Last week’s blog answered the question of “What kind of builder do I need” by describing the different classifications of builders in the home construction industry today, including custom and production builders. This week’s blog will attempt to take that discussion a step further and help you prepare yourself for choosing a builder.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, one of the first steps when choosing a builder is compiling a list of builders in your area. If you already live in the area in which you are moving, this task may not be too difficult. You’ve undoubtedly seen billboards, heard commercials on the radio, and have probably seen some print or TV advertising, too. If you are relocating, or you want to make sure you aren’t missing any options, a quick internet search of home builders in your area will provide an extensive list. You can also contact the local branch of the Home Builders Association at nahb.org/findanhba to find out more regarding potentiation builders in the area!
Real estate professionals are also a great resource for finding a list of reputable builders. At Eastwood Homes, we value our relationships with Realtors and are always working to build new partnerships.
Once you compile a list, the next step recommended by the NAHBA is to ask questions! We agree. This applies to new and resale homes, equally, of course. The NAHB suggests interviewing your list of homebuilders and provides a list of questions to ask. Newhomesource.com also provides a similar list.
All of the questions on both lists (many are duplicates) are important. When you are buying a home, you should go into the process with eyes wide open. For many homebuilders, most of the questions on the list are simple to answer. For instance, we at Eastwood Homes can easily answer questions regarding how long it takes to build a home and what plans we build from. At Eastwood, it takes us about 5-6 months to build a home depending on community, and we only build from our own floorplans. Another important question is regarding homeowners associations.
We think you should familiarize yourself with all the questions offered up by the two homebuilding sources. There are some hugely important questions that will play a large part in your decision, such as “do you build in the town I want to live in” and “do you have a floorplan that fits my needs?” But, that may not narrow down the field enough for you to make a decision.
To help you focus your search even more, we’d like to focus on two of the questions that jumped out to us: “How many years have you been in business?” and “How do you compare yourself to other builders?”
We’ve talked about what sets us apart from other builders before, so forgive us for repeating ourselves, but we are pretty proud of our roots. Eastwood Homes was founded in 1977. Just to give you an idea of how long ago that was, a BMW 320i cost $7,990 and a gallon of gas was 65 cents. The average cost of a new house was $49,300 and the average income was $15,000. Rent averaged out to $240. Jimmy Carter was elected President. The World Trade Center in New York was completed that year. And Rocky and Smokey and the Bandit were released. Boy, how times have changed!
We were founded by Joe Stewart, a Carolina native. Our company is privately owned, but has successfully expanded into new markets and regions including Charlotte, Raleigh, and the Triad- Area of NC, Charleston and Greenville, SC and Richmond, VA. We have always considered ourselves a hometown business and are proud to say that we’ve survived many years of a fluctuating market. Today, Joe’s son Clark has also joined the ownership team. They are in the office and in the field, and walk through our new homes on a regular basis to make sure our homes are up being built to their standards.
We think there are many things to be mindful of when choosing a builder, like what kind of warranty do you offer, and what’s your process for inspections throughout construction, but the company’s integrity and culture may be one of the most important things.
That culture of integrity at Eastwood may be summed up in one quote by our founder, which adorns the wall in our conference room in Charlotte.
“Do what you say you’re going to do.” – Joe Stewart