There’s no thrill quite like the moment when you decide to build a new home. It’s a luxury only a limited number of people get to experience. You have the chance to watch your ideal home materialize before your eyes. You can make it exactly suited to your taste and lifestyle. But first, you have to find the right Rio Grande Valley home builder.
You want to enjoy every step of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. When you choose the right Rio Grande Valley home builder, you partner with someone whose goal is to make your dreams come true, and to do it within your budget. However, there’s so much that could go wrong. Texans who choose the wrong home builder sometimes watch that dream turn into a costly and time-consuming nightmare.
Just the fact you’re reading this article says that’s less likely to happen to you. You’re doing your research before you commit, which shows wisdom and foresight. Let’s look at some of the problems unprofessional builders cause and how to know without a doubt you’re choosing the best possible Rio Grande Valley home builder.
How Choosing the Wrong Builder Can Cost You
You’ve probably already heard other peoples’ stories about everything that went wrong when they were building a new home. Unfortunately, you’ll find more people with bad experiences than ones who say their Rio Grande Valley home builder was a pleasure to work with.
Most problems come down to money or inexperience. Not all builders are ethical. Many are looking out for their own interests, not the buyer. Buyers trust their expertise and don’t know that much about the building process, so they’re easily misled. They trust the Rio Grande Valley home builder to do what he or she was hired to do and they don’t realize something has gone wrong until the home is complete and the builder is gone.
When you hire a builder, recognize you’re hiring someone who is in business to make money. You’re making a huge investment, possibly the biggest one you’ll ever make. That’s why it’s important to scrutinize the builder you’re considering before you sign on the dotted line. Here are some of the problems we hear over and over from people who work with the wrong builder.
- Builders don’t visit the construction site in person to evaluate how conditions impact cost and time to completion.
- Builders don’t show up frequently during construction to inspect. They don’t notice problems as they occur, so subcontractors cover up any mistakes.
- They cut corners. They use inferior materials or skip steps necessary for durable construction.
- They use inexperienced or unprofessional subcontractors. Crews don’t show up or they make costly errors. The whole project runs behind.
The best way to keep it from happening to you is to check a builder’s track record.
9 Steps to Choosing the Best Rio Grande Valley Home Builder
The Rio Grande Valley home builder that’s right for you may not be the same one your co-worker or family member used, even if they had a good experience. References definitely hold a lot of weight. However, not everyone wants the same type of home. Also, people vary on what they expect when it comes to communication and hands-on involvement. You and your builder are going to be working together for months. It’s worth taking the time to find the right fit.
Gather recommendations from friends and family members, but don’t stop there. Here are 9 steps to finding a builder you’ll be happy with.
Decide What You Want
Some builders mostly build luxury homes in exclusive neighborhoods. Others have years of experience building garden homes or townhouses. Have an idea what size, style and price range you’re looking for to choose builders that specialize in working for buyers like you.
List Rio Grande Valley Home Builder Possibilities
Contact the Rio Grande Valley Builder’s Association (RGVBA) to find out what builders construct homes in your area. The RGVBA’s mission is to encourage high building standards through education and build relationships within Rio Grande Valley communities.
This year’s Parade of Homes is in May of 2019, so you may also be able to view homes from different area builders. This year’s Parade Home by WestWind Homes is at 605 Central Park Street in McAllen. The four bedroom 2.5 bath home in Russell Park is a great example of the quality and workmanship that goes into every WestWind home.
Narrow your list to builders whose work is similar to what you’re looking for. Then it’s time to start asking questions.
Research Prospective Builder’s History
Building in the Rio Grande Valley is unique. The geography, climate and culture all impact home construction and property values. Look for a builder who has been in the business for a number of years. WestWind Homes has been building successful, affordable Texas housing communities since 1993.
Understand The Process
Construction is most likely to go smoothly when all parties know what they can expect at each stage. A professional Rio Grande Valley home builder will be able to outline the process in a way that’s easy to understand. He or she won’t mind you asking questions and won’t pressure you to make a decision until you’re ready. They should be able to explain what they do and what’s expected of you in the following stages:
- Design – How will they help you get your dream house? How will you know your lot or land is suitable? What’s the timeline like for floor plan sketches, revisions, elevation sketches, blueprints and cost evaluations?
- Construction – At what point will you participate in contract signing, providing your down payment and submitting documents? How will work proceed when construction begins? What can you expect at your final walkthrough? What happens if something goes wrong?
- Post construction – After you move in, what if you need to make changes or you find something wrong?
Find out how many of the builder’s projects are completed on time. Listen for clues about their knowledge of the costs of construction and how they’ll provide value and quality for you.
Evaluate Communication Skills
When you ask questions, how long does it take for your Rio Grande Valley home builder to get back with you? Do they have a process in place for communicating during construction? Do you feel like your personalities can work well together? How you communicate is as important as their credentials and education.
Find Out What’s Covered by Builder’s Warranty
Most of the time a Rio Grande Valley Home Builder will provide new homeowners with a limited warranty for things like labor and materials, mechanical defects and structural defects. Before you get started, ask what that builder’s warranty covers, who handles problems as they arise and what are your obligations. Homeowners are responsible for reasonable maintenance, but your warranty should give you some time you don’t have to worry about your plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning or ventilation.
What’s Typically Excluded
Just because a warranty contains exclusions doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire that builder. It’s normal to find these typical exclusions:
- Damage due to the homeowner’s abuse, neglect or failure to provide maintenance.
- Deterioration within expected levels because of climate, weather or natural disasters. In other words, you may have to claim hail damage on your homeowner’s insurance instead of receiving repairs under your new home warranty.
- Damage from vandalism or outside sources. If someone drives their car into your home, your home warranty won’t cover it.
- Damage caused by people you hire to perform work. If your yard guy puts a rock through a window, it’s not your builder’s fault.
- Home appliances that come with their own warranties. If Whirlpool made your dishwasher, you’ll contact them for repairs.
WestWind Homes start with certified construction on a strong foundation. After that, every component of your home is constructed with the strictest standards and high-quality materials.
Ask About Unfinished Work
What happens if you move into your home and find something wasn’t completed? We’ve heard stories of builders who told homeowners it was okay to move in even though the home wasn’t completely finished. They said they’d complete the project later and never did.
Find Out What Happens Once You Move In
One of the ironies of home building is that when your home is under construction, you can’t wait for everyone to finish and leave you to enjoy it. Then, after you move in you find questions you didn’t think to ask or defects you wish you could have them fix. If you’re already considering a Rio Grande Valley home builder, find out what happens when construction is complete and you’ve moved into your home.
Too many times homeowners have assumed nothing will go wrong. “Everything is new,” they say. “It should work for a long time with no problems. Plus, it had to be inspected before we moved in. Surely the inspector would have noticed if there were defects.” That’s not always the case.
WestWind Homes strives to give homeowners the highest quality service after construction is complete. As part of your warranty, you receive access to a 24-hour Customer Assistance Response Team.
Learn About Programs and Incentives
Some Rio Grande Valley home builder groups have programs that make it easier for first time buyers or people with less than perfect credit to afford a new home. For example, the WestWind Home Buyer’s Club helps Texans buy a home even when other builders turned them down. Often they’re moving in in 90 days or less.
WestWind Homes representatives are ready to answer your questions about finding your new home. Find out how easy it is to find a Rio Grande Valley home builder you can trust when you get in touch today.