The Open Door Blog
Whether you own a new home or condo, are considering buying one, or just love to dream about it, the Open Door blog is here to share stories that can help you protect what is likely the biggest investment of your life.
The Open Door blog is published by Tarion, a non-profit corporation that administers Ontario’s New Home Warranty Plan and registers all new home builders in Ontario. Click here to learn more about us.
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You’re ready to buy a newly built home and you’ve narrowed down your choices to a select few communities that are just right for you. The next decision is to find a development and a home that fits you and your needs.
It’s not an easy decision. Nor is it one to make lightly. The key, however, is to find the right builder who will build you a house that you’ll soon call home. To help you get started we’ve compiled five questions you should ask your home builder before committing to a contract.
If you have a chance, talk to homeowners in the neighbourhood and ask them about their experience with the builder and their home. Did they have issues during construction, and if so, how were they resolved?
1. Can I have a list of your older projects?
You want your new home to stand the test of time, so it’s a good idea to visit homes and developments that the builder has previously built. When checking out these older projects, pay close attention to the exterior structure of the home or building.
If you have a chance, talk to homeowners in the neighbourhood and ask them about their experience with the builder and their home. Did they have issues during construction, and if so, how were they resolved? Did the builder provide good customer service after the sale and after you took possession? These are all important questions to ask.
2. What are your long-term plans for the community?
In many instances, new homes and condo projects are constructed in areas that don’t already have an established community. So you’ll want to understand what the builder has planned for the neighbourhood you may call home. How far is the nearest food market or school? Where will the parks be built? Are there plans to build additional homes in future phases of the project?
3. What finishes come standard?
Cost is a key driving force when it comes to making decisions about your new build. Ask your builder for a list of standard features and finishes that are included in the purchase price and the upgrades that come at an extra cost.
To stay within your cost budget and avoid impulse buys, make decisions about finishes before seeing the model home, which will usually have the more expensive upgraded finishes.
4. Are there any special financial incentives?
Home builders will often offer financial benefits to attract buyers and some perks could save you into the thousands of dollars, so it pays to ask. Examples of financial incentives offered by builders include a lower interest rate compared to other lenders or a locked interest rate for no extra charge.
5. Who do I contact if something goes wrong?
Countless people are involved in the construction of a new building or development. If something goes wrong during construction, you’ll want to know who you can count on to provide the information you need.
Ask your builder for the name and contact information of the person(s) who will be the main point of contact throughout the construction process. This will help ensure you establish good communication between you and your builder from the beginning – a critical asset for maintaining a good relationship.
Before signing the contract for your new home and development, these questions can help you ensure that you’re making the right decisions. You’ll also want to consider asking these additional questions as you research your new home builder.
Learn more about how to protect yourself during the new home buying process here.
The goal of this blog is to provide you with general information about the warranty process by sharing real experiences from new homeowners. The blog should not be relied upon as legal advice. For privacy reasons, we will not address or resolve current cases in a public forum, so any comments or questions that are posted on this site that describe individual cases cannot be discussed. If you have a question about your warranty or Tarion generally, we would be pleased to discuss your issue, in the context of your particular circumstances and in confidence. We exercise reasonable care to avoid offensive, illegal or defamatory content from being posted, as well as comments that are intended solely for self-promotion or considered to be spam.