Finding the Ideal Home Builder – 5 Tips for Success

As the real estate market cools, individuals and families considering buying a new home must evaluate many factors. Every search of homes for sale has common elements: location, proximity to good schools and employment, area attractions and distance to family and friends. Some evaluating the market may wish for an older home while others who want to buy a new house prefer the modern amenities common to most new homes offered by various new home builders.

It is a buyer’s market and every new home builder is competing for a shrinking pool of customers. Every home buyer is unique yet each will come across dozens of names when researching the homebuilder industry. The competition is fierce and home builders are outdoing each other with incentives and freebies all designed to bring new home buyers into the sales office. The potential new home buyer is advised to look underneath the noisy sales pitches and marketing efforts and evaluate new home builders based on competence, relevance to individual needs and reputation.

This article will offer 5 tips for success for finding the ideal home builder.

1. Solicit Referrals from Family and Friends
Your friends and family know you best. If they have bought a new home from a homebuilder, ask them how they found the home builder and who they recommend (and indeed, who they would avoid). If you have been inside their home, ask yourself if you like it and ask them if they are having problems. Remember, a referral from friends and family is more valuable than one from a stranger – or a marketing pitch.

2. Research Area Home Builders
87% of future home buyers begin their search online for the simple reason that, because a new home purchase is the biggest purchase of a lifetime, it is best to know your options. But there are a lot of new home builders out there. In busy markets like North Carolina, there are literally dozens all competing for business. Visit their websites. If they invest in a good website with valuable information, it shows they care about demonstrating professionalism and integrity. If they speak to your needs (upmarket, first time home buyer, large family, etc.), it suggests they have worked with people like you. If a website is all glitz and little substance, do not call. If the site has valuable information, interactive floor plans, new house plans, sample photos and the functionality to print plans and brochures, this demonstrates competence. So if you like the site – and like the information it contains – sign up for information. You may be given special promotions and will be the first to hear of new offerings.

3. Research the Experience of Previous Customers
It is extremely unlikely that you will be the first person to buy a home from a prospective homebuilder. Because the internet offers such a diversity of voices and opinions, if you do not know anyone who has worked with a considered homebuilder before, see what the online community has to say about the home builder. Some homebuilders have inspired such contempt that websites exist to showcase reasons to avoid them while others have created incredible loyalty. A little research may save you hours of pain and thousands of dollars.

4. Tour Model Homes and Ask Questions
When a home builder unveils a community of new homes for sale, there will be a model home open for public tours. Take one. Some “tip of the iceberg” questions to ask include: How often will access to the new home be given during building; Are there any fees required that need to be paid upon closing; How many times has a given plan been built; Is there a premium on the home site; What will be built on adjoining properties; What are area zoning laws; and How is code-compliance guaranteed?

5. Read the Paperwork
The new home purchase is a major decision so take the time to read all documents thoroughly. If something is unclear, ask questions. Everybody says “read the fine print” but in this case, perhaps more than any other, this is crucial.

* You may republish this article provided you retain the active hyperlinks below. Copyright 2006, Robert O’Shaughnessy.

* Written on behalf of New Home Builder Orleans Homes

6 Important Tips to Choose a Good Home Builder!

Home is one of the few places where you get a chance to enjoy complete peace of mind. Therefore, it is very important to get your home built properly. Thanks to the multitude of options present in the market, choosing a good home building firm is not as easy as you think. You need to exercise caution and above all understand your requirements before being able to convey them to the builder. In fact, choosing a good home builder is one of the most important processes when it comes to buying a new house.

For all those of you who are planning to invest in one, here are a few simple tips that can help you choose the right home builder even when you are running short of time.

1. Ask for the experience

The reputation of any builder is decided majorly by the type of projects handled by him. Therefore, while choosing a home builder, make sure that you invest ample amount of time studying the work that they have already done. Also, those builders who are hesitant to talk about their previous projects should be blacklisted.

2. Verify the credentials

Ideally, you should choose a home builder with the required license permitting him or her to handle projects. However, don’t fall for the claims that the builder makes. Instead do a little research on the market reputation and verify the credentials of the builder to ensure that everything is in order.

3. Don’t forget to talk to ex-customers!

As a prospective customer, home builders will be happy to let you interact with their previous customers. Nevertheless, you can also insist for the same. Interacting with past customers is important. After all, when past buyers are satisfied, it also adds more credibility and positive word of mouth in favour of the home builder.

4. Area of expertise

In cases when you are hiring the builder for complex projects, ensure that his or her area of expertise is in accordance to the demands of your project.

