You have saved your money, planned, made a list of all you want, and had plans drawn up. The new home you have always dreamed of is now ready to be built. Next task is finding a builder.
Do your research throughly. The best way to find a builder is through referrals. Find other people who have built with them and ask questions. If you already have found a good Realtor, get them to help. It can not be stressed enough the importance of finding a good and reputable builder.
There are good builders and bad ones. The one constant is that they are in it for a profit and are looking out first for their own best interest. Sure they may do quality work, maybe even be honest and ethical, but the fact remains that in their minds they come first.
When times are good every one and his brother wants to be a builder. It's amazing the number of small building companies that pop up. A lot of these are questionable operations and if a downturn in the economy comes along you may just get stuck with a half built home and a lot of wasted money. After the market does some weeding most of the companies left are good ones with a solid financial foundation. Even these reputable companies need to cut costs and find ways to save money and if their working on your house....well.
That leaves you, as the future homeowner pretty much at their mercy. You can read books, watch HG TV and it seems every new homeowner has done some “remodeling”. Nothing can prepare you for the actual construction of your home. You can't be there 24/7 to make sure it's being done right and to your standards. It's not the builder that does the work, but subcontractors. It's not the subcontractors that do the work for the most part, but their employees and those employees don't really care much about you and your dream home. Mostly they care about quitting time and the weekend.
Having spent nearly 20 years in the construction business, 10 of that in management, I saw a lot of what goes on. We were the people that watched over your house as it was being built and while we genuinely cared for the interest of our clients, the builders interests is always number one. Loyalty to the company and whatever policies it may have is key to collecting your paycheck.
That is why it is essential to have someone knowledgeable in the industry watching out for you and your interest. That is why you must have a Realtor. A Realtor will know their way around the local building scene. He or she will be able to recommend builders that maybe they have worked with or have some knowledge of. Having help to negotiate tricky building contracts always favoring the builder is a must for success on your project. When the time comes for the several different walk throughs that building a home requires, you will have someone watching out for your best interests. Last is the final walk through to make sure everything is done right and complete. It will be just you, the builder and his staff. That's when you need a Realtor most. Their there to watch the Builder for you. At the closing table his/her job is to make certain no surprises appear and that your building and closing experience are a good one. That will give you piece of mind and the insurance that your dream home is built to your dream standards.
Now you and your family can live happily ever after.