Some things to consider when selecting a builder:
As a homebuilder, I strongly encourage you, wherever you might live, to select a homebuilder that lives nearby. It’s often very easy to think, ‘oh, I know so-and-so knows a builder, I’ll just ask them and use that guy.’ While this might be an easy way to find someone to manage construction, this usually creates a few problems.
First — and perhaps most importantly — this creates a mis-alignment of incentives. Homebuilding is a very intimate process for most people — typically, the home you are building is your only home, your ‘safe space’, your retreat from the worries of the outside world. Selecting a homebuilder that won’t see your home frequently dis-incentivizes them from creating a home that will be and will remain beautiful — it encourages them to build it quickly, cheaply (to maximize their own profit), and with a minimum input of thought and effort. It encourages them to build a home that will too soon degrade and start falling apart, a home that cannot meet its full potential. A builder that lives nearby will spend the time necessary to ensure that your home is one that will retain its integrity and beauty for years to come, a home that will stand for generations, a home that will not need its siding and roofing replaced after six years, a home that will not fall out of style within ten years. They will invest this time because they will have to see and think of your home frequently — it’s not just a one-off.
Second, this creates problems with maintenance. Over the course of a career, a homebuilder will construct dozens if not hundreds of homes. Your home is your temple, and if something goes wrong in your temple, you want it fixed — immediately! If your homebuilder doesn’t live nearby — if there isn’t the chance of running into you — when something goes wrong, more often than not, they will be ‘busy’, ‘unavailable’, or may simply never return your call. A homebuilder that lives in the area will be on top of problems that arise with your home, if not simply because it is easier for them to get to your home, but because there exists the distinct possibility of an awkward run-in at the bagel store.
Third, consistency. A homebuilder that doesn’t live nearby may simply not be attuned to the subtleties of style and construction needs in your area. If you live in a coastal region and your builder comes from inland, they may not understand the particular strain put on a house in a coastal environment, and the adjustments that must be accordingly made during construction. They may not ‘get’ the style of your area, and may build a house that doesn’t gel well with the rest of the community. A local builder quite literally lives and breathes their local area — they know when they need to use one material over another, they know the subtleties of other nearby homes — they likely built many of them. If you’re anything like me, you want a home that will require minimal upkeep, stand for generations, and have a timeless but unique appearance. For this to be possible, you need a local builder.
If you live in the Jersey Shore region and want an experienced builder with an exceptional understanding of the coastal area, styles, and environment, give me a call — I’d be happy to speak with you and lend my advice — or refer you to a local builder in your area if necessary.