Find the local Builders Association for a list of Builders that are registered members. You can access this through organizations like the Canadian Home Builders Association. It is important to note that there may be other Builders out there as well that just have not chosen to be members of a local builders association. They may well be great, but generally, those who pay a fee to be a member have not only gone through a due diligence process to be a member but also take the business seriously and are well established.
If you do find a Builder who is NOT on the local Builder association (and perhaps even if they are) you want to check to see if they have a valid business license and if they have been recognized by the Better Business Beaureu or other local organizations.
Your local city hall may also have a list of the number of permits that Builder has pulled for construction in the past year, giving you an idea of the strength of the Builder and may even be able to share their knowledge and experience with that Builder. Both small and large Builders have been known to go out of business and it’s important to check this out carefully, especially as later you will be giving them deposits. (example: REID Built – Bankruptcy)
Check local rating sites such as Avid Ratings and HomeStars who utilize consumer ratings of the Builders. It is also best to look at more than one as it is possible a rating site is paid to ensure that Builder looks better than they really are so verifying various resources will give you the clearest picture.
The Developer will typically choose those Builders they are working within that Development and there is a myriad of reasons they have made that decision. The developer is selling the lots to the Builder, but remember they need to assist them in selling as well as the Builder needs to pay them for the land and that doesn’t always get paid at the beginning. Often the completion of that payment comes out of your purchase when you move in so you are helping to pay for the development of that community.
Finally, talk to friends and family or utilize your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to reach out to find out who has built with particular builders and the quality of experience they had.
Looking to buy a brand new home for the first time?
We want to offer you some key suggestions on purchasing a brand new home, you can use to ensure you make the most of your own research on buying. Learn how to utilize some Real Estate professionals as well as find how to use the Builder Sales representative all to your benefit, so that in the end YOU have all the knowledge and information necessary to protect yourself in making a great decision on a YOUR new home.
Step 1: Start Your Research Early
Buying a new home is far more detailed than buying a new TV or new car. It will likely be the most important decision AND investments you ever make for your family. Many of our parents will readily admit they “wish they had known” ………..now is the time to seek and find the best home and investment opportunity for you and your family.
Start researching as early as possible. Many of us assume that there is only a limited number of Builders in the city you come from. We make this assumption because those are the Builders that do the majority of the mass marketing and so it’s not hard to see why you come to this conclusion. Reality is that there will undoubtedly be FAR more Builders than you even though…in fact, your favorite real estate agent most likely isn’t aware of many more than you are. Often the ones they take you to are the few they have experience or a relationship with.
For example in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, the population in 2016 according to Census Canada is only 295,095 and yet there are 120+ Builders in the city, some of which only building 1-2 homes a year, but others building 100’s.
Step 2: Figure out where you want to live
Determining the best place to live based on your employment, a significant others employment, secondary and post-secondary education needs, as well as recreation requirements for the family all, play a large part. Some key factors to look at are:
what new communities are being developed now, or are soon to be opening in your area and what they have to offer. Many developments are years in the making so with a little research you can see what might be coming soon and be at the lead of understanding who is building there and get in early.
What amenities is the development going to offer, including important ones like schools? If your children are newborn or only a year or two it might be perfect as that new school may be scheduled to open just as your child reaches the age of requiring one and be first on the list because they live in the area. New school, new teachers, a new approach to education can also be an exciting advantage. Others that have older kids may find new private school options or public transportation routes that will make it easier for them to attend post-secondary and still live at home, saving you money.
Look at the transportation routes planned, will a route that now exists be changed or a large freeway interchange built that changes what part of the development you want to be in. Some City roads have been planned for 20 years or more, little research you will find out if you want to live close to a brand-new interchange planned two years from now or not.
Shopping, what is planned? Is there daycare? Seniors facilities and services? Even items like police stations and fire halls can be important to what the rating will be for insurance and your overall insurance costs in that community once you move in.