5. Ask for an estimate

Don’t choose your home builder blindly. Instead ask the guy to give you an approximate estimate of the charges to do the job. In fact, you can even ask for quotes from other builders and accordingly choose the option that best suits your budget.

6. Clarify the work to be done

Building or construction is an ambiguous term especially when you are talking about home development. Therefore, make sure that every job to be handled is specified in the contract prior to hiring his or her services.

Tips For Selecting the Best Custom Home Builder

If you’re in the market for a new home and you want to build “from scratch,” this can be a daunting prospect — but you can do it. There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to build your house and customize it to your needs, instead of building a “prefab” home or buying a preowned home.

Contact your local Home builders Association

The first thing you need to do is to find the local Home builders Association in your area. From them, you can get a list of builders in your area that construct new homes. You can also look through the real estate section in your area (either online or through your newspaper) to see who is building what and where. This can help you find out which companies are building what types of homes, so that you can choose a builder who specializes in a type of home you want. Take a look through these listings and know them down by the type of house you want and then find homes in your price range.

Contact your real estate agent

Your real estate agent can also point you in the right direction of someone who can build your home for you. Your real estate agent should not be the ONLY point of reference you have when you’re looking for a builder, but it can help you narrow down your choices.

Ask friends and relatives in your area

If you know someone who has a house in your area that you just adore (and you want one similar to it), you can ask who built it, as well as other specifications such as price, reliability of the builder, and so on. If the homeowner has a home similar to the one you want and they’re really happy with the price, quality, workmanship, and so on, it’s a good bet that you’ll luck out if you hire the same builder.

Going online for homework, too

Although it’s not the only way you should get your information, it’s a good idea to check each of your prospective builders out by going to sites like the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) and checking out a particular company’s background. You don’t want to be left with a substandard, unfinished, or unsatisfactory house because you hired the wrong company.

Narrowing down your choices

Once you’ve got a list of custom home builders in your area, contact each of them and ask them to give you the addresses of some of the homes they have recently built. If homeowners are willing, builders may also be willing to you the names and addresses of those homeowners. You can simply drive by these homes, introduce yourself (or call first, which is a good idea if you want to be polite), and say you’re considering hiring this particular home builder to build a home for you. Most homeowners are happy to recommend a home builder they’ve been pleased with — and most are also happy to give you an earful if they’re not happy with what they got, such that they will warn you away a particular builder.

One last point: Make sure you also ask these homeowners how responsive their builder was to problems that occurred after the home was built. Most reputable home builders will provide a warranty with their work, and will also be happy to fix small, unforeseen problems that crop up after construction is complete quickly; when homeowners are satisfied with the particular construction company, you know you’ve probably got a winner.

Edmonton Home Builders Report the Signs of an Approaching Hot Market

Edmonton builders are reporting a increase in supply, which is welcomed as a shortage of new listings has caused a spike in home prices. Some existing Edmonton home prices across the region were up 13.6% in September from a year ago as supply was short in almost every region.

The existing-homes market is in short supply so we’ve gone from a buyers market to sellers says the report.

October housing starts for Edmonton new homes total region rose close to 55% during this same time period last year, according to figures released Monday by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

Our housing market’s surprising turnaround is spreading to new-home construction because the market is responding to a supply shortage that has sent pricing soaring for existing homes. All this increase in building of new homes in the Edmonton

region will likely not be quick enough to help with the demand for new homes being pumped up by record low interest rates.

Despite this increase for Edmonton home builders, this new housing activity, the 4,560 starts recorded to date this year, are still behind construction in the first 10 months of 2008. Housing starts across Alberta’s seven largest cities totalled 2,179 homes in October alone, up 29.5 per cent from October 2008.

Edmonton home builders are on schedule to start building on 5,000 homes, 24% down from last year reported the 2009 Housing Market Outlook for the Edmonton census metropolitan area.

It was the best October since 2006 for single-detached homes. Edmonton home builders poured foundations for 598 homes in October, up 168%. So far this year, 2,844 single-detached homes were started, up 30 % from the qual period of last year..

Builders in Edmonton are now experiencing the fourth consecutive month that total housing starts have surpassed year-earlier levels.

Home-ownership costs are likely to rise in 2010 as mortgage rates have hit rock bottom and prices are set to rise, all reports say. A 2009 new single-detached home in Edmonton will be an average of $535,000, up 4.5 % from 2008. Reports are predicting that the average price will soften in 2010 by 2.8 per cent to $520,000 because of a “lagged effect” of when homes are priced and when they are completed.

In rentals, across the board vacancy rates across Greater Edmonton will continue to trend up this year. Landlords should see this change for the better in 2010, based on the economic conditions continuing to improve the report said.