My husband and I are one of those couples that have moved A LOT (usually within the same area). In our 13 years together we've lived in 10 different housing units. In the beginning we were trying to get our lives together so every time a lease was up we were looking to upgrade. Usually this meant size, quality, and/or amenities.
Once it came to purchase a house we were so excited except we decided to build instead of just buy. We had done very little house hunting previously. In the past we had looked at a few houses with realtors but everything we liked was out of our price range so we put it off for a few years.
I forget exactly how we decided to go the building route but we did. I'm sure it had something to do with always going to model homes. Those are so fun to look at. Actually we like looking at any type of housing unit and find it to be one of the best parts about moving.
Now that we have built two houses together I do have some opinions on how to choose a quality homebuilder. Here are some things I wish I would have thought of when choosing our builder.
How Much Are You Willing to Spend?
Most of the time the more money you can spend the more quality you can get. Just like with anything. For example, if you had a lot of money you could send your elderly parents to a resort style living retirement community like Devonshire at PGA National. On the other hand, if you can't shell out the big bucks you may have to settle for something with a little less quality.
We did have to settle with the builder we chose. We could not afford a top shelf builder but still liked the idea of building. We figured despite the builder not being the best we still would end up with a new home that should last a while (especially with how we move). And we could customize it to our liking. There are so many reasons to build a new house.
The first house we built we only lived in a year. This had nothing to do with the house's quality though. My husband's job got relocated to another state and we needed to follow it at the time.
If you aren't willing to just settle this would be the time to continue to save money until you can afford the builder of your dreams. It may take some time but in the end it will be worth it.
Where Do You Want to Live?
You will learn when you are researching homebuilders that some builders only build in certain areas. I would of loved to of lived in a booming area of my town near all kinds of shopping but we needed to be close to the interstate for my husband's job.
You will find that with lower end builders that they only have new developments where they can get the land. You don't get to pick your own lot anywhere in town you get to choose from the lots that they own.
So when choosing a homebuilder I would research all of the different homebuilders and see where they build. You may be limited in choice if you want to live in a certain area.
Do Your Research!
If the two questions above aren't an issue I would scour the internet for reviews of the particular homebuilder you are interested in as well as the BBB. The internet has a wealth of information but be aware typically people only post things that they are unhappy with when it comes to services. People often feel the need to complain when it's bad but don't give praises when it's good.
I would also recommend going into (a lot of) models of each of the homebuilders and going over them with a fine tooth comb. And take a few people with you. Having several eyes with you will help you lessen the chance of over looking something.
Building or buying a house is an exciting time but remember not to over look quality when possible. You want the most bang for your buck so do your research to ultimately decide what is best for you and your family.