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Choosing a Builder

Download our Choosing a Builder ChecklistYou’ve purchased a lot and found the perfect plan, but now comes the daunting task of finding the right homebuilder, right? Where do you begin?

Many people start with recommendations from friends and family members. If someone you know had a great experience in building their own home, they are usually more than happy to share their satisfaction with you. Word of mouth is often the most common type of marketing used by homebuilders. They rely on the testimony of former customers, so it serves the builder well to treat his customers with respect, honesty and fairness. Ask for a list of references, and be sure to call them. Remember, you will be in a working relationship with the contractor for quite some time. Friends and family are great resources for your early selection process, so do ask around…especially if you have seen the finished home and are pleased with the results. There are many questions you can ask friends and family who are promoting a particular builder. What is it about the homebuilder that makes him unique? Why did they choose that particular builder? Would they use him again? Does he follow up with them, after the job is completed?

An excellent contractor is respected not only among the people in his community, but also with his associates. In New Braunfels, if you don’t know where to begin, you can check with the Greater New Braunfels Home Builders Association, where they can provide contact information for members of the association.

Before you begin to meet with some of the builders on your list, be sure to check if they are licensed and reputable. In New Braunfels, you might want to see if they are licensed within the city and also with the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC). The builder should be able to provide proof of such memberships to his buyers.

A website is another great place to find information on the different builders, and a good rule of thumb is to see if the website reflects the personality and style of the builder once you meet him in person. Take time to really look at the image the webpage projects.

Be sure to visit model homes or sites where the contractor is currently building or has built in the past. What is the atmosphere like—stressful and chaotic or relaxed and pleasant? Is the builder on the site most days? Is he knowledgeable? Ask his subcontractors. Does he complete his projects on time? Is he organized and good at scheduling? Is he willing to adjust as changes are required? If a builder is well liked by homeowners, real estate agents, suppliers, developers, and his subcontractors, chances are good that you will enjoy building a home with him…and the process should be fun! Get addresses of other homes he has built, and if you see the owner outside, take the opportunity to ask them about their experiences. Is the home energy efficient, durable, and customized? What types of warranties are in place? Are the features you want in your home in most of the homes he builds? Does he offer upgrades? Is the contractor informed and innovative? Discerning buyers know the difference is in the details!

At Billy McDonald Homes, I encourage potential buyers to ask around. Call me or come by the job site. Ask questions—tough questions! I haven’t just built a lot of homes…I’ve built strong relationships and an excellent reputation.

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