So you are setting off on the incredible journey to build your dream home…’ve found the perfect piece of earth that speaks to you and you are ready to set your 4-walled vision of perfect spaces, finishes, and the site of future memories on this fabulous tract of zen-ness.

And then the realness of the project at hand becomes apparent. Who will you intrust your vision with and who can see it through your eyes and bring it to fruition? You begin the search for the perfect builder to partner with you on this odyssey. There are enough choices in the marketplace to keep you interviewing into the next millennium. Where do you begin?

First things first. Decide on a design aesthetic and be as specific as possible. Are you imagining craftsman, modern, contemporary, tudor, mediterranean, prairie, cottage, or split-level…? The architectural style options are vast. Be aware of your chosen neighborhood and it’s aesthetic. For example, in the highly coveted Minneapolis neighborhood of Bryn Mawr, the prolific number of cottage style homes and the livability of the area have landed the neighborhood on the list of “Best Cottage Neighborhoods in America”. When you build your dream home you want it to be pleasing to you but also fit in with the surrounding structural styles. Be deliberate and thoughtful in your research. Most builders will have a personal aesthetic of their own. Find someone who shares your vision and begin the conversation there. Discuss the builder’s process of putting plans into action and what are the particular challenges of your chosen design. Do they see design elements based on your discussions and current/future lifestyle that call for some modification while keeping the overall feel intact?  An experienced builder will have great listening skills and should pose questions for you that you probably didn't consider yourself.

Take advantage of the builder’s current model homes and spend time in each getting a feel of how you and your family would function in the space. Don’t discount the value of “lookbooks” showing the builder’s finished projects, or opportunities to hold private conversations with past clients that are open to share their experience in the build process with you. Gather as much information as possible. Once the right partnership with a builder has shown itself and you have made the leap, meet the members of their team and get to know each person’s role in the build process. Note the way each team member relates, communicates, and problems solves with other team members. Their interactions and how they problem solve are crucial to quick resolution of the inevitable quirks in the build processes that are coming ahead.

Now you have chosen a builder to partner with you on this incredible, dynamic journey.  Get set - the real homework is just beginning! 

NEXT BLOG: Bid versus Estimate - which should you choose?


Liz Maki                                                            Liz Maki                                                 

"Pitbull Realtor Girl" 

EXIT Realty Metro 














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