I was talking to a new colleague last Friday. He is a real estate agent and he asked me what I thought about builders who get bad press because of problems that may have occured in their condo developments. He was very concerned that bad press could possibly mean a bad builder. I totally understood where he was coming from, because I have experienced this sort of thinking from purchasers and homeowners who I have dealt with. My response was, problems can arise no matter who the builder is. An unforseen slow leak in a plumping pipe behind a wall, window panes that all of a sudden get a stress crack, underground parking that is difficult to use (parking spaces just seem to darn small), you get the picture. This does not mean that the builder is substandard or that they have not built the condo to code. It means that there are items that need to be addressed and fixed. I say, that once these deficiencies are remedied (if in fact they are deficiencies) you can be rest assured that the builder has done their due diligence to ensure that the problems have been resolved. The way I judge a responsible builder is by their Customer Service. If the builder responds to homeowner, and Property Management concerns in a timely manner, it’s obvious that they want to rectify the problems to keep their homeowners happy. If the builder becomes scarce, makes excuses, misses scheduled appointments, I would feel less comfortable. Please note though, this does not mean that the builder has not built your condo to code, it means that they just don’t understand that good customer service means positive referrals, and it is the purchasers who are the bread and butter of the builder.
So, the best way to find a builder that you will be comfortable with is referrals, word of mouth from people who live in the condos (remember, everybody has a different opinion, so ask more than one person), and customer service (homeowners will let you know about that too.)
If you have read this blog, I would like your opinion on this subject.