I’ve been asked in the past about whether a specific production builder is better than another in the same neighborhood. Honestly, the “name” of the builder really doesn’t matter when it comes to a home’s value. At least not when it comes to homes in tract neighborhoods and subdivisions; custom builders is a topic I will deal with in a moment.
It’s not enough to just look at a brand when deciding on purchasing your new home. There may be two sets of builders working on two similar new home builds in a particular subdivision. The price that they set their homes at is mostly dependent upon the finish-out and quality of materials, it has little to do with the “quality” of the construction.
Consider the following: Most new home buyers do not realize that the builder will only brand and market the home, not necessarily build it. They bring in various unskilled laborers, who usually lack proper supervision and training, to build these houses. I’ve been on job sites before and seen teenagers doing the work, some having fewer than two years experience in the trade. There will be mistakes made, and it’s all because people buying homes want something cheap. Even when you look at the more expensive neighborhoods, you’ll find that there are people on the building site who have never worked in the industry in the past.
You’ll find that in most of the Sunbelt states, particularly Texas, the same subcontractor pool is used by most “production builders.” If you take a look around your area, you’ll find that the same company trucks are working in different subdivisions on various “brand name” homes being built. There are very few building companies that actually have in-house crews now. It’s easier and cheaper for them to subcontract the work, and it’s not the builder who ends up working on your property. The builder is more the marketing company and construction manager more than anything else.
The brand that you choose—the builder—is really a meaningless thought now when it comes to commercially made properties. It’s you who ends up determining the quality of your final product. It’s your understanding of the industry and skill at holding your builder accountable that will determine just how well your home ends up. A good builder will assume delays, errors and problems happen and should factor them into their estimations and timings. You need to understand that all those need to be assumed. From there, you can think about managing the faults and make sure you end up with a home that is built to perfection just for you.