Make sure your builder is financially SOLID

Family in custom home
Question Asked:
Our family is ready to build a custom home. We are concerned about making the “wrong choice” due to the current economic situation; we want to make sure the builder is financially SOLID. How do we protect ourselves? The Fredrick’s – St. Johns, FL

Response Given:
With the housing market being down for over 5 years, this has taken a toll on everybody in our industry. Many builders and subcontractors have left the business because they just could not hang on any longer. Here are some things you can do to “qualify” your builder.

  • Check references of current and past customers.
  • Are they fully licensed and insured? How long have they been in business?
  • Do they have any complaints against the license holder through DBPR or circuit courts?
  • What are they doing now? Ask to tour homes under construction.
  • Find out if the builder is paying subcontractors or vendors promptly and on-time.
  • Who will be my ‘start to finish’ contact in the company to assist me when needed? You need to feel comfortable with them.
  • Will your builder make custom plan changes to personalize the home?
  • Examine quality of model homes and how long the builder has been in business.
  • Know your specifications “standard features” and compare “apples to apples”.
  • Ask to speak to the builder’s banking contacts for financial stability information.
  • Investigate online. Look for disgruntled clients.
  • Does your builder self finance construction of home?
  • Will your builder allow you the privilege to hire a third party inspector to inspect building in progress?

The best of the best builders are still in the market to serve you. Prices will never be this low again. Remember, “you will get WHAT YOU PAY FOR; cheapest prices HAS a reason…look for ‘cut corners’.” Be realistic in your search to see for yourself that you buy the best quality, location and price possible for your family. Good luck and cherish the memories you will build over the years in your NEW HOME!

Leave a Comment