The Truth About Building a Home


What you need to know and ask BEFORE you build a home!

296A9529 30 31 Balancer

Building a home can be overwhelming. It is imperative you seek out an experienced home builder to help guide you through the process. Not every builder is created equal and it’s often hard to know the difference. It seems like most home builders are great at tooting their own horn but in reality, build crap houses (excuse my french)! Let’s talk about some questions you need to ask your builder candidates before selecting the one to build your home.

  1. What subs does your builder use?
    • This is a great question to ask before you make the decision on which builder you choose. The subs will make or break your home build. And trust me….there are some doosies out there. For example, let’s take a painter for example. The project is ready for the painter to come in. The builder notified them 3 weeks ago to put your home on their schedule. But when it’s time for them to start, they don’t show. 3 weeks pass and they still don’t show. These subs are just as good about blowing smoke as some of the builders are. So, now we have waited on that painter for 3 weeks and now you are pissed there’s no progress. So, the builder finds a new painter, but they have a 4 week wait until they can get to you. Now the project is at a standstill for 7 weeks. You are making interest payments monthly on the construction loan you’ve taken out and that little stall cost you about $2,000 or more.
      • Quality is a whole other topic of conversation. The GOOD builders may not quote the least because they are using QUALITY Subs!!! If a builder you are looking at is WAY cheaper than the next, you need to ask yourself WHY?!! Again, painter example, if your builder uses a sub-par painter, the results will speak for themselves. Painting isn’t an easy fix – usually it’s a complete re-do. This could cost you upwards of 10,000 or more to fix what should have never happened.
  2. What relationship does your builder have with the subs they use?
    • Another great question to ask your builder. If your builder is paying his subs on time, has a good relationship with the subs, and again- can’t emphasize enough – is PAYING HIS SUBS, then the builder should have consistent, loyal subs that make his projects a priority.
  3. Foundation, foundation, foundation.
    • Is your builder taking the time to do a soil test and get an engineered foundation recommendation? Sometimes it’s hard to justify spending thousands to dig soil out and bring other soil in but this is one of those steps you don’t want to gamble with. And your builder should be making no exceptions in regard to your foundation!
  4. ASK FOR REFRENCES and Take the time to view/inspect other builds your builder has going on!!
    • Building will be stressful, time consuming, and expensive!! Make sure you talk to previous clients before making your final decision. Look at some of the houses in person!! If your builder doesn’t have other builds going on you might want to consider that a red flag.
  5. Budget. What budget?
    • A builder can give you a rough estimate on the build cost but always anticipate going over budget. This is usually not your builders fault. Things come up during a build that can’t be forseen. Things really do just happen. Builders don’t have a magic ball to see the future so don’t hate your builder just because the budget wasn’t spot on. EXPECT to go over budget and have a savings account for that.
  6. How does the builder quote the build?
    • This is a BIG question to ask and understand. Some builders quote the build “under roof”. Meaning the price per square foot will be divided by all space under the roof (this will include the garage, porches, etc.) This can be misleading/confusing when another builder quotes “heated and cooled” (only the living spaces will be included in the quote – excludes porches and garage). So for example, if you are building a 2,000 sq ft (heated and cooled) house, you may have an additional 1,000 sq ft in porches and garage = 3,000 total. So, let’s say the “under roof” builder’s quotes $140/sq ft to build your house and the “heated and cooled” builder quoted you $200/sq ft.. This may seem like a no brainer, right?! BUT, Let’s break this down. The “Under roof” quote: 3,000 sq ft under roof at $140/per sq ft = 3000×140 = $420,000 build price. The “heated and cooled” 2,000 sq ft heated and cooled at $200/per sq ft = 2000×200 = $400,000 build price. DON”T BE FOOLED!!! Knowledge is power.
  7. What other expenses should I expect?
    • If you are the one taking the construction loan out, you should expect to pay closing costs on that twice (about $6,000) as well as interest on the construction loan. As the build progresses the amount of interest you will owe every month will increase. Expect to pay 1,000-2,000 per month on a $400,000 loan.
  8. What fees does a builder normally charge?
    • It depends on the type of build, but normally the builder will charge a 10% builder’s fee. This is a 10% on total cost of construction and is usually billed during the build at each construction loan draw.

If you are considering building a home, we would love for you to consider us! We would love to answer any questions you may have. Call us today!! 903-559-0037

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top