Selecting a New Home Builder in Pittsboro and Chatham County NC

Real Estate Broker and Land Expert Eric Andrews discusses the home builders available to build homes in Pittsboro, Siler City and Chatham County, North Carolina. There are several pros and cons to using local builders and factors to consider when having a new home built.

Interviewer: How do you choose a home builder in Chatham County?

Eri Anjdrews: Probably the biggest thing that’s separating builders in the area is whether or not they’re high volume, whether or not they’re building a lot of houses, or whether or not they’re building fewer houses, but those are usually a little bit more customized. There really are pros and cons to both.

We like our local small town builders. They’re a real human being. They usually don’t have a building supervisor or an onsite person. They’re the onsite person, and so you can communicate directly with the builder if something isn’t going your way. And it’s generally going to be more of a customized house, so you can put up the lights and say, “Oh my gosh, Steve, Dave, those are awful, and take them all down and do it again.” And he may or may not charge you for that. He’s probably going to charge you for that. And they have good relationships with the local home inspectors. They have good relationships with local subs and everything. And so, in some ways, they’re really, really good.

But if you customize the house too much or whatever, they can get into bad spots. And if they haven’t done something before, or it’s a plan that they’re not used to, or it’s a roof pitch that they’ve never done before, I’ve seen a lot of builders get in trouble. And you can have a lot of delays with a smaller local builder, because you have a timeline of six months, and you want to get your foundation poured, and this is the date you’re going to get your foundation poured, and then it rains. Well, if a foundation concrete cement company is doing 50 for the big builder, and he’s doing one or two for you per year, you’re going to be put on the back burner. And so, a smaller, local, customized builder can have a lot of delays, a lot of unexpected delays.

When you go with a bigger track builder, you’re not going to have very many delays, because they are eat them up, chew them up, spit them out, get ‘er done. I mean, they just want to go through it quick, quick, quick. But then people talk about the quality, and some of the larger track builders, they’re buying a bunch of windows from the same company, and they get deals on the windows and they’re looking to cut costs on the windows, and so maybe the windows aren’t as good a quality. I mean, you can get some really nice quality windows from a large track builder or whatever, but you know, they do cut corners. The guys come in there and they spray it differently and they finish it differently and everything. And you might have one building supervisor one month, and in the middle of your project, another building supervisor. That one gets laid off, and they replace him with another guy, and he doesn’t know your whole history and what you’ve gone through and everything.

So, there are pros and cons to both, or whatever. One of the things I’m definitely seeing, and we make comparisons to the farm prices in the 1980s and the 1990s or whatever, we had a lot of good local builders here in Chatham County, and when the home crisis of ’06, ’07, ’08 happened, a lot of them went out of business, or a lot of them got into financial trouble. I mean, they had to declare bankruptcy. They lost other properties. They had a lot of financial stress. The larger companies, I won’t mention them by name, but when you have a company that’s traded nationally on the stock market, they don’t care about little ups and downs in the cycle. They’re used to all of that, and so they’re going to be around for a lot longer.

We certainly like our local builders, and they’re good people. Those that have other agents and those that list with our firm, I think the majority of them are good. I wouldn’t be as upset with some of those larger track builders. They’ve gotten a lot better. Because of the pervasive of the internet, everybody’s reviewed right now, and the track builders are getting closer and closer to customized homes. Whatever your preconceived notions are, I would take a look at everybody and compare apples to-