28 Jun Choosing a Home Builder
Choosing a home builder for your dream home in Brentwood, TN or Franklin, TN can seem like a daunting task. Clearly, we want to be your top choice. But, we also want you to do your homework and choose the home builder that’s right for you and your project. Here are a few good tips as you go through the process of selecting your custom home builder in Tennessee.
Make a List of Possible Home Builders
Once you have thought about the type of house you want, you can create a list of potential custom home builders.
- Contact your local home builders’ association to obtain a list of builders who construct homes in your area. You can find your local HBA at nahb.org/findanhba.
- Look in the real estate section of your local newspaper for builders and projects. Looking through the ads and reading the articles can help you to learn which home builders are active in your area, the types of homes they are building and the prices you can expect to pay. Make a list of builders who build the type of home you’re looking for in your price range.
- Local real estate agents may also be able to help you in your search for a home builder.
- Ask friends and relatives for recommendations. Ask if they have dealt with the home builder directly, or ask them for names of acquaintances who have recently had a good experience with a builder.
Do Your Homework
When you have a list of potential home builders, it’s time to start asking lots of questions.
- Interview potential home builders to get the answers to all the questions you have.
- Drive by a builder’s recently built new homes and subdivisions.
- At the very least, drive by and see if the new homes are visually appealing.
- When you talk to home builders, take along a notebook to record the information you find and your personal impressions about specific builders and homes. Doing so will help you to make comparisons later.
Questions for your Home Builder
- Does the custom home builder have a financing plan established?
- Are there options in the floor plan — for example, can a basement or deck be added?
- Can a room such as the basement be left unfinished?
- How much “customizing” can be done versus standard features?
- Can appliances be up- or down-graded?
- Are there any additional fees relating to the home or development?
- Will there be a home owners’ association? If so, what will the dues cost and what do they cover?
- Does the home builder offer a warranty program?
- Does the price include landscaping? What if the plants die within a year?
- Are there any restrictive covenants?
- What are the estimated taxes on the property?
- How is the school system rated?
- Are day care and grocery stores convenient and satisfactory?
- What about emergency facilities — police, fire department and hospitals?
- Are there any major development plans for the area in the next five years?
New Homes – Shop for Quality and Value
Look at new homes whenever you can. Home shows and open houses sponsored by home builders are good opportunities to look at new homes. Model homes and houses displayed in home shows are often furnished to give you ideas for using the space. You may also ask a home builder to see unfurnished homes.
When examining a new home, look at the quality of the construction features. Inspect the quality of the cabinetry, carpeting, trimwork and paint. Ask the home builder or the builder’s representative a lot of questions. Get as many specifics as possible. If you receive the answers verbally rather than in writing, take notes. Never hesitate to ask a question. What seems like an insignificant question might yield an important answer.