Finding the right builder to work on your next real estate investment property is as important as any other facet of the project. You want to make sure the profit’s there and the market rent is what you want it to be but when building a brand new structure you need someone to build it. And they needfinding the right builder to be good at it or your investment might soon end up as a money pit later down the line.

You get quality construction from a quality builder. But if this is your first foray into new construction, how do you find a qualified builder?

You can first make sure they’re licensed and that’s a relatively easy accomplishment. Contractors are required to list their license number and you can log onto your state database to see how long they’ve been in business as well as if they’ve ever had any issues with the state or other regulatory agencies. To start compiling your list of eligible builders, ask your real estate agent as well as others who have recently built a home. Once you get your list of names, it’s time for a bit of due diligence.

You can visit the Better Business Bureaus’ website and perform a search there to see if there have been any complaints, resolved or otherwise, filed with the BBB. Note that a builder with a long track record sometimes can’t help  but get a cranky customer who can’t wait to file a complaint on anyone for anything but a series of complaints need to be reviewed carefully.

Get a list of previous homes the builder has in the portfolio and pay a visit to the homeowners. How do they like the home? Did the home get built on time and on budget? Would you use this builder again in the future?

Finally, if you’re still having trouble getting a list together, talk to your construction lender. Your bank has a builder approval list and each builder must pass certain experience, credit and ethical standards in order to make the bank’s approved list. Besides, if the builder isn’t on the approved list, the builder will have to apply to be approved before the bank will evaluate any construction loan with the new builder as the contractor.