How To Choose
A Builder That's Right For You
in all shapes and sizes. Not every builder can meet every customer's
needs, nor should they try to. Much like a doctor, lawyer or mechanic,
builders are widely specialized. From country cottages to beach-front
mansions and from custom homes to production housing, the skills and
expertise needed for each vary greatly. How many years a builder has
been in business is only one indicator of a successful company. There
is much more to consider. The Pocono Builders Association and Pennsylvania
Builders Association offer excellent advice on how to select a builder.
We offer 12 tips to consider in selecting a builder that's right for
a builder that is properly licensed and insured. If a builder isn't
ready, willing and able to offer this information, run the other
a builder that DOES NOT require a deposit on construction. With
the exception of small up-front costs, such as blueprint fees,
if a builder requires a deposit on actual construction of your
home that should be a big, red flag that something is wrong. Unless
you are financing through a lender, who requires 5%,10%, or 20%
down as a condition of financing, you do not have to put money
down to have a house built in the Poconos.
a builder that is a member of the Better Business Bureau and the
local or state and national builder's associations. Membership
in such organizations simply means that the company cares; It
cares about its reputation and it cares about its standing within
the community. And while it speaks to the overall credibility
of the company, it does not speak to exactly who you should
choose to build your home.
a builder that has more than five years experience building the
type, style and size of home you are interested in. You wouldn't
hire a real estate attorney to sue your dentist, so make sure
you choose a builder skilled in the type of home you are considering.
Choose a builder that readily offers references from past
customers. The availability of
references is very important. If a builder can't proudly point
to satisfied customers, there may not be any.
a builder that has an office and support staff, and one that can
show you model homes, homes under construction and homes of past
customers. You wouldn't buy a $50,000 car without going to a dealership
and seeing one first, so don't buy a home from someone without
a respectable office, business operation and model homes to show
a builder that has a comprehensive and specific contract that
outlines, in detail, the obligations and roles of both parties
and offers plenty of time for contract review by both you and
your attorney, if you so choose.
you are planning to finance your new home, choose a builder that
has a working relationship with more than one lender and can explain
the construction loan process. Construction loans are not conventional
mortgages and a knowledgeable builder will easily be able to explain
you don't already own land, select a builder with experience in
real estate and land development. Not every parcel of land in
the Poconos is buildable. Your builder should be able to help
you select from many, many building lots and locations and should
be able to offer much more selection than the lots they themselves
own. A common misconception is that builders own all the land
they build on. On the contrary, most builders own little, if any
land. They usually work with realtors to help buyers secure a
lot to build on. It's good to choose a builder that is also a
realtor or has a close working relationship with one if you are
going to need to select a building location.
a builder who shows a willingness to meet your needs and not oversell
you on their products or services. Avoid high-pressure salespeople.
Deciding to build a home involves a somewhat long learning curve,
so don't allow yourself to be rushed into anything.
- Don't be afraid
to ask questions. Not only is the information you gain important, but
it will help you evaluate the patience and knowledge of the builder
and/or their sales team.
importantly, choose someone you are comfortable with. The home
building experience is only as good as the relationship you have
with your builder. If you're not comfortable on the first visit,
you're not likely to end up a happy customer. Your builder should
be welcoming, friendly and knowledgeable. If not, they shouldn't
be YOUR builder.
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