With all of the emphasis homebuyers place on price, location and square footage, builder reputation is often overlooked as a determining factor in one’s purchase.   Instead of focusing solely on measurements, you should remember that a home is ultimately a product of craftsmanship.

Consider the following analogy:  One may be looking for a 12” Black Forest Cake, but to assume that all cakes are made equally would be foolish.  Everything from the ingredients used, to the preparation process, to the equipment the chef has access to, will all play a major role in determining the true value and quality of the cake.   A house is no different in that sense, other than the fact that the stakes are considerably higher.  We could all handle the ramifications of buying a low quality dessert, but the fallout of purchasing a poorly crafted home is often impossible to recover from.

Shoddy workmanship and subpar materials can lead to significant problems within the home, as well as considerable devaluation of the property.  The best way to avoid any such scenario is to perform due diligence when selecting which builder you wish to partner with.

Purchasing a new home can be one of the most demanding and sometimes stressful endeavors we can embark upon, much like organizing a wedding or having a new baby.  So it’s not enough to just find a builder than can build – you need one who is going to be empathetic and understanding, one that’s trustworthy, polite and adaptable.  Finding the right builder for you is easily achievable if you ask the right people the right questions.

A good place to start is by interviewing your builder or his representatives.  Remember that home building is a demanding business.  Aside from the dedication it takes to keep up with all that is going on in the industry, it requires solid business acumen and a track record of satisfied clients.   Quality builders are proud of their accomplishments, whether they have been in business for 3 or 30 years.  They will gladly tell you about their background, their experience, their expertise and what sets them apart from the others.  They will be honest with you about what they can do for you, when and for how much.

Another solid indicator is whether the builder in question is a member of any of the various local Home Builder Associations.  Membership in these organizations is a sign of a builder’s commitment to their industry, to their craft, and to the success of their own company and ultimately to their customers.  Keep in mind that members are bound to a stringent Code of Ethics that insist on fair and honest dealing with consumers and trade/supplier companies alike.  Furthermore, they are kept abreast of all the latest advances in technology and technique, ensuring that your home is built to the industry’s highest standards and protocol.

At the end of the day, you don’t just have to take the builder’s word for it.  Try to contact past customers to find out how satisfied they were with all aspects of their purchase.  Ask if their home was completed on time, what the builder was like to work with, and about the company’s after sales service.   You’ll find that homeowners are generally very candid and forthright about their home buying experience, and their input can be invaluable.

Always remember that when you buy a home, you are in essence partnering with the builder.  Asking the right questions and applying due diligence will give you all the insight and confidence needed to make a wise and informed purchase.

Happy Hunting.