Building a New Home? – Talking to Builders is the 6th Step, Not the First

You are finally going to build your dream home. Don’t just
call a builder. There is work to be done before you make
that call.

Building your dream home is a big step. It is a huge
investment that should give you dividends for a long time.
It should have the amenities you want and MUST make you
happy. You worked hard to be able to afford it and you want
it YOUR way.

The first step is deciding what features you want in your
new home. Include your partner and children in the decision
making process. They are going to be sharing in this
experience and living with you. This home belongs to
everyone. Write down everything you want in this new home.
Don’t forget the outside and the landscaping features as

The next step is deciding what features are absolutely
necessary. What features MUST be included in order to make
the house livable under current circumstances. But also
consider the near future, especially if the family may be
expanding: ie: another child, a parent coming to live with
the family. Perhaps now is the time to include that 4th
bedroom, and extra ½ or ¾ bathroom.

Now you know what you want and also what you need to be
comfortable. Now comes the fun! Bundle the family into your
car and drive around some of the subdivisions. Choose the
area in which you want to build and see just what types of
homes are being built. Don’t forget, if you don’t see a
plan you like, you have the options of choosing your own
design. Check out the model homes. These are built
specifically for public viewing. You will also see houses
at various stages of construction. If job site workers are
present, ask them if they will allow you to walk through
the house. There are safety issues to be considered, but
ask to look around.

By viewing these homes, you can start to get a feel of the
place, the floor plan, visualize your ideas, and the
completed project. Remember, at this point you are still
looking, so don’t be swayed my high-pressure tactics.

It is now time to determine if the plans and ideas are
financially feasible. This project should not be so debt-
inducing that the house becomes a burden. Contact several
financial institutions regarding the different types of
loans available for building a new home. Avail yourself to
as much money as possible, without exceeding your financial

In addition, make a list of builders that you would like
to consider. Ask friends, relative, get names from signs in
the subdivisions. Maybe you know a realtor or two who will
give you names. You should be able to come up with at least
5 different companies.

Then investigate each one of the companies.

1. Call the Better Business Bureau. They are a great
source. They keep records of contractors and businesses
that have had consumer complaints filed against them. They
will NOT give you opinions, only facts.

2. Call the different companies and obtain references.
TALK TO THESE REFERENCES! That cannot be stressed enough.
Be specific with your questions.

Were you satisfied with your builder? Was it easy to reach
the builder and discuss any question and concerns? Were
there any issues that came up? Did the builder follow
through with the homeowner’s warranty? Are you happy with
the home?

Once all the information has been gathered, analyze the
data and narrow your choice to 1 to 3 contractors. By now
you know what you want, how the project will be financed,
and whether you can trust the builder to do it your way.
That makes for a positive home building experience.