Good questions to ask a home builder


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Buying or building a new home is an extensive process that takes several months from start to finish. You'll need to work with a seasoned sales professional that can provide you with quality information and home building expertise. There are several steps to take when vetting a new home builder sales professional.

The Role of a Home Builder Sales Professional

The builder's sales professional is there to help you create the best home for you and your family! The home builder sales professional should be licensed as well as extensively trained regarding the products they offer.

A home builder sales professional is really an information consultant who can help guide you through the lengthy process of home building. They can provide you with invaluable information that includes everything from pricing and size to community surroundings and amenities. There are several specific ways a home builder should be able to help you during the home buying process.

  • Choose the right loan program - An experienced home builder should be able to help you while you're still securing financing.
  • Provide utility contacts - Providing information regarding companies and the type of utilities available is something the building sales professional can assist you with.
  • Explain construction methods - The sales professional should be able to explain the construction practices used, the health advantages of the home and the resale value of their newly constructed homes.
  • Detail the home's energy efficiency - Your building sales professional should be able to explain in detail how the home provides energy efficiency, durability and strength.

Your Role as a Home Shopper

When searching for the right home, you should take a proactive role throughout the entire process. There are several steps you can take to decide what type of home will best fit your family's needs.

  • Check out model homes - Start the home shopping process by visiting several model homes. This way you can find out what styles and designs you like and which builders provide these types of homes.
  • Interview the representatives - When you visit model homes make sure to meet the company representative. You'll want to respect, trust and feel comfortable with the builder you choose to work with.
  • Use online resources - Using online sources throughout the process will enable you to quickly research builders, look at samples and check out reviews.

Questions You Need to Ask a Home Builder

There are several important questions you'll need to discuss with a home builder during the initial consultation.

1. Does the homesite fit my needs? Before deciding on the design or style of a home, you'll need to choose a place to build. You'll want to consider commute times, proximity to family and local conveniences such as schools and shopping.

2. Can the builder meet my time frame? How soon you want to move in may be a determining factor in whether you choose a production, semi-custom or a fully custom home.

3. Can the builder provide cost- appropriate products? It's necessary to ask about a custom design that will fit your budget. A builder may be able to provide personalized floor plans in your price range. Also, make sure to ask about energy bills and property taxes.

4. Can the builder meet both my needs and wants? It's important to balance what you want in a home with what will meet your daily needs. You'll need to consciously separate and list what you need versus what you would like to have. The sales professional should be able to help you choose a home that fits your needs and your budget while ideally delivering on many of your wants as well.

5. Is New Construction the right option? You'll need to weigh the pros and cons of new construction and resale. Many buyers will choose a new home because it is customized to fit their personal needs, provides warranties that mean less maintenance and there isn't a need to remodel when moving in.

6. What sets the builder apart? Start by checking the licensing status of the builder. Are they a remodeling company, a home contractor or an actual home builder? Do their homes meet or exceed stringent building standards and third-party verification? Are their homes built to the U.S. DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Program Standards? Can they provide you with a smart home that allows you to monitor and control your home's performance, energy and security?

7. What type of materials does the builder use? What type of insulation is used? What's inside the walls and what type of materials are used for the envelope of the home? Does the builder meet low or no VOC specifications?

8. Will their home stand the test of time? Will the energy measures and technology in the home be outdated in a few years? Will the home be coded for the future so it will increase in value during the course of the mortgage?

9. Does the builder offer tours of already built homes? It's important to see a portfolio of homes and tour a current model. Will the builder provide homeowner referrals and testimonials?

Why Choose a High Performance Home Builder?

If you're not exactly sure what your budget will be or the location of your homesite, that's not a problem. An experienced sales professional can offer you expert advice and valuable information through every step of the home buying process.

High Performance Homes (HPH) sales professionals can guide you through the process of home building. HPH can provide you with a beautiful, energy efficient home that meets your needs. Contact HPH for more information.