Whether you are picking a floor plan as is, customizing it to fit your needs, or starting from scratch and designing a true One-of-a-Kind masterpiece, your relationship with your chosen home builder will last 12-18 months during the construction process, followed by years of living with the product they constructed. Don’t trust just anyone to build your home. Before getting started, you should always take some time to shop for a home builder that you can trust and that will deliver on their promise of a dream home while providing clear, honest communication in the process.
The best way to begin shopping for a builder is to know what you want built. Are you looking for a villa, single-family, or estate home? Do you want to live in an award-winning private community or would you like to live on a home site in a pristine neighborhood? Determining the perfect home for you will make the path towards the perfect home builder easier.
You can hone in on your wants and needs by reviewing our guide to choosing the perfect home and our tips to finding the right neighborhood. If you know what you want, it’s time to start your search for the ideal home builder.
Get a List of Home Builders
Have you ever heard the saying, “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your handsome prince?” Well, this isn’t exactly true in home building, but you do have to weed through a lot of home builders before you find the one that’s right for you. To get started, talk to the local Home Builders’ Association to get a list of licensed home builders in the area, go through the real estate section of your newspaper for popular builders, and speak to local real estate agents, friends, and family for names of builders they would recommend. Once you have your list, narrow it down by only keeping the home builders that build the type of home you seek and the ones whose homes fall into your preferred price range. This would be a good time to determine if you are going to want customization options for your home or if you want to build a One-of-a-Kind home. Not every builder is a luxury custom home builder, so if you are looking to make the house your own with a few changes to the main floor plan or a layout created just for you, leave out production builders that will only build floor plans as they are. You can, however, leave their kissing credentials out of it.
Dig, Dig, Dig
Once you have narrowed down your list, it’s time to dig deep into each home builder’s qualifications to determine if they are right for you. Schedule a meeting with a Sales Executive of each builder to look through a portfolio of homes and tour any model homes available, or you can visit model homes during any Parade of Homes event to take a look at homes from various builders. When you are looking at these homes, pay special attention to the quality of construction, ask questions about the materials used, and inquire about whether or not previously built homes have maintained their value.
If you like what you see and hear during your tour, sit down with the Sales Executive to view floor plans available. Ask them about customization options or their ability to design a home from scratch. Communication is key when designing a home, so it is important to determine how the communication will work when integrating an architectural design team and a construction team. For example, London Bay Homes has a wide range of fully-customizable floor plans and an architectural team on staff to facilitate the design process for custom builds. This integration of architecture and construction allows for our clients to go through a refined design and build process without the hiccups that can be found when maintaining a relationship between two companies. It also makes it easier to create a realistic budget and then monitor the cost and scope of the project from start to finish.
Before the end of your introductory meeting with each builder on your narrowed down list, ask them to provide a list of previous clients to which you can reach out. Every reputable home builder will have a list of references available and it’s always a good idea to reach out to some of them to inquire about their home building process. Here are some quick interview questions that can be asked to get a good idea of their experience:
- Did the builder communicate clearly and in a timely fashion?
- Was the project on time and on budget?
- Was the construction site clean and organized?
- How did the builder respond when problems arose (if applicable)?
- Are you happy with the final project?
- Would you recommend this builder to your friends and family? Why or why not?
The answers to these questions, as well as any others specific to the type of home you want, will be telling of the experience you may encounter with your chosen home builder. They may also be your deciding factor when making your final decision.
London Bay Homes is pleased to report that more than 90 percent of our clients are willing to refer the Southwest Florida luxury home builder to their friends and family. Our commitment to building the finest luxury homes in Southwest Florida and providing the highest possible level of personal service is what allows us to enhance our clients’ lives, fulfill their aspirations, and produce the unwavering trust for which we are known.