What You Need To Know About Your North County San Diego Home Builder.
Word spreads rapidly through a community about the experiences buyers have had with a builder. It doesn’t matter if the builder is big or small, national or local. You need to research how the builder is performing in the community you’re a looking to buy in or other communities they have built in your general area. A builder might have a great reputation in Phoenix however due to different management and staffing in the San Diego area they may have different performance levels here.
Find out if the builder sold to investors and how many rentals are in the area. Some builders require that all their homes be owner occupied. Others will sell as many homes as they can to reduce inventory. If there is a downturn in the market usually investors are the first to sell and as we have seen in the past few years more foreclosures occur with investor owned homes. If there are a lot of rentals in the investor owned properties you may witness a lack of owner pride and upkeep of the homes. One of the reasons you are buying a new home is to be surrounded by buyers and home owners like you that want their property to appreciate and are good stewards to the community.
Be sure to do your research on the internet to discover any news regarding the builder. See if they are experiencing litigation, having financial problems or planning to shut down operations in your area? J.D. Powers and Associates perform surveys on customer satisfaction and quality.
Most importantly, spend some time in the community being built and take some time to talk to some of the previous buyers. If the builder has performed they will be thrilled to compliment them. And of course if they are unhappy you will hear any of the problems they have had. Keep in mind that not every buyer has the same experience so be sure to talk to more than one buyer. Be sure to ask:
- Did the builder deliver what was promised?
- Did the buyer consider other communities and why did they choose the one they bought in?
- Was the sales team or management available after you contracted to purchase the home to answer your questions and address your concerns?
- Were there any surprises regarding what the standard finishes were?
- How were you treated during the options and upgrades process?
- How big was the punch list at your final walk-through and was it completed on time? (Some builders strive for a zero punch list).
- Does the builder respond to your warranty request and are they easy to contact?
- Was their home available for closing and move in when promised?
- Were there any problems on the builder’s side at closing or did the closing go smoothly?
- Were there any additional costs that were not disclosed?
While you have the chance, be sure to ask about the neighborhood and discover the benefits or negative aspects.