We’ve discussed the process of building a home in Orlando, but what about finding the right builder? With so many new families coming to the area, new construction makes up about 30% of all home sales in Central Florida. This is a pretty large percentage, and you want to make sure you choose the right company to build with.
There are essentially four tiers of builders in Central Florida, as well as pretty much anywhere around the country. This includes three production builders, with the last tier being that true custom home builder. Join us as we go through all of these and rank them from lowest to highest.
This tier is the lowest when it comes to production homes. It includes Lennar, DR Horton Express, Starlight Homes, Centex, and Ryan Homes. Although companies like Starlight Homes and Centex are owned by larger companies that produce these “next-level” homes, Ashton Woods and Pulte, they deliver a lower quality product. From floors and cabinets to the windows, it is all just a step down from the rest. Lower tier means lower quality, and these types of builders usually focus on first time home buyers.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be buying from these builders, because the cost is going to be significantly lower and more affordable. However, just be sure to align your expectations as you move forward with each builder. Production builders are not making anything to stand the test of time. These homes are pretty much built as a basic package, where there aren’t many choices when it comes to customization.
This tier includes David Weekley Homes, Pulte, Ashton Woods, and localized builders like Hanover. These are all going to be mid-level builders that offer a bit of a higher standard than level 1. This includes spending more time on the details and home customizations.
Due to the growing market, some of these home builders may have less options to choose from in order to get homes built more efficiently. However, the experience that you get is still just a bit better from these companies in this middle tier.
This tier includes Toll Brothers, Domain Homes, and Jones Homes. Typically these builders are going to have a high standard when it comes to quality. In these packages there will be a higher level of cabinetry, countertops, and trim offered. Not only this, but these homes will be on larger lots and surrounded by other homes that are built with the same standards. The price is higher in this tier, but it really matches the quality for a home that is customized.
There are other things to look at too when buying a home, such as lot location and size. Sometimes these can really be the driving factor, especially when it’s time for resale value.
The last tier includes Jones Clayton Construction, Issa Homes, Stonebridge Homes, E2 Homes, and Cahill Homes. This is where you’re out of the production-type homes and it is truly customized from layout to finishes. These are definitely on the more luxury end, with these companies building in Disney’s Golden Oak, Isleworth, and Lake Butler just to name a few.
As you go through the process of building a new home, there are a few things you should think about:
THE VIP LIST
This includes a list of buyers that are going to really be committed to the homebuilder process. Getting pre-approved by a lender and ready to go allows you to get moved up that list accordingly.
If you have a realtor with a relationship with the builder, this will allow you to get the most up to date information on lots and when homes become available. This allows you to not get lost or forgotten on this list.
THE WARRANTY PROCESS
The majority of builders in Central Florida have a 1-2-10. This means within the first year everything is included, from scratched paint to anything else that may be wrong with the home over time. The two in this warranty includes anything behind the walls – A/C, plumbing, and electrical. Lastly, the ten is going to be the structural warranty.
Is everything in-house, or do they outsource vendors that have never worked in your home before?
HOW DO THESE BUILDERS HANDLE OFFERS?
Some builders will have multiple offers, and make you bid on the lot based on the home that you’re going to build and builder revenue. Others may build a home all the way until 60 days before closing, then open it up to the highest bidder. Understanding this strategy will help you figure out which is best for you and your future home.
DOES THE BUILDER ALLOW HOME INSPECTIONS?
In the past, most builders would allow you to do an inspection right before the drywall went in, and right before closing. A lot of builders have now pulled back and don’t allow this, forcing many buyers to veer towards resale. What happens after the warranty has expired?
Lastly, look at homes in the different stages of their process. This allows you to see more than just the model home where they make it look the best it can be. How do these builder’s handle their job sites? What do the final finishes look like on a home they’ve already sold?
With the current market, it’s harder than ever to find a good home on resale or get into new construction. However, with a realty team like The Pozek Group, we can help you get into the home of your dreams and take some of the stress off of home-buying. Do you plan on building a custom home? Where would you want to build it?
The Orlando Real is sponsored by The Pozek Group. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Orlando, reach out and we would love to help!