With the start of the new year comes new decisions, new beginnings, and for hundreds of thousands of Ontarians each year, new homes.

If your New Year's resolution includes buying a newly built home or condominium:  Congratulations!  This is a huge investment - likely one of the biggest you will ever make in your lifetime.

Hopefully, you have a lot of questions, because asking questions and becoming informed about what's involved in buying and maintaining a new home is the smart approach. 

Tarion can help. 

For instance‚Äč, did you know that almost every new home in Ontario comes with an extensive seven-year warranty, with coverage up to $300,000?

By law, your builder must provide this warranty under Ontario's new home warranty program.  Tarion, a not-for-profit company, administers the warranty program and steps in when a builder is unable or unwilling to fulfil their obligations.

Tarion has more than 40 years of experience in providing warranty protection in Ontario and has a strong track record of consumer protection.  We are not funded by taxpayer dollars.  Our revenue comes mainly from the registration fees and home enrollment fees that builders pay.

To learn more about Tarion and the new home warranty, you can review a wealth of information on our website (Tarion.com), but let me highlight a few key elements.

Even before you take possession, we provide some protection for the deposits of buyers.  If a builder is unable to complete construction, a purchaser's deposit will be covered up to a maximum of $40,000 for freehold homes and up to a maximum of $20,000 for condominiums.

We also provide compensation of up to $7,500 for delayed closings or delayed occupancy.

Once you are in the home, the builder's warranty provides a range of protections that begin with a one-year warranty against defects in workmanship and materials, violations of Ontario Building Code and protection against certain kinds of improper substitutions.

There is a two-year warranty that provides coverage for water penetration through the foundation and building envelope, plus defects in the electrical, plumbing and heating systems and the exterior cladding.

A seven-year warranty protects your new home against major structural defects. 

All of this coverage, up to a maximum of $300,000, begins on the day you take possession of your new home.  But there's more!

Tarion can also provide protection for radon, as well as assistance with relocation expenses or incidental costs associated with repairs made by Tarion.

So, if your new year's plan includes buying a new home or condominium in 2017, do your research, ask questions and get to know Ontario's new home warranty.

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