You should be able to get that information from your Agent before viewing, so as not to waiste your time looking @ homes from a non-preferred builder.
Just choose one agent (that you trust)to represent you in your home search/purchase & they can sort it out for you.
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
Very good question. Generally a lot other things are more important to would be purchasers so it has not been demanded by the public. Sometimes if we (Agents) know a neighborhood really well we know who the builder is othertimes if the seller does not know it might be a little trickier to determine who it was. Mostly its lack of demand for the information, it is not a required field, so most Agents skip right over it. Like any other industry sometimes lack of customer demand allows a little lazyness on our part. If it is important to you a good Agent will get that information for you.
As the other agents have said yes, in some cases who the builder is important but it is not a required field when entering a home in mls and therefore most agents skip right over it. However, in the defense of those agents it is not as common as you would think that buyers are looking for a specific builder in that price range. Like I've said in other posts I have sold over 1500 homes in this market which means I have shown 1000's of homes and trained 100's of agents and who the builder is frankly doesn't seem rank up there in the top list of concerns for most buyers. A question, yes but not really a concern or something that is a hang up for a majority of buyers. If it were I am sure the mls would make it a required field. When you start to get into custom builders who the builder is becomes more important but among the tract builders in Cary they all pretty much offer comparable products which I am sure you are finding. Some have more square feet, some have better upgrades, some have nicer lots and some have better locations, etc.
More people than not look at how a house and a neighborhood match their home buying needs and goals and if it is a good financial investment "for them", they consult and agent, attorney, inspector or whomever they need to feel comfortable with their choice and then they go with it. As you can see from searching the internet and looking through other questions not many buyers do nearly the research you have prior to buying. Hopefully you are not psyching yourself out :)
There are too many home builders to mention and some of the smaller ones build a great product. Walk through the development and look at some of the homes that are being built. Ask questions about the building process. Here's just a few things to look for:
1. Thicker Insulation
2. Screws instead of nails in the floorboards
3. Foundation specifications...ask them how pour the slabs...Post-tensioned slabs are best.
4. Designs that include pot shelves and rounded doorways, heavier doors and nicer hardware usually build a nicer home with more quality.
Brookfield, Pardee, Shea and Beazer, Standard Pacific, Lennar are better than than Richmond American, Khovnanian and KB, in my opinion anyway.
The HGTV, channel has several homebuilding videos to get you familiar with the homebuilding process.
Builder IS a factor. I have had people walk out of homes when they heard who the builder was.
But, after a couple of owners, it becomes less likely that the Seller knows who built the home. It is not uncommon for a subdivision to be built out by a different builder than the original, even in exclusive builder neighborhoods.
But, if a home is less than 5 years old, or so, it seems like putting the name of a builder with a good reputation in the listing would be good promotion of the house. It happens occasionally.
But it's not REQUIRED that we put it down when we list a home. Combine that with a "i'd rather not say it's THAT builder" and you see how this happens.
Of course, finding out who the Builder was is not an issue usually.