Many builders are now charging an up-front fee of anywhere between $2000 to $5000 before anything substantial happens. In many cases the fee covers items that need to be done before the builder can prepare a quote – such as soil testing of your block and preliminary plans.
You will also find that in many cases the fee, or a large chunk of it, is non-refundable.
So, in theory, if you wanted to get three quotes, you could outlay up to $15000 before you have even decided who to build with. Realistically, most people aren’t going to do that. In fact, they will probably just pay one fee to one builder and go with that builder because they don’t want to part with $2000 – $5000 for nothing.
And that is how the fee is intended to work.
If you find yourself in that position where the builder is asking you for a fee before they have prepared a quote, we would encourage you to ask a few questions and check out independently how much some of these items actually cost.
In our experience (and we’ve had plenty) the costs to produce a preliminary floor plan and an elevation, plus get a soil test done so we can provide an accurate detailed quote, is easily absorbed as a cost of doing business.
We Back Ourselves at Bundy Homes
At Bundy Homes, we’ve been offering free, no obligation advice for over 20 years and we will continue to do so. We only charge money when it is necessary and only once you have officially become a customer.
The reason we do that is that we want you to make your decision based on the service and quality we provide, not because we have you backed into a corner.
Except for some very specific circumstances, the first amount we request is the standard deposit at the time of signing the contract and soil tests, plans and a detailed quote have already been done.