New Construction Advice
You’ve found the home you’ve been looking for and you’re ready to make the deal. Below you will find some helpful tips and hints when it comes to buying a new construction home
Determine a comfortable price range
Review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale with a real estate or condominium lawyer before signing to ensure you understand exactly what is included in the price of the home. If you are a first time home buyer, the first thing you should do is figure out how much of down payment, then work out a monthly debt load so you can determine a comfortable price range.
Sellers’ Agent Versus a Buyers’ Agent
The sales agent represents the builder of the model home, they are known as the seller's agent. You can work with a buyers’ agent at no additional cost. It’s their business to represent your needs by being knowledgeable about all aspects of home construction process (construction, warranties, financing, differences in pricing, quality, even lot selection)
Get the facts
Before you make a final decision, it is best to investigate the builder and check out their reputation and their financial strength. You should get a “spec sheet” on homes, these sheets should include everything from floor plans to lot availability.
Check out the neighbourhood
Learn about the community
See the area and the amenities that are offered
Find out if there is anything planned to be constructed in and around the area
Think about how you will be affected when it comes to commuting to work and drive or transport times.
Choosing options and upgrades
Options are items that the builder installs during the construction of the home. Be sure to take advantage of some of the builder incentives that they may offer including: free upgrades or credit off the sale price. Upgrading means selecting quality above “builder standard” such as carpeting, ceramics, detailing, kitchen fixtures and appliances. Ask your agent to help you get a list of standard features and, if available, a list of common upgrades and their associated costs. *Helpful tip: you can always add something like a deck, fence or landscaping after the house is built and it may be cheaper to do this.
What you see isn’t always what you get
When you buy a new home or condominium, the price quoted to you in the sales office will be the base price of the home, inclusive of HST. If you order any upgrades, this upgrade is extra. In addition, there is now a separate schedule of additional charges that you also must pay. Some of these are shown with an exact dollar figure, such as Tarion Enrollment fees, legal fees, grading deposits, hydro or water meter installations. The fit and finish of the model home doesn’t necessarily represent what comes standard. Often the model home reflects a mix of standard materials and fixtures, as well as a handful of upgrades. When touring the model home, make sure, to find out which is which.
Make sure the contract works in your favour
When setting up a contract with the builder it is best to have safeguards written into the agreement to protect yourself. These can include: detailing the upgrades, being allowed access to the construction site to see the progress, an explanation of what the fine print means in the warranties of the builder and manufacturer.