The housing market goes up and down. Sometimes, the demand for housing is very low and you can find homes everywhere. Sometimes the demand is so high that every available home has five offers the minute it goes on the market. When the demand is high, one of the options may be to build. If you have the time, this option might be right for you. You still have questions though. What questions should you ask a builder before you sign a contract?

How much can I customize?

Asking about customization is probably the most important thing you will need to know. Customization is one of the main reasons to build your own home. Some builders are more flexible and offer way more options, while other builders limit the changes you can make on the home. Finding the right builder might depend on how much you want to change the house you want to build.

Is your model home upgraded?

Model homes are called model homes for a reason. They are the ultimate selling tool for a builder looking to entice buyers to want their homes. It is pretty standard for the builder to upgrade their model homes heavily. Ask the builder how much the model home would run with everything they show. Ask what is standard and get a list of how much each upgrade would cost. There are so many costs to consider and knowing the real price will help you determine if that home is for you.

Can I have some references?

You should be happy with your purchase. If you ask someone else who has had an experience with a recent build from your potential contractor they will usually be able to give you their honest opinions. They will let you know if the builder was easy to work with, what designs worked better, or they found it was worth it to get a basement or a third garage. 

What is your usual timeline?

A timeline for building a home can make the difference for a buyer. If the build takes too long, or the range is too sketchy, it might be better to look for another builder.

How do they handle complications?

Whenever there is a build, there will always be complications. No home build is perfect or will meet every deadline. Find out what they do to combat issues and ask for specific examples they had in previous homes and what they did to solve them.

Do your homes have warranties?

It is pretty standard for builders to include warranties, to protect you from major issues that happen early in your home ownership. You should get some peace of mind that the builder stands behind their product. Don’t be afraid to negotiate either. You should be happy with everything before you invest so much in a home.

What if I decide to cancel?

We all make purchases that we regret after we sign on the dotted line. While you can overlook buyer’s remorse on a pair of jeans, a home is on a whole new level. You may not get your deposit money back, but if you aren’t happy with something or rushed into it, you should feel like you can get out of your contract without too much damage done.

Building a house can be great because you will be able to build it from the ground up knowing you are the only one that has lived there. Make sure you are asking the right questions so you know that you are making the right decision for your family.