How To Know You Hired The Wrong Contractor

New construction homes are often touted as a way to avoid problems and gain benefits. They are trumpeted as the antidote to the headaches one faces in an aging house, while also serving as a blank canvas buyers can enjoy fully customizing.

A brand-new home may indeed stand as an appealing option for many home buyers this year. But a new study finds the rejoicing may turn to regret after the home’s completion. Turns out not everyone is happy. In fact, quite a few are anything but.

Real Estate Witch, powered by Clever, recently conducted a survey of 1,000 Americans who bought a new construction home or were in the process of building one.

The goal of the survey, according to the survey administrators: “To learn whether new construction homes are a welcome solution to a hyper-competitive housing market, or a risky endeavor that buyers later regret.”

Long wait

The survey title: “Most Americans Have Regrets About Buying a New Construction Home” says it all. The survey found about two-thirds (66%) of respondents experience some form of regret about the home-building process. That included 26% who assert they wish they had purchased an existing home instead. Conflicts over decision making (36%), premature maintenance (36%) and overstretched budgets (35%) were among the top heartaches of new home buyers about the home-construction process.

And these were on top of the delays experienced by many new construction buyers.

Some 85% of those purchasers experienced some form of delay, including 35% who endured postponements that dragged out an agonizing more than half a year. Those waits were likely among the reasons almost three in five (59%) purchasers reported weathering negative emotions during the course of the home building process. The emotions included stress (32%), anxiety (30%) and frustration (26%).

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Interpersonal strife

When you build a new dwelling, the decisions are endless. And in one, two or umpteen decisions, there exists the potential of conflict with an important stakeholder. Thus, it came as no great shock that the survey revealed more than one-third of buyers (36%) find themselves regretting the ensuing conflict with family members or partners. The conflict may have involved a mundane debate over carpet versus tile, but in statistical terms was more likely to result in an imbroglio with home contractors or builders.

These included premature maintenance (36%), construction delays (35%), the cutting of corners by builders (35%), rising costs of building materials and labor (35%), poor quality workmanship (31%) and poor communication (30%). Only 24% of new home buyers said they would recommend their builder to family or friends, without a commitment from the builder to provide compensation for the referral.

Less than half (45%) felt a new construction home is a good investment, 22% say it is not a good investment, and 30% believe a pre-owned home is a superior investment.

Renovation redux

Are you ready for a jolt? The same kind of horror show afflicting home buyers has exasperated many a homeowner intent on renovation.

The notion of addressing their pain points has naturally stirred the creative juices of many would-be entrepreneurs, two of whom are Paul Dashevsky and Jon Grishpul. Their company, GreatBuildz, is a matchmaking service bringing together homeowners and scrupulously scrutinized contractors. The contractors are run through a 10-step process that features reference and background checks. There are also insurance checks and the contractors must sign the company’s “Code of Conduct.”

GreatBuildz provides ongoing project support to ensure the contractors are held accountable and the project is completed fully and correctly.

The projected result? After the stresses, delays and conflicts of having built a home, at least correcting its many problems will go more smoothly.

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