How We Found the Perfect Home Builder

by Christy Bieber | Published on Sept. 24, 2021

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New home buyers discuss plans with the building contractor on the property.

Image source: Getty Images

Could this be the ticket to finding a builder you can trust?

When my husband and I built our home, we were very picky about the builder we chose to hire. We knew that we would be taking out a large mortgage to buy the home that we hoped to stay in for the rest of our lives. So we wanted to make sure we built a property that would stand the test of time. We also wanted to avoid unnecessary hassle during the construction process, as my husband's parents had built a home and faced a host of issues, including a builder that went bankrupt.

As we started researching builders, we found that most of the resources out there weren't very helpful. We visited model homes, but those showed builders at their best, which might not paint a realistic picture. And we talked to past customers, but no one is going to give you the name of a client who'd give a bad reference.

Fortunately, we found a different approach. The secret to finding a home builder we could trust was to visit open houses of homes constructed a while ago. Here's why that worked for us.

Open houses can show how a home stands the test of time

By visiting older homes that had been built for typical clients, rather than houses that had been built as model homes, we got a good idea of the construction standards for a house that wasn't designed as a marketing tool.

Some of these homes advertised the builder in the listing description, while in other cases, the realtor at the house was able to provide this information to us.

And since the houses had been around for a long time, we were also able to see how they had stood up over time. We could check out the details like whether any major repairs had been done and whether the cabinets, flooring, and other fixtures of the home still looked like they were in good shape.

We noted substantial differences in some of these features from one builder to another. And there was one particular company that stood out from the crowd in terms of the homes still looking great and not having undergone a lot of major home renovations. Since that company had been around for a long time, we figured it wasn't a fly-by-night operation that would leave us in a mess. We ended up working with that builder and were very happy with the home that he constructed for us.

If you're considering building a home, check out some real estate listings in your area to see if any of them list who built the house. If they do, consider visiting some of those properties during open houses in order to get an idea of the builder's quality. You may find that this technique helps you find the perfect company to work with, just as it did for us.

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