How to Choose the Right Home Builder For You
Next stop, homeownership! Making the decision to buy a new home or build your dream abode is an exciting moment in your life. However, to get to unlocking the doors to your new home, it’s important to approach this process in small steps, not leaps. Before you find yourself conceptualizing every bathroom detail or kitchen feature in your home, it’s important to first think about your potential home builder. Taking the time to do the right research can help ensure that your home builder will be a great match for your unique situation and needs. To help you through this step, we’ve laid out our top tips for choosing a home builder fit for you and compiled a list of questions you should be asking when vetting your potential options.
When to Choose a Home Builder
How soon is too soon to start reaching out to potential home builders? While it’s generally a good idea to plan to ahead, we don’t suggest making the decision too early when it comes to saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to home builders. Instead, start by taking the time to think through your wants and needs for your new home. Will you need flex spaces for working from home or future kids' rooms? Are you looking to buy or build in a specific area? How much do you have saved to put down on a home? It’s also important to think about your moving timeline to identify when you want or need to move. Is it 6 months? Maybe 2 years? Once you have a clear picture of where you would like to live, the style of home you will need, when you plan to move, and your budget, then we suggest starting your research on potential home builders.
How to Start Your Home Builder Research
Next comes the toughest part – research! Before heading straight to Google, consider leveraging first-hand knowledge and experiences from friends or family members, especially those close to you who have bought or built homes in the area you’re looking to move. Keep in mind that where you want to live will have a significant impact on your home builder options. You’ll want to make sure that when you’re researching potential home builders that they build in your specific region.
After talking to family and friends comes online research of the various home builders in your area. As you’re examining each home builder’s online portfolio, make sure you are considering factors such as:
How long have they been in business?
Where do they build?
What is their level of quality?
What kinds of floor plans do they offer?
Do they have an affiliated mortgage company?
Along with researching each home builder’s website, you can also look at home builders’ online reviews to learn about current or previous homeowner’s experience. While reviews are opinion based and vary based on a person’s unique situation, they are still a great reference point to utilize during this research phase. If you are interested in hearing about reviews of Shea Homes, you can check those out on NewHomeSource.com.
Make a List of Your Top Home Builders
Make a list and check it three times! Creating an Excel document or some sort of list will make it easier to compare home builders and see which ones check off all your necessary boxes.
But don’t rely only on what you see online. We suggest calling the builder to ask questions about their building process, design options, and more. Not to mention, talking with someone over the phone or face-to-face can allow you to get a sense of the type of people you will be working with and which home builder you feel more connected to on a personal level.
Visit Model Homes and New Home Communities
One of the best ways to gauge a home builder’s construction quality and style is to visit their model homes. Try to schedule in-person or virtual tours of model homes for each home builder you’re considering. This would be a good time to ask the builder about their construction process and materials they use. This will also give you first-hand knowledge of their building standards and styles.
Whether you’re visiting on-site or touring virtually, here are some key points to look for or talk with a builder representative about:
Craftsmanship: Look at the overall floorplan and take note of any unique details that catch your eye.
Products in the home: Chat with the home builder about products that come with the home and options for upgrades.
Design features: Do they offer design elements you’re wanting in your home? Consider talking with them about flexibility in design selections and options for smart home technology.
- Community amenities: If you’re looking at building or buying a home within a community, ask about the amenities available and even take a tour if possible.
Questions to Ask a Home Builder
Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. This is one of the best ways to make sure you’re choosing a home builder who is going to fit your needs, work with your budget, and be a reliable resource throughout the home buying and building process. If you are unsure what questions you should be asking, don’t fret! Here are 7 questions you can ask during a virtual tour or at a model home visit.
What makes you different from other home builders?
What personalization options are available to me?
What is the design process like?
Roughly how much is it going to cost to buy or build?
What features or products are included in the cost and which are additional?
What is your building process like?
- Can I see homes or photos of home that are similar to the style I am looking for?
What Makes Shea Homes A Great Choice
“Being that this is a Shea home, I knew they were not going to skimp on the details or cut corners. It was one of the things that led us here. They are a quality builder” – Shaun and Kelly, Shea homeowners.
At Shea Homes, we take pride in being a home builder that people can trust to build their dreams from the ground up. We thoughtfully create every home to fit your lifestyle, whether it’s through our attention to livability, or our innovative floor plan options, or award-winning designs. Some of our most notable accolades include the 2019 MAME Awards Builder of the Year, two Golden Nugget Grand Awards for the design and planning of Shea Homes Arizona’s Azure Paradise Valley community, America’s Most Trusted Active Adult Resort Builder 8 years in a row, and so much more! Our outstanding accomplishments, company culture, and stewardship is what continues to set Shea Homes apart from the rest.
Here at Shea, we also believe in being adaptive home builders to make sure we meet our homeowners evolving needs. With Shea, you’ll have the opportunity to personalize your floor plans, stay connected to your home with SheaConnect™ smart home technology, discover intelligent home wellness systems with Pure Living™ by Shea Homes® leverage our design experts, and work alongside Shea Mortgage experts.
Learn more about the Shea Difference, and contact us with any questions you may have about our available homes or building process!