To Enjoy the Process or not to Enjoy the Process?
That is the question often asked of buyers who are considering new construction, last month I wrote about why we are seeing buyers purchase new construction verses the existing homes currently sitting on the market. Today we look at the process of new construction, in particular the building process with one of the builders I work with, Michael Lee Inc. of Woodbury. To keep the message short, I will break it down into a few subsections; a custom builder verses a production builder, what you can expect or should expect from your builder, and one key reason to select the builder who you choose to work with.
1. Custom or Production
As you start the process the first part of the planning stage is to consider whether to work with a smaller, custom home builder or a national high-volume production builder. The difference between the two can be explained in many aspects. The first is that a production builder will build simultaneously multiple homes often from a selection of set plans. Buyers can customize their home through selections, such as cabinets, countertops, flooring, appliances, and paint offered by the builder, although their selections are limited to certain components of the home. Most of the production builders will not allow customer customization beyond those choices. The production builders’ profits often are due to building large quantity of homes and capturing purchasing power in the buying of building materials, land, and the economies of scale to the services of labor.
Whereas, a custom builder creates a one of a kind experience that offers the home buyer a far reaching influence on the process, the product and ultimately the personalization of the home. For instance, buyers who want to move walls, customize the function of the room, the use of the space and who wish to select most of the details throughout the home, tend to work with a smaller custom builder.
2. What to Expect
In working with a custom builder, such as Michael Lee Inc., you can expect customized schedules, weekly scheduled updates, change order and job costs upfront, a project manager dedicated to your home, a job superintendent and one-on-one connection with the builder. When you work with a small custom builder, you often have an opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the owner of the company. Unlike many production builders, where often as a buyer you don’t directly meet the builder themselves, you become a number in their production process. In comparison to a production builder where you often work with the sales staff, when you build with Michael Lee Inc., you work with David Frosch who is the owner/builder. In addition, his staff is made up of family and longtime dedicated employee/partners. By being able to work directly with the builder and/or principles in the company, if there is an issue you are able to resolve it quickly and efficiently before it becomes a much larger problem.
3. One Key Reason in Selecting your Builder
One key reason in determining which builder you plan to work with is how you feel the interaction is and will be between you and that builder. Many custom builders create and maintain strong relationships with their past homebuyers. The life blood of a custom and small builders business is referral based, therefore, the custom builder is more receptive to your wishes, wants, desires, and budget all of which enhances your customer service experience.
“You should always trust your gut.”
Even though this is a cliché, I find more often this is right than wrong. When you meet the builder at Michael Lee Inc. and his staff, you can rest assure that you are making the right decision.
Jay Fletch, is highly credential and experienced real estate agent serving Washington County, MN and St. Croix County, WI. He can be reach by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by cell phone 715-760-1189.