and work with a realtor to select two or three locations that best suit your needs.

Realtors will have insight about neighborhoods, schools, land costs and resale values.  Listen to your realtor, but trust your gut.  Remember you are not aiming to find a building lot or a builder in this step, you are just choosing some possible locations in your quest to find the right homebuilder for you.

If you are building in an area that is new to you and you need information on the area schools check out the link to local school information in the resource section below.

Summary of Part 1

Steps 1 -3 to find the right homebuilder:

  • Determine your new home purchase budget
  • Determine the type of home your want
  • Determine the area where you want your new home built

Once these steps are completed you can begin to look for builders who:

  • Build in the price range you can afford
  • Build the style of home you like
  • Build in the area(s) of your choice

Resources

In Part 2: Determine your new home needs and wants

About Editor

I believe that by providing quality information we can to raise the bar of excellence within the homebuilding industry.

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