Real Estate

Top 7 Warning Signs You Chose the Wrong Builder – Michael Beattie – Medium

Huge decisions, such as building a custom home, may come with buyer’s remorse. Sometimes, we make decisions and we instantly regret it before the ink on the paperwork has even dried. This may happen more often with smaller purchases, but sometimes, it does happen when you hire a builder for your new custom home.

Before you hire your Minnesota custom builder, it’s a good idea to know the warning signs. There are several things to look for to ensure you don’t choose the wrong builder. Here are seven of the most common.

The Builder Seems too Good to be True

It’s an old adage, but when something is too good to be true, it usually is exactly that. The lowest bid for building your home may save you some cash, but it may be way too good to be true.

If a builder comes in way lower than other builds, it’s likely a red flag. You want to be very careful with low bids as they could be low for a reason. Does the builder use the same quality of materials? Do they have a reputation for cutting corners? Make sure you know the answers to these two questions and many others before you choose the lowest bid, especially if it’s significantly lower than the other bids.

The Builder Wants a Large, Up Front Deposit

It’s common to give a builder a deposit up front, but if that deposit becomes too big, it could be a scam. You want to be very careful as scam artists are waiting to take advantage. Never expect to pay the full amount up front and never pay a deposit you think seems too big.

Most reputable builders are negotiable and will find financial terms both parties are comfortable with. If you’re not comfortable with the size of the deposit, ask to pay a lower deposit or walk away.

The Builder Won’t Provide References

You need to know you’re hiring a reputable builder. If they refuse to offer references, you should consider another builder. Any good builder will be happy to provide references because they know if you do contact them, you will be pleased with what you hear.

Any builder that has been around for a couple years has good references. They can provide you with past customers that are happy and love the work they did.

The Builder is Missing Credentials

Your builder needs to have credentials including licenses, qualifications, and others. The best builders are accredited and offer qualifications that put your mind at ease. Make sure you check the credentials of your builder and make sure they are fully insured, fully licensed and experienced. If you hire a builder without credentials, you may be dealing with an unsafe situation or a scam.

Your Input Doesn’t Seem to Matter Much

While builders are not miracle workers and cannot accommodate every request you have, they need to listen to you. If your input doesn’t seem to matter, it should throw up a huge red flag. You don’t want to hear that they chose the best cabinets or countertops for you because that’s not a builder’s job.

You are the customer, it’s your house and the builder needs to choose what you want. Yes, they should provide advice and they should let you know if it’s something they cannot do or it doesn’t fit in your budget. However, ultimately, your input should matter more than anything else as they are building a home for you.

The Builder Treats their Staff Poorly

A builder that treats contractors and their staff members poorly isn’t a good choice. You will have unhappy people and maybe desperate people working on your home. Good builders have good relationships with their workers and their workers are happy to work for them. Make sure you’re aware of how they treat those working for them as it could be a huge red flag.

The Deal Doesn’t Feel Right

Often, we can sense when something isn’t right or a good match. Sometimes, it’s not even that you choose a bad builder, but they just aren’t a good match for you. If the deal doesn’t feel right, walk away. You may value different things compared to the builder and it’s just not going to be a good situation for you or the builder.

When you’re ready to build a custom home in Minnesota, you need the right builder. Look for these seven warning signs and be extra diligent in making the right decision to hire a good builder that fits for you.


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