Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

buyers remorse

A custom-built home is your chance to bring your vision of a dream home to life, your chance to create a home that is truly built for living. The investment required is considerable, but when you get it right, nothing is more satisfying. But what happens when you don’t? The cost of hiring the wrong builder is simply too high. Not only will it blow up your budget, you might not get the home you want and you may be stuck with buyer’s remorse for years to come.

The High Cost of Hiring the Wrong Builder

Imagine this scenario: you approach builders for an estimate or quote. You’re enticed with one company that returns an attractive bid. It’s lower than you’d hoped! You can get upgraded hardware and fixtures or the smart lighting system you want!

But then, as your project progresses, you need to make a change order. Ok. A few extra hundred dollars here. What? Another change order? This one will cost you a few thousand. Really?? Another change order? That too-good-to-be-true estimate was just that: too good to be true.

Or how about this: you’re spending your first summer in your new custom home and decide to enjoy the sunset from your deck. You notice some boards are cracked and warped. There is deterioration around the nails, which were overdriven. Your new deck looks like it has hosted a thousand backyard barbeques – with badly behaved guests!

These are monetary costs, to be sure. But also consider the costs in terms of stress levels and inconvenience. The custom home build process can already be quite stressful; hiring the wrong builder adds to this exponentially. Your dream home has become a nightmare.

Red Flags

Signs your builder is not the dream you need:

buyers remorse

They Ask for Too Much Money

Building a custom home is not like buying a car. First, there’s more money at stake, and second, you’re paying for most of the “product” before it’s even built. And every builder does require a deposit to start the project. That said, if the figure your builder wants exceeds about 15%, it may signal that they don’t have adequate credit to handle upfront costs.

Payments should always be tied to key milestones (e.g. framing, foundation, plumbing, roofing). If your builder is requesting money at times unrelated to milestones, take it as another red flag.

They Work Irregular Hours

buyers remorse

If you’re building your own home, sure, you work on it as you can around your job, family, and other obligations. But your builder is… well, a builder. It’s their job. If you show up at 10:00 am, they should be there. If you show up at 3:00 pm, they should be there. There will be times when they need to build in some wait time: for example, they may be waiting for your concrete floor to dry properly.

But while this happens, they should have a plan to work on other aspects of your project. You’re paying for their expertise, and their time. Make sure they’re giving you both.

They Want to Work Without a Contract

No, no, no! Never agree to this. A contract is a safety net for you. It’s also important on the builder’s side. It needs to lay out everything from the expected work and materials to the terms of payment and guarantee. If they don’t want to sign a contract, don’t expect them to deliver on their promises. It’s as simple as that.

… Or They Don’t Follow Through on Contract Terms

This is a big issue: some builders sign a contract but do not honor the terms. They may cut corners to save time. They may swap out materials for lower quality substitutions. Rest assured, they’re pocketing the extra cash. Your contract should include language that protects you from this.

They Intentionally Over-Order

This is theft, plain and simple. A bad builder may over-order and use the excess materials for another project or sell them. Always compare the bill for materials against order receipts. Remember, there will be some extra in case materials are damaged, but it should be within reason.

They Don’t Communicate Well buyers remorse

You should understand every step of the project and feel free to ask questions and for clarification. If you can never get in touch with your builder, if they don’t provide answers, or they specialize in fuzzy double-speak, this is a sign they’re not the builder you need.

Another sign to watch for: they don’t listen to you. This is your home. Your builder needs to listen to your wants and needs, honor your wishes whenever possible, and provide reasonable suggestions if your requests are not feasible in terms of structure or budget.

Don’t make the mistake of hiring the wrong builder. It is a cost that you will continue to bear for years. Do your homework upfront and select a reliable, reputable builder who will treat you as a partner: this is your home. Make sure it is built to last, and that your builder is as committed to your project’s success as you are.

Ready to build your forever home and get it right along the way?

Learn more about building with G&G, click to find out how to select a reliable, reputable builder who will treat you as a partner.