Seasoned real estate investors who concentrate on the new construction market know the value of a quality, experienced builder. A solid builder will not only provide you with a reliable quote but make sure to keep those costs in line as the home progresses. Quality construction keeps long term finding a good buildermaintenance costs down for those who hold and rent while also demonstrating quality craftsmanship for potential buyers.

But there comes a time when a new, different builder is needed. The builder moves, retires or there’s a disagreement that calls for an evaluation of the relationship. You will interview your builder and get referrals but there are also a few things you can do on your own to solidify your choice.

The internet provides plenty of opportunities to do your own stealth check. Perhaps the two most notable websites is the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List. Both have forums where current and previous customers can rate their experiences or show a list of grievances filed against a builder. Credit reporting agencies also keep a track record for builders so you can perform your own background check.

Contact your bank where you regularly receive construction financing for your rentals and ask for the names of a few builders they’ve been doing business with over the years. Banks require builders to go through a sometimes rigorous credit, experience and financial review.

Builders are regulated at the state level and must have a license. States keep a list of all licenses issued to each builder as well as a forum for complaints filed, fines and license revocations. Builders today almost always have a website. Is the builder active in the community? Does the builder belong to various trade organizations in the area? Community commitment as well as acceptance by their peers goes a long way determining their reputation. Finally, see for yourself. Visit recent completions and talk to the owners about their experience. Happy homeowners can provide an insight and unhappy ones certainly will.