New Home Buying Tips

A typical new home purchase likely starts with a visit to the builder’s model home, which in most instances contains upgrades. A great first step is to review the builder’s standard finish selections. Most new home buyers will select upgrades to suit their personal preferences. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Exterior window finish (it doesn’t have to be white), an upgraded garage door has visual impact, entrance door style and under soffit lighting accents (front and back).
  • Flooring options; hardwood & tile enhance interior appeal and value. There are many options for installation; staggered tile with thinner joints is just one of many installation ideas.
  • Custom paint colours… an up charge but do you really want to move in & paint your new home?
  • Recessed pot lights accents.
  • Kitchens and baths are important elements to your new home so review design options (a visit to the kitchen suppliers showroom and meeting with a design consultant is highly recommended).
  • Discuss adding extra bracing for future built-ins like a flat screen TV and rough-in a conduit chase to hide wires.
  • If construction permits, select locations for your phone and cable outlets to suit your needs.

  1. How will your home sit on the lot? Each building lot has a predefined envelope which your home will need to fit within. Ask to review the lot plan for your new home to better understand how your home will sit in relationship to the lot boundaries, surrounding homes, sidewalks and location to what is referred to as lawn furniture (hydrants/electrical boxes).
  2. If not present in the contract, insist upon a solicitors review clause so that you can review covenants, contracts and Tarion Warranty (typically in addition to the purchase price) for clarity. Some contracts contain a clause that adds additional expenses for rock excavation; if encountered on the lot, this can add up.
  3. Exterior selections may still be available for you to select from shingles to exterior brick and siding. The best recommendation here is to preview not just the small sample board, but to preview homes that may have one or all of the selections you are considering; a sample board does not give you the big picture you need.
  4. Look beyond the home to the location and how it fits your lifestyle and future needs, from schools to parks, services, amenities, future traffic patterns and planned future development (that empty land adjacent may be a future shopping centre).
  5. Conduct a framing inspection to preview your home before the drywall goes up. If you made a design change to an interior wall, added an extra window, this is a great time to preview that this is in the right place.
  6. New homes are typically marketed at a price that is referred to as “Net HST Included”. What this means is that when purchasing a home for principal family residence, the purchase price marketed includes the Net HST. The Net HST is the total applicable HST less any applicable rebates (government rebates are credits on HST indexed to purchase price up to $400,000). Any government rebates due are then assigned by you to the benefit of the Seller as your purchase price is pre-adjusted in your favour for
    the rebate credit. Though, a little confusing, what is important to understand is a new home market-
    ed to include “Net HST” is not then subject to an additional 13%. If you are purchasing a home above $400,000 and add extra additional investments to the purchase price, they will be subject to the full 13% HST as the maximum rebate will have been met. Lastly if you are purchasing for rental investment, the Net HST should be adjusted off the purchase price and you will need to pay the full HST on closing and then apply for the HST Rebate following closing per CRCA Guidelines including the need to provide a minimum one year residential lease.
  7. The Tarion Pre-delivery Inspection (PDI) is an on-site meeting with you and the builder’s representative (typically site supervisor) to review your new home in its completed state (seasonable items may still be outstanding). It is an opportunity to get to know the features of your home and to list any incomplete and/or missing items outstanding prior to occupancy. Like any real estate transaction, stating items in writing is the best route.
  8. Enjoy your new home! In addition to your own builder’s featured extras, you are benefiting from years of home building experience and continually improving building codes. This makes your new home better than ever before.