Once you have a list of builders, how can you find out about their reputations and the quality of their work? The best way to learn about builders is to visit homes they have built and talk with the owners. Ask builders on your list for the addresses of their recently built homes and subdivisions. Builders may even be able to provide names of some home owners who would be willing to talk with you. Drive by on a Saturday morning when homeowners may be outside doing chores or errands. Introduce yourself and say you are considering buying a home from the builder who built their home. Talk to several owners, and try to get a random sample of opinions. The more people you talk with, the more accurate an impression of a builder you are likely to get. At the very least, drive by and see if the homes are visually appealing.

When you talk to builders and homeowners, take along a notebook to record the information you find and your personal impressions about specific builders and homes. Doing so will help you to make comparisons later. Some questions you can ask people include: Are you happy with your home? If you had any problems, were they fixed promptly and properly? Would you buy another home from this builder? Usually, people tell you if they are pleased with their homes. And if they are not, they'll probably want to tell you why.

Ask your builder if he or she is a professional registered builder with The Madison County Home Builders Association.

Deciding where to live
Choosing the right builder
Shopping for quality and value
Tax advantages of building a new home
Maintaining your new home and it’s value

If you're considering building a new home, you should shop for your builder as carefully as you shop for your home. Whether you’re buying a condo, a townhouse, a house in a subdivision, or a custom built mansion, you want to know that you’re buying a quality home from a reputable builder.

Once you’ve thought about the type of house you want, search the Madison County builders listed on this site. Check out their links and the photos of the homes they've built. Visiting the links and sites of local real estate agents listed in the Associate Members may also be helpful in your search. Ask friends and relatives for recommendations. Ask about builders they have dealt with directly, or ask them for names of acquaintances who have recently had a good experience with a builder.