Is buying new right for you?
An introduction to the process of buying from a builder
Buying new in Canada is a popular choice – about one-third of all home purchases made each year – and not just because it means choosing the floorplan, colours and finishes for your dream home.
It means all the perks that come with the newness, like higher energy efficiency, higher-quality building materials, lower maintenance costs and less surprises (i.e. large-scale foundation or plumbing issues).
When it comes to the purchasing and construction process for a new build, there are likely some mysteries remaining if it’s your first experience with it.
Sales agents are a great resource to walk you through the process, so make sure to work with someone you feel comfortable with.
In the meantime, here are some tips to guide you through the purchasing of your first brand-new home.
Get your ducks in a row
There are special builder’s mortgages that guarantee your interest rate for a year, rather than the typical 120 days. This means you can lock in the price you’ll pay when it’s time to take possession of your home, rather than see it fluctuate.
Take the time to get pre-approved for a builder’s mortgage if you know you’re going this route. While you can get in for a minimum of 5 per cent down, you’ll want to save an additional 2 per cent of the house price for closing costs (lawyer’s fees, etc.). You may also want to leave wiggle room for any upgrades you may choose once you meet with a designer to make your selections.
Make sure you’re comfortable with waiting
If you’ve chosen to work with a professional builder with a solid reputation, you should be able to rely on the timelines they’ve given you. But even with a construction schedule that proceeds as planned, a new home build takes time.
Even before any construction begins, you have to sign off on final plans for your home, which go to the city’s building permit office for review.
There are plenty of tradespeople involved, materials to be ordered, and finishing touches to be applied along the way. But nothing will feel better than your final walkthrough when you get to inspect the finished product with your builder to make sure it’s picture perfect for your possession day!
Think about post-possession
Even though it’s easy to fall in love with a glitzy showhome, one of the most important ways to distinguish builders from each other is to compare their post-purchasing process.
What is covered under warranty, and what steps are taken to make sure any issues are dealt with within the warranty timeframe?
Once you feel certain you’ll be well-cared-for during the purchase process, the construction period, and even after your final payment is sent, you can feel confident going through the new homebuilding process.