Buying a new build

Buying a brand-new home is an exciting adventure! There are many differences to keep in mind when purchasing a new build versus a pre-owned home and my latest blog covers the whole process from start to finish so you can avoid all the pitfalls.

The first thing to mention is that you shouldn’t even step foot in a show home before chatting with me. Most people don’t know that unless they are actually accompanied by their real estate agent on the first visit to the show home, they will be unable to be represented by their REALTOR®. Visiting a show home without your agent means you will not have representation in your purchase, even if you bring me back with you to make your purchase.

Keep in mind that most builder salespeople are not licensed real estate agents, are paid by the builder and work solely for them so having your own representation is in your best interest. Representation, or your agency relationship, is very important and you can read more about it in my Understanding Agency blog.

When considering your new build purchase, the first place to start is with your wants and needs. My buyer guide helps take you through that process so you can narrow down what kind of home you are looking for. You can then move forward to the neighbourhoods that would be ideal for you, taking your commute, schools, access to stores and other desirable features into consideration.

Next, it’s time for the online research of the builders available in the communities you are considering. Don’t just check out their products, take a look at the online reviews to really understand the company and their practices. Make sure they are registered on the Builder Registry, where you will also find information on their warranty provider and any issues they may have had.

It’s now time for us to hit the road and visit the show homes of the builder’s you are considering. We will register together at the sales centre, to make sure you have representation, and can get down to the details of the various homes. There are a LOT of little details involved in a new build, finishings, landscaping, etc. and knowing the additional costs to the base price will be important in deciding what home you want to proceed on and with which builder.

The purchase contract on a new build is completely different than a resale contract and is subject to GST, so factor that into your budget from the beginning. We will go through it line by line to make sure you get exactly what you are looking for and understand how your transaction will progress through the build.

Another very important part of the process is understanding the home warranty protections for your new home. All new homes must be covered with a new home warranty which basically breaks down to:

  • One year coverage for labour and materials: covers any defects in material and labour related to how the home was constructed and materials used. This may include things such as flooring, staircases, baseboards, cabinets, railings and other trim and fixtures.
  • Two-year coverage for delivery and distribution systems: covers defects related to the electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning delivery systems.
  • Five-year coverage on building envelope protection: The building envelope is the shell of the home, including the roof and walls. It is the separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building, which protects the indoor environment and facilitates climate control.
  • Ten-year coverage for major structural components: Major structural consists of the frame, including the roof’s structural integrity, and the foundation.

You may also be offered a builder’s warranty, which is a contract between you and builder. This is different than the New Home Warranty program and has different protection periods and timelines for submitting a claim. Make sure you know what issues are covered under what policy and be aware of the claim processes and time limits to make sure you stay protected.

Now that you have the contract in place, it really becomes the waiting game for the build to progress through to the point where you will be able to inspect the home to address any easily visible deficiencies before taking possession. And I’ll be with you every step of the way to give you confidence and guide you through the whole process. Visit me on Facebook and Google for more tips and tricks to satisfy all your real estate needs!