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December 07, 2016
A home is one of the biggest investment purchases you’ll ever make, and one you’ll be living with for quite some time. Research and real estate advice both suggest families stay in a home an average of five years before moving, although other studies say more people stay put closer to 13 years. And for investment/vacation properties, the number may be even higher (as those properties don’t fall into the typical reasons for moving: size, school district, job relocation, etc.). That being said, taking the time to research a reputable home builder is one buying step you don’t want to rush through.
It may be difficult and time-consuming to narrow down your list of potential builders to ones you trust, but once you have that figured out, the buying process is smooth sailing from there.
If you’re in the market for a home builder who can bring your dream house to life, there are a few things you can do — and things to look for — that will speed up the research process.
Before you even start looking at homes or builders, you need to determine your housing needs. These can include everything from school districts you want to be in to amenities you’d like to have access to. But for the sake of finding a home builder, consider things like price, warranty length and design aspects of the home.
When it comes to evaluating builders, these areas are a good place to start:
In some industries, new companies can do wonderful things. But when it comes to home building, don’t take any chances. A builder with a solid reputation and a long history in the industry will be a better choice than a novice home builder.
The structural soundness of your home is of the utmost importance, but the way it looks and feels on the outside is what will make the difference between a home and your home. Look at images of the home designs from various builders to determine if the style is a fit for your tastes.
Previous homebuyers can tell you a lot about a builder you may be interested in. Look for reviews, search through the company’s social media pages and dig into information about whether or not previous buyers are happy with their choice. A good customer satisfaction rating is always a good sign.
Life happens, and as with any big purchase, you’ll want to make sure your home builder offers a comprehensive warranty program that will keep you covered after you move in. Neal gives their buyers a one-year warranty for construction defects, two-year warranty for mechanical systems, and a 10-year overall construction warranty.
Though you’re looking to buy a home, not sell it, the resale value of a home is always something you should keep in mind. While the general state of the housing market when you do decide to sell will have a lot of affect on the actual number, physical attributes that can change the value are the curb appeal, the home layout, the view you have, and the general location of the home.
Does your potential home builder have any awards they’re proud of? Are they involved in their industry or local community at all? A builder with a commitment to bettering themselves and their company is one that will work hard to build a better home for you, too.
Now that you have your list of top home builders, it’s time to see their work in action. Schedule tours at multiple model homes to get a feel for their design and craftsmanship across various floor plans. If it’s a good fit for your needs, you’ll be well on your way to building the new home of your dreams.
Neal has been in the building industry for more than 40 years, and we’d love to use our expertise to construct a new home for you and your family. If you want to learn more about us, take a few moments to read about the Neal Difference. Or, if you’re ready to take the next step, you can find a sales center at any of our Neal Signature Homes communities and schedule a time to learn more about our building process and tour a model home.