Designing and building your own home can be just as exciting as it is can be stressful.
One strategy that reduces the impact of experiencing those challenging moments is to engage the services of a building professional that you can trust and understands your goals.
With numerous options for potential builders in Southern California, how do you identify the right builder?
Take a personal inventory
Before calling local builders and setting up consultations, it is a good idea to take a personal inventory and focus on your expectations. At this stage, be sure you have defined where you want to live, what size home is right for you and what you can afford.
Spend some time researching different types of loans that are available and how the financing is structured. Obtaining conditional approval from a mortgage banker gives you a clearer snapshot of what you can afford, too.
Give some thought to the following questions.
- Have I identified a floor plan that works well with my lifestyle?
- Am I planning to build a new home from the ground up? Or remodel an existing home?
- Which specific interior and/or exterior materials do I like? River rock for the fireplace? Hardwood flooring or travertine tile? Great room or separate formal living room? Brick? Stucco?
- Wood trim? Traditional windows or oversized windows?
- What type of landscaping do I prefer for the exterior? Is it time to build a pool? Do I want a large grassy area for the dog?
Building a partnership
When selecting a builder, you are choosing someone you can partner with who will build one of your greatest assets – your dream home.
Think about if you want to work with a contractor who offers both design and build services. Choosing one company to handle both phases of building offers many advantages. Many Murfey Company clients like working with one design builder as opposed to several professionals when communicating updates, concerns or changes.
Ask your potential builder how many years they have been in business and how many homes have they built.
Another insightful question is to ask the builder how they stand out from other builders.
Always request a list of references from previous clients. Take the time to call at least three different ones.
Learn as much as you can about the companies you have decided to interview. A reputation for building quality homes is important.
Be sure to confirm that your builder is licensed in the California and the company’s insurance policies and bonds are current.
References from friends, family, real estate professionals or local developers can be invaluable when seeking a reputable builder. The National Association of Home Builders, the Better Business Bureau and local supply stores can offer guidance, too.
Take into account everyone you have had contact with at the firms you are considering from the receptionist to the estimator or the sales representative. Were they pleasant, efficient and helpful? How you are treated is likely a reflection on the company as a whole.
Murfey Company is an expert in residential and commercial construction services. For more information visit www.murfeycompany.com.
This article originally appeared in the La Jolla Light