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Which Builder is Right for You?


Which Builder is Right for You?

You came into this spring excited; this is the year you planned on purchasing a new home! Then along came COVID. Suddenly, touring existing homes became more difficult and came with more risk. You have been looking forward to this for months — what now?

Safe, Clean, New

Many home builders have a wealth of information available online. Beautiful photos, video tours that put you in the home virtually, and professionally designed model homes come together to paint the picture of life in their community.

This is all well and good, but there are a LOT of builders out there, each with their own flavor of doing things. Some focus on mass-appeal and price while others focus on the personal touches. Let’s delve into the broader categories and narrow down your search.

Production Builders


These builders offer one thing above all else — price. There are many strategies used to keep their costs down so they can offer an affordable home, from buying in bulk to minimizing options available. You pick the colors and a few features, but most of the structural components cannot be changed. If you are more concerned with a space that functions and keeping your mortgage payment reasonable, production builders are a great option.

Full-Custom Builders


On the other side of the spectrum you have custom builders. These companies often have in-house architects, or you can bring your plans and work with them to create your dream home. With a focus on giving you every detail you ever dreamed of, you are sure to love the end result. The downside? Be prepared to shell out for control of design and unlimited options. As a rule of thumb, the more options you have, the more expensive the home.

Splitting the Difference


Down the middle are semi-custom builders. Though often marketed as “custom”, they don’t give complete control. These builders offer a set of architect-designed plans you can modify, with a wide range of features available. Adding more windows, opening up doorways, and adding on additions are possible with a semi-custom builder. These builders are a great option for those who have owned homes before and have a better idea of what they want in a home without the time and money required for full-custom.

Quick Move In Homes

If you find a builder you like and need to move quickly, ask if they have any quick move in homes available. These homes are built in advance for sale, with features selected by a design team. Builders construct these homes for buyers needing to move in faster than the usual 6-8 month build time and to showcase the layout of a home for buyers building from the ground up.

Doing Your Research

Each home builder does things a little differently, and each has something unique to offer. Do your due diligence; remember, you’re going to be stuck with them through the entire build process. Ask current homeowners in their communities how they enjoyed the process or look online for reviews. The proof is in the pudding, as they say!

I also recommend working with a real estate agent to look out for your best interests. Even if the salesperson in the model is nice and trustworthy (and they usually are!) they legally represent the builder in the transaction. An agent on your side will elaborate on any confusing clauses in the contract and handle issues as they arise (building a home never goes perfectly to plan). If you’re worried about paying an agent, don’t worry — most buyer’s agents are paid by the builder. Remember, you are investing in your future; don’t leave yourself in a compromised position!

Final Thoughts

Building your own home is an exciting process, and there’s nothing like moving into a home specifically designed with your lifestyle in mind. Do your research, enjoy the process, and find that perfect fit!

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