The Real Estate Encyclopedia
How Do I Conduct an Interview With the Builder?
Category - Home Ownership Questions - Building Your Home FAQ's
Once you have researched the reputation of several builders, call the candidates you have selected. Explain you are considering building your home and ask for referrals and information on any new home the builder presently has under construction. Ask for permission to visit the site and take a knowledgeable contact with you, capable of inspecting the quality of the workmanship.

You may also ask who their suppliers are, how long the builder has been in business in the same area and where they moved from, if applicable. Ask what bank they typically do business with and for how long (is there a person you can talk to at the bank?) Ask how they handle their expense reporting once construction has begun, as well as when their fee is paid and how disbursements or “draws” are requested on the construction loan. Enquire about their staff and contractors.

Double-check all information obtained and verify the builders’ credentials. Call the contractors and find out what their experience has been and whether they have always received compensation in a timely manner (you do not want to run the risk of a contractor placing a lien on your home because the builder failed to pay a bill.)

When talking to prior clients, ask how they feel about their interaction with the builder during the construction project. Ongoing communications between builder and client are critical to success. Excellent rapport between you and the builder is essential.

You may also ask prior clients about the age of their home, any problems they have encountered; was the builder responsive? What type of guarantee did he offer? Did the builder live up to their expectations? If a builder you like had complaints raised against him or her with the Better Business Bureau, find out the exact nature of the complaint and whether it was resolved in an acceptable manner.

Find out from prior clients whether they asked to make any changes to their plans and whether the builder was able to make the adjustments, independent from an architect. Did the builder offer suggestions for improvements, without increasing the cost of the home? How creative is the builder? (Some builders enjoy being creative and can be very helpful in making adjustments, which might enhance a feature of the home or they may not be creative at all but, non-the-less, excellent at their trade.

If you do not feel comfortable talking to the builder or asking questions, find someone of equal quality you enjoy communicating with. Make sure you approve of the builder’s business approach, as well as his or her personal demeanor. A builder may be very sociable but difficult to get along with in a business relationship. The builder must be able to listen to you and explain any questions you have at all times.

Home Ownership Questions - Building Your Home FAQ's
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