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Builders Association of South Central Kentucky

Homebuyers and Remodelers


| Find a Registered Builder |

Choosing a Builder

If you're in the market for a new home, you should shop for your builder as carefully as you shop for your home. Whether you are buying a house in a subdivision, a custom-built house, a townhouse or a condo, you want to know that you are buying a good quality home from a reputable builder.

Start your search

Once you have thought about the type of house you want, where should you look for a builder? First, make a list of builders who build the type of home you're looking for in your price range. Look for builders that are active in your area, the types of homes they are building and the price you can expect to pay. The local builders association has a list of builders who construct homes in your area. Friends and relatives can make recommendations of builders they have dealt with directly.

Take a Look Around

Once you have a list of builders, how can you find out about their reputations and the quality of their work? The best way is to visit homes they have built and talk with the owners. Get references and addresses of houses the builder has recently built. Talk to several owners and get a random collection of opinions. The more people you talk with, the more accurate impression of a builder you are likely to get. Take along a note pad when you talk to the builders and homeowners, and record information about specific builders and homes.

Some questions you can ask:

  • Are you happy with your home?
  • Did the builder do what was promised in a timely manner?
  • Would you buy another home from this builder?

Usually, people will tell you if they are pleased with their home, and if they are not, they'll probably want to tell you why

Shop for Quality and Value

Look at new homes whenever you can. Home shows and open houses sponsored by builders are good opportunities to look at homes. Look for the quality of the construction features, inspect the quality of the cabinetry, carpeting, trim work and paint. Never hesitate to ask a question. Keep value in mind when shopping. Just because a home is less expensive than another does not mean it is a better value. Likewise, a more expensive home does not automatically assure higher quality. A home is primarily a place to live, but it is also an important investment. Consider the appreciation potential of any house and the possible future influences that location, housing supply, demand, and other market factors that have a direct effect of the value of your new home. Design quality is another important aspect of your home. Does it suit your lifestyle? Is there enough living space, enough bedrooms, and bathrooms? Is there adequate storage? Will you need a large kitchen for entertaining or a room for a home office or exercise room? Think about the amount of upkeep required both indoors and out.
"Location, location, location!" You must remember location!. Remember to evaluate whether or not convenient access to shopping, schools, etc. are important to you.

Ask Questions!

Most builders offer some form of written warranty that backs their workmanship and materials, typically for one year. Other builders offer warranties backed by an insurance company. Read the warranty and understand what protection you would have. Waiting until after you move in and problems arise may be too late to ask for warranty information from a builder. Ask about what kind of service you can expect after the sale. Typically, a builder makes two service calls during the first year after you move in to repair non-emergency problems covered by the warranty. The first call is usually 30 to 120 days after the move-in, and the second is around the eleventh month - right before any one-year warranties on workmanship and materials expire. For emergencies, the builder should be able to send someone to your home right away.

Other important questions to ask the builder:

  • Is the builder licensed and insured?
  • Do they carry worker's compensation insurance?
  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Do they have a permanent address?
  • How many homes has the builder built?
  • Whom do you contact for customer service after the sale?
  • Should requests be made in writing?
  • What responsibility does the builder assume for the work of subcontractors?
  • Who will be responsible for correcting problems with major appliances?
  • Does the builder use Energy Star appliances and methods?
  • Is the builder a member of a local homebuilders association?
  • If not, why?

BUYING A NEW HOME IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST AND MOST IMPORTANT PURCHASES YOU WILL MAKE IN YOUR LIFETIME. BY DOING YOUR HOMEWORK, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SHOP FOR A HOME WITH A SENSE OF CONFIDENCE AND THE KNOWLEDGE THAT WILL HELP YOU MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION.

| 859 Lovers Lane, Bowling Green, KY 42103 | P (270) 781-3375 | F (270) 782-5082 |
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