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How to Choose a Home Builder

June 20, 2023
Interior view of the Duplex in the Villa Portfolio at Central Park by Brookfield Residential in Denver CO

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or looking to upgrade to your dream home, home shopping is exciting. It’s a time to envision your future, imagine the perfect home, and watch it all come to life.

Finding your dream home is an exciting, emotional process, and you want the right home builder by your side. The right home builder can impact your confidence and trust in the process, provide assurance and support if you have any concerns, and ultimately allow you to feel proud of your home when you receive the keys.

We’ve put together eight items to research to help you choose the right home builder:

Woman playing with her baby in the nursery of her Brookfield Residential home

1. Reputation and Experience

Thoroughly researching a home builder’s reputation gives you an idea of what your experience will be like if you choose to work with them. You’ll want to read reviews and testimonials from reputable review websites, social media, and the builder’s website for previous homebuyer feedback.

Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews to get a balanced perspective, and watch for any recurring themes between different testimonials. If several homebuyers say their sales representative was friendly and knowledgeable, chances are the sales representative you work with will have those same qualities.

Check what industry awards and recognition the builder has received for their work. This is a great indicator of their expertise and commitment to quality construction, community involvement, and giving back. Find out the builder’s local reputation, if they’ve built in the area before, and how previous homebuyers feel about their home.

Consider the builder’s experience and length of time in the industry. A builder with a long-standing presence suggests stability and a track record of successfully completing projects; great companies take time, dedication, and vision to build.

Living room at Parkland by Brookfield Residential in Edmonton AB

Front Garage Conventional Collection, Parkland, Edmonton, Alberta

2. Quality of Work

One of the best ways to gauge a home builder’s construction quality is to experience it in person by visiting their model homes. This is a great opportunity to spend some time in a home they’ve built and inspect the quality of their work.

Pay attention to the materials used, the precision of craftsmanship, and the overall fit and finish of the home. Do things look smooth and straight, or are there misaligned edges? Wall-to-ceiling transitions, baseboards, and trim work with gaps, uneven lines, or poorly executed joints can suggest a lack of attention to detail.

Paint and wall finishes are also great indicators of quality. Smooth, well-applied paint without visible drips or brush marks should be prevalent throughout the home. The wall texture should be even and consistent, without any noticeable flaws.

Every space, including the minor rooms, should be finished neatly and with care. A low-traffic area, like a secondary bedroom closet, should be executed just as perfectly as a high-traffic area, like the kitchen or living room. A high-quality home builder will ensure every space receives the same attention and care.

Couple in the Palermo kitchen by Brookfield Residential in Calgary AB

Palermo Plan, Estate Collection, Cranston's Riverstone, Calgary, Alberta

3. Floor Plans and Designs

Take your time to assess the functionality and layout of the home, especially if the floor plan is one you’re considering for yourself. Does it make efficient use of space? Are the rooms laid out in a practical manner? Does the flow make sense for your lifestyle? A well-designed home with thoughtful planning indicates a builder’s commitment to meeting homeowners’ needs.

Review the full offering of floor plans to see what will best suit your preferences and lifestyle needs. Some floor plans may not have a model home, so if the model home you’re touring doesn’t feel quite right, ask the builder what other layouts they offer.

Ask the home builder about personalization options. Some builders may have designer-curated palettes you can choose from, while others may allow you more personalization options. Depending how involved you want to be in the design selection process, this may be something you prefer to handle yourself or leave to the professionals.

Exterior street scene at Union Park by Brookfield Residential in Austin TX

Urban Homes Collection, Easton Park, Austin, Texas

4. Location and Communities

You’ll often hear the phrase “location, location, location” when discussing real estate, and choosing where to live is an exciting decision. It’s the only thing you can’t change about a home, so it’s an important consideration in the home shopping process.

If you’ve decided you want the benefits of owning a new construction home but have some flexibility in where you settle down, you’ll want to research where the home builders you’re considering build their communities. Exploring the neighborhoods and communities they’ve developed ensure they align with your desired location and amenities.

