Choosing whether to buy or build is the first step for many looking for a new start. But this is a challenging choice for many reasons. “There are pros and cons to both,” Holmes explains. “Brand-new homes are made with minimum code, especially on a big number builder.” This can cause problems down the road with windows, doors or insulation.

To buy or to build

“I think no matter what, if we want to buy a new home, we need to start checking out the builders who are building them,” says Holmes. “If we were to investigate a brand-new home builder like we investigate hiring a contractor, odds are we would have a better experience buying a new home.”

Holmes recommends getting a list of references for builders and calling each of them. “You ask [the references] questions. The more you know, the better.” For Holmes, this is where education comes in. “Doing your homework is most important. Don’t just expect any new home to be built perfectly.” 

ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS: Whether you're buying or building your new home, Holmes advises finding a top notch home inspector. “You want someone who has been in the industry for years,” he says.


When building, Holmes recommends finding the best home inspector on the market. “And how do you find the best home inspector? Holmes says, “You want someone who has been in the industry for years.” He also suggests interviewing potential inspectors before hiring them and reaching out to their references as well.

Building your own resources

“For the DIYers,” Holmes says, “if you don’t know how to do it, don’t touch it. Bring someone in.” But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to ask questions and learn from the process.

“The more you investigate, the better,” Holmes concludes.