If you’re in the process of building a dream home, one of the crucial steps is hiring a builder. The builder is, after all, going to help make your dream a reality! The construction of a home puts together one of the largest financial assets you will ever have. So how should you choose a builder or contractor? Here’s some tips.
A Home Builder Is Part of the Construction Loan Process
When you’re building a new home, home builders are part of the construction loan process in a way that they aren’t if you’re purchasing an existing home. Your mortgage lender will review the builder or contractor as part of the approval process for your loan.
First, lenders need to know that the builder is experienced in building the type of home you’re looking for. They must be licensed and meet all regulations. Second, lenders need to know that the builder is financially stable and have met financial obligations in the past.
Lenders not only review builders for experience and financial background before the loan, but they also inspect each stage of the building process to ensure that the home is being built as specified and will pass inspection.
In short, don’t approach the new home loan process as if it’s just you and your bank. The builder will not be on the outside looking in! They’re part of the team.
How Do I Find a Home Builder? Can My Bank Help?
There are several good methods of finding a home builder. In the beginning stages, it’s a good idea to talk to others before making a decision.
First, ask your family and friends if they’ve worked with a builder in the past. Were they happy with the work? Was it similar in scope to what you want? Would they recommend the builder? Always ask for references.
Second, look at homes in the area that you like. Tour open houses and model homes. When you like a house, ask for information about the builder.
Third, remember that lenders work with a lot of builders in their community! That makes community banks such as CBC Bank a very good source for getting information on local builders. Ask your lender if they can recommend several builders they’ve worked with in the past.
What Qualities Should I Look for in a Builder?
You want a builder who will do excellent work. You want good quality in each and every aspect of the construction and finishing of your home. Ask your references about the quality of the job they did. Your builder should also have a reputation for being on time and within budget.
It’s equally important to have a builder you feel comfortable with. You need to be able to ask questions and feel the questions are reasonably and satisfactorily answered. Talking with them throughout the construction process will help with communication and allow you to be more comfortable with the builder.
Finally, it’s important to hire a builder who has built homes like yours before. By “like yours,” we don’t mean of exactly the same design and look. But you want someone who has built a home of the same approximate size and features of the home you want. Builders who specialize in multi-million dollar homes with expensive marble in every room are not what you want if you have a more average budget.
Some builders are known in the trade as “showroom” builders. That means you can choose from several models they offer, with customizable elements. Others have more of a “custom” niche, where each home is unique.
It’s very important to discuss your budget with your lender before discussing your dream home with any builder. You don’t want to have extensive talks and plans and then realize that the construction loan and mortgage a lender would approve will not cover what you had planned with the builder.
What if you have a dream home in mind and have found a blueprint or plans for it? You can take it to the builders who’ve been recommended and ask what their budget would be. Many builders can modify plans to fit your budget.
Here are the questions to ask your builder:
- How long will building the home take?
- How long have you been building homes?
- Do you have models and plans I can look at?
- What is your overall style?
- What do you think of the homes we have in mind?
- How much is this going to cost?
Working with CBC Bank, a Neighbor in South Georgia
CBC Bank has a long local history of helping people achieve their dreams – and of working with builders in our community. Call us today to discuss your plans and goals.