It's Like a Sniff Test for the Builder

It's Like a Sniff Test for the BuilderNew construction in Nashville will be huge in 2016.

At the end of (fiscal) 2015, Nashville had nearly $2.5 Billion (with a B) in permits issued.  This did not include five large, neighborhoods in the approval process.

New construction will help us close the supply/demand gap, but it won't completely solve the problem this year.

We have clients using or considering four different builders right now.  They couldn't be more different. None of them are perfect.  Many are difficult. Some are new to the market.

When considering a builder, these are some of the first questions that I ask.  While, it is not a comprehensive list, these first impressions give you a snapshot of the experience. 

It’s like a sniff test for the builder.  To see if something smells a little fishy.

First, the design/selection process should be as easy for the buyer.  Builders should have a features sheet to fully describe what is standard and what upgrades are available. At this time, most builders are selling their spec homes long before completion.  This means that buyers may get the opportunity to make material selections in addition to upgrades.  

Selection samples should be easy to view and all in one place.  The number of selections should be plentiful without being overwhelming. The cost to upgrade materials needs to be calculated quickly or be readily available.

Second, incorporate the most popular upgrades into the base model.  When all the common features are upgrades, it feels like you are being nickeled and dimed (to death) with charges.

Consistency helps keep average prices higher in your neighborhood.  That’s important for when it comes time to sell.

Third, use the TAR New Construction contract. Many builders have their own contracts. Builder contracts are notoriously one sided.  If you are forced to use one, I recommend that they are reviewed by an attorney.  The TAR contract is approved by the state and made fair to all parties, especially the consumer. 

Builder contracts just feel dirty.

Hit reply, if you are thinking about new construction and want to hear about our experiences.

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