Interviewing and Choosing a Homebuilder - Part One

One of the most often asked questions that customers ask me is, “How do we know which builder to choose once we have found our homesite?” I could probably write a book on this subject, but instead, I will share four important items with you that  you need to ask each homebuilder that you are considering.

#1    List of Prior Customers
Ask the builder for a list of prior customers that they have built a home for over last the last several years. Make sure this list includes all contact information for each customer. This will give you an opportunity to follow up with each customer about their experiences with the builder and if they were satisfied with process and their home.

#2    List of Current Customers
Also ask the builder for a list of their current customers and contact information. Check with each current customer and ask them about how their experience has been so far. Some things you may want to ask them are:
  - Is the house on schedule?
  - Is it on budget?
  - Does the builder take time to answer your questions?
  - How did the builder handle unexpected problems and work through difficulties?

#3   List of Sub-Contractors and Suppliers
This is an important list to get from your prospective builder. If it were me, I would check with the sub-contractors and the builder’s suppliers to find out about their working relationship. Some questions you may want to ask are:
 - Does the builder pay their bills on time?
-   Does the builder show respect to the contractors?
-   Is the builder easy to contact?
-   Does the builder respond to questions and potential situations in a timely fashion.
-   How long have you worked for or sold products to the builder?

#4   Financial Relationships
I would also take the time to ask the prospective builder for a list of their current financial institutions that they do business with. Be sure to get a contact person and their information for each institution.   I would ask the financial institution if they have a positive banking and business relationship with the builder and if they would recommend them.

Once a homebuilder “passes” your approval based upon the above information, then you can begin to narrow down which homebuilder is right for you. I will talk more about the next steps in finding the right homebuilder for you in my next blog.