5. Price and Value

Compare pricing structures between home builders. See what is included as standard and what is an optional upgrade. If the floor plan that best suits your needs comes at a price that doesn’t allow for any upgrades, is that a deal breaker? If you have wiggle room in your budget, are the options you want affordable? Consider the overall value you will get for the total price, including the quality of construction, standard features, and any additional upgrade options you may want.

At Brookfield Residential, we want you to feel comfortable and informed starting day one of your homebuying journey with us and beyond. With complete pricing transparency, we let you know the exact costs so you can look forward to a home and community that will add value and enrich your quality of life.

myVision home visualizer offers home shoppers a one-of-a-kind online buying experience where you can explore interactive floor plans, customize kitchen materials, and browse home exterior styles. Even better? As selections are changed, pricing is adjusted to reflect your choices so as you shop, you know exactly what a particular design or structural selection will cost.

Interior view of the Detached Collection at Midhurst Valley by Brookfield Residential in Toronto

Skyline Plan, 44' Detached Collection, Midhurst Valley, Barrie, Ontario

6. Builder’s Warranty and After-Sales Service

Ask about the builder’s warranty coverage and post-closing homeowner support. A reliable home builder should provide a comprehensive warranty that covers certain issues that may arise after the purchase. Find out what is typically covered and the duration of each warranty coverage period. Structural concerns may have a longer coverage period than cosmetic or quality issues.

Find out how to contact the home builder if you need assistance after closing. The process should be clearly outlined, with communication expectations defined. The Brookfield Residential App allows you to instantly access essential information about your new home with just a tap of your finger.

Available features*:

  • Find contact info for your Brookfield Residential support team.
  • Access essential documents and receive important reminders.
  • Monitor building progress and milestones with regular photo updates.
  • Send service and warranty requests.
  • View details about your home’s systems and appliances.
  • Get helpful home maintenance alerts.

* Features vary by location. Contact your local sales team for more information.


7. Timeframe and Completion Record

Ask about the builder’s estimated timeframe for completing the homes. Additionally, research their track record for delivering projects on time and within the agreed-upon schedules. Consider whether the estimated timeframe aligns with your desired move-in date or any other time-sensitive factors. If the estimated timeframe varies from your expectations, ask about other new construction opportunities, such as move-in ready homes or homes already under construction.

8. Customer Service and Communication

A reliable home builder will keep you informed about the progress of your home and provide regular updates. Pay attention to the builder’s responsiveness and communication style starting with your first interaction. A builder who is attentive to your needs, answers your questions promptly, and maintains clear lines of communication will help ensure a smoother process.

Evaluate the builder's online presence, including their website, social media profiles, and customer interaction. A builder who maintains an informative website and engages with customers online demonstrates transparency and commitment to communication.

Exterior street scene at Addison by Brookfield Residential in Austin TX

Howard Plan, Addison South Neighborhood, Addison, Austin, Texas

The Brookfield Residential Difference

For more than 65 years, Brookfield Residential has been creating the best places to call home. As a land development and home building leader, we continue to maintain the same solid values that have helped us successfully navigate through decades of growth and change.

We embrace all we do with enthusiasm, personal ownership, and pride. We believe success comes from doing the right thing by our customers, partners, employees, and communities. We care deeply about the areas where we work and believe in giving back in any way we can.

We are committed to sustainable growth through the pursuit of “green” home design and construction, as well as creating mixed-use communities where people can live, work, and play. We’re always looking for ways to innovate and improve the home buying experience. We offer a one-of-a-kind online buying experience where you can explore interactive home plans, customize kitchen materials, and browse exterior home styles all from the comfort of your home.

We’re committed to serving our customers from day one in their new home journey and beyond. We want our homebuyers to feel comfortable, in the know, and in good hands from the first time we connect to long after you’ve moved into your new home.

Living room in the Duplex Collection at Seton by Brookfield Residential in Calgary AB

Wicklow Plan, Duplex Collection, Seton, Calgary, Alberta

Check out the Brookfield Residential blog for design advice, homebuying insights, mortgage tips, and more, including 7 Questions to Ask A Home Builder and The Additional Costs of Buying a New Construction Home. You can also explore where we build and connect with our sales team when you’re ready to learn more. We’ll be expecting you!