Relocating to or building in Traverse City? Finding a reliable, trustworthy builder for your Northern Michigan home or cottage project takes time and patience—especially if you’re unfamiliar with the Northern Michigan real estate landscape. Yet we’ve found an experienced insider to help: Traverse City home builder Mike Ferraro.
One of the most expensive investments a person may make in a lifetime is building or remodeling a home. As a Traverse City home builder since 2001, a past president of the Home Builders Association of Grand Traverse and a recipient of the Distinguished Builder of the Year Award, I understand how critical it is when it comes to choosing the right builder for your building project—I’m here to help you find a builder.
When it comes to investing money, most of us would consult a professional, licensed financial planner, stock broker and/or investment banker. So, why would you settle for anything less when it comes to a building project? Some folks feel the best way to select a builder is simply by price … have a number of builders bid on a project and make the decision based on the price. Big mistake. Why? Price doesn’t determine if you can work with this individual for the next year or so. Some projects, from design through construction, can last up to a year or two. And let’s not forget about warranty issues. How reliable will the builder be in returning to correct problems?
Tips for assuring you are comfortable with the builder you select:
- Check with the local Home Builders Association. Is the builder a member? If so, is he/she in good standing? In our area, visit HBAGTA.com to learn about the services this organization provides to the consumer. I recently completed my term of president of this organization and one of our primary charges for the HBA is to be the “Good Housekeeping Seal” for consumers.
- Check the State of Michigan’s website to verify the builder’s license and status of good standing.
- Talk with lending institutions and title companies. They may be willing to share information on builders.
- Ask the builder for a copy of the builder’s certificate of insurance—liability & worker’s comp.
- Does the builder have a website? Check out pictures of previous homes. Identify homes on the website that interest you (architecture, cabinetry, flooring, millwork, and many other features). When you meet with the builder ask what the construction cost is in today’s dollars.