So you've decided to buy & build a new home, Congratulations! Building a new home is an exciting venture; but it can also be a stressful experience if you don't plan ahead. Here are some things to consider when you're purchasing a new construction:
Research the Developer
Not all developers are created equal and some are more ethical than others. Who you buy from is just as important as what and where you buy, so choose wisely. A good start on your research is to make sure the developer/builder is a member of the Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA).
Be prepared for delays
When you buy a home already constructed, you approach the closing date, and as long as the lawyers do their part and the money changes hand, you can move in as planned. This is not always the case with new construction; there can be delays caused by supply shortages, worker strikes and everything in between. If you're selling your current home and have a closing date set, have a 'plan B' in case you can't move in to your new home as planned. You may have to put your possessions in storage and stay with friends or family for a time.
In a regular real estate transaction, you can alter and tweak the Agreement of Purchase and Sale to suit your tastes. Everything from the window coverings to the price can be negotiated. There is less room for negotiation with a new home construction, especially when it comes to price and payment due dates.
Have your cash ready
You're going to have to make some cash payments along the way - these dates will be set out in the contract. Typically, you will need to pay when you initially sign the contract; then another payment halfway through the build, and the final one will be on or about the closing date. The dates and amounts will be clearly set out in the contract.
Plan for the Future
When you choose your new home and neighbourhood, choose with the future in mind as well as the present. Is your family growing? Then you may want to ensure there are schools and parks nearby. If you're going to be an empty-nester in a few years, then you may want a quieter neighbourhood. Layout, too, should be considered. For example, if stairs are going to be a problem down the road, then a bungalow may be more practical.
The biggest benefit of purchasing a new home over an existing one is that you can choose the home of your dreams; you get to choose everything from your kitchen cupboards to flooring. If you know what to expect in advance, you'll be able to handle the challenges and obstacles that may come your way during the process.