Protect your investment.
There has never been a better time to buy in the Sarasota/Bradenton area and you have a lot of available choices. To assist you in selecting the builder that will best fit your needs and protect your investment over the long term, we have developed a checklist of important questions to ask your builder – and provided some of our own answers – so you have a clear understanding of what your dollar is buying.
Longevity in business: How long has the builder been in business and what assurances do you have that they will be around to see your house built start to finish?
Neal Communities has been in business for three decades and built more than 7,000 homes. We started out as a family owned and operated business and remain so to this day, with three leading principals all Neal family members – Pat Neal, John Neal and Charlene Neal. We hold ourselves accountable to each other and the community and our reputation among business, community and civic leaders and organizations is unparalleled.
Financial stability: How secure is the builder’s financial resources to ensure they will complete your home as promised?
We have weathered several economic upturns and downturns over the past three decades and have been developing communities and building homes during this entire time. The majority of our land purchase was made in the 1980s when prices were lower, enabling us to adapt to market fluctuations and still provide the highest quality home and value for your dollar.
Local vs. National Builder: Are your investment dollars supporting local businesses or subsidizing a national company and headquarters outside the county or state?
Living, working and being involved in the local community fuels timely customer service, our economy and a sense of pride. We live, work and socialize in the same networks as our homebuyers and face them every day. This self-appointed accountability makes us more responsive and instills a greater sense our urgency in the homes we build and the customer service we offer.
Environmental commitment: Does the builder have a demonstrated and proven track record for protecting and enhancing the environment?
Protecting and enhancing the environment through thoughtfully designed and carefully executed initiatives has been the cornerstone of Neal Communities’ philosophy since 1970. Residents, community and business leaders, and respected environmental organizations have honored Neal Communities over the past 40+ years for protecting the environment, restoring wetlands, preserving and enhancing the natural surroundings, supporting community organizations and helping educate residents and homebuyers about the importance of protecting the environment.
Green building practices: Does the builder employ energy efficient practices and homebuyer education programs about energy use and conservation?
Neal Communities has employed BuildSmart initiatives since 1999 and offers an array of Build Green choices for products that you can select for your home. We also provide tips from BuildSmart on cooling and heating homes efficiently, ways to conserve water and reduce appliance and lighting energy consumption.
Responsible development: What is the builder’s history on reducing environmental impacts?
An unwavering commitment to responsible land development, natural habitat preservation, innovative home building and unsurpassed customer service is Neal Community’s benchmark for success. We have received hundreds of local and regional industry awards that attest to our reputation and instills a sense of pride among every Neal Communities’ team member.
Client service and contractor relationships: What is the experience and longevity of the client service team and how much of the builder’s work is outsourced to other contractors?
At Neal, a dedicated and experienced team of professionals, all with names and faces, assist you every step of the way. Your design team is made up of Neal employees, many of whom have been with the company for more than a decade. Our contractors are also considered part of the Neal Team, many of whom have been our partners for 20+ years and represent the best of the best in terms of quality engineering and attention to detail.
Design integrity: Who is responsible for the design process and how customized is it to your individual needs and interests?
Everyone has a unique lifestyle and our fully integrated Design Gallery team walks every Neal homebuyer through the process of selecting everything from exterior and interior color palettes to kitchen cabinets and appliances to door handles, all with a variety of price-point options. You are given an initial tour and preview of the Design Gallery one week before the actual design session, including time to browse on your own. A package of information on options, along with a website portal you can visit at anytime, provide even more resources to make decisions.
Home and homesite options: How much flexibility do you have with your home site footprint and design floor plan?
Many semi- and custom-home builders have predetermined floor plans that provide few options. You buy a pre-determined package with minimal flexibility. At Neal, we work with you to offer several house placement options within any given lot size and then walk you through the design process so you are involved in selecting those exterior and interior design elements tailored to your lifestyle and budget.
Builder accountability: Will your builder be involved with you from ground breaking to completion of your home?
Each Neal builder sets up a pre-construction meeting with the homeowner and approximately every three weeks thereafter during the entire construction process. A framing walk is scheduled to review your home to make sure everything is laid out to the your specifications. When the home is complete, you receive a personal walk through and move-in orientation.
Punch list timeframe: What is the builder’s policy on punch lists for items that need fixing or replaced?
We understand not everything is readily apparent amidst all the excitement of moving into your new home. At Neal, you receive 30 days to create your punch list of any items you find in your home (usually minimal) and your builder takes care of them. After the 30-day move-in, the Neal warranty team then schedules an appointment and handles requests.
Response time: How long does it take a builder to respond to a punch list or warranty request?
At Neal, we have established the 1/3/10 Rule: Respond to calls within one day, evaluate the concern within three days and correct it within 10 days. We have a 99 percent response rate for responding to all concerns within one business day and close to 85 percent rate for inspection and completing all repairs within 10 days.
Designated point person: How many people do you have to call with a question while your home is being built?
Neal Community’s Customer Information Concierge provides you with one point person that responds to and answers your questions during the entire building process. You receive your first letter when the home’s permit is received along with a real person’s name and phone number to call with any questions. You are also contacted 30 days before closing to schedule your walk through.
Attention to detail: What is the builder’s policy on homesite neatness and debris?
Neal builders take great pride in their workmanship and attention to detail, including cleaning up after themselves every day. Sites are free of as much debris and trash as possible during the entire construction process.
Warranty policy: What warranty does the builder offer and what is the time period?
With a Neal home, you receive a one-year warranty for construction defects, a two-year mechanical systems warranty and a 10-year structural warranty.
Lifestyle building: Does a builder emphasize a home’s design to meet your lifestyle?
Our site and floor plans and interior finishes all come with options tailored to your specific lifestyle. The Neal Design Team incorporates “Florida Lifestyle” features into each home, providing a sense of openness, light and connection to nature with large windows, abundant lighting and eye catching enhancements that celebrate and remind you of the surrounding beauty where you live.
Homeowner referrals: What is the builder’s referral rate and can you speak with other homeowners?
Neal Communities has a 98 percent customer satisfaction rate, the highest of any local builder. We are happy to provide you with a list of homeowners you can speak with about the building and design process and their satisfaction with their home after move-in.