Tips from Toby: Finding your dream home

The Parade of Homes starts this week and Toby Tobin wants to show you how you can have the best home of your life!

The housing collapse caused a lot of builders to re-think the way they construct homes. Learning what people truly wanted and could afford has become essential for their survival through this tough economy. As homes are slowly starting to sell again, builders say it's less about the huge size and more about quality at every turn.

"We really looked at all of our building strategies," said Raelynn King-Barnhart with SAB Construction, LLC.  "Price had a lot to do with it. You're going to have the quality there but keep the prices there so that you can afford it. So we streamlined our budgets, out staff that we had and put quality inspections in place, not that we didn't have them, but we put more stringent controls in place because you're coming into a market where you're really going to have to be the best of the best if you're going to keep selling. We don't want to be the biggest builder in town - we want to be a big builder with great quality and reputation."

King-Barnhart also says as you're out looking during the parade of homes, to consider the history of the builder and also the strength of the community. Nobody wants to buy a great new home and find out the rest of the neighborhood or future amenities might not be finished as promised.

When you go into a community see if the community is actually picking up because you see a lot of places where builders have not wanted to come in and put their dollars there to invest.

At the Parade of Homes you're going to see a ton of great new homes and ideas. Be sure to do your homework and make sure the quality, strong financial backing and strength of neighborhood are all a part of your considerations. Try to interview people who have bought homes from your builder before and make sure your dream home lives up to your expectations.

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