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 in the market for a new home but you’re torn between the glossy sales brochures for a new development and the MLS listings in your desired neighbourhood. Should you buy new or resale? How do you decide? Beyond the obvious appeal of having a home that no one has ever lived in before, there are a number of advantages of buying a new home. The following are seven ways you can benefit from buying new:
Best in class warranty
Almost every new home or condo in Ontario is covered by a new home warranty with up to $300,000 in coverage. From the moment of possession, almost everything the builder provides inside and out is covered in the first year. The major systems inside your home, including the heating and plumbing, are covered for up to two years, and major structural defects are covered for up to seven years.
Homebuilding has seen significant changes in construction techniques and new technology over the last 10 years.
The latest technology
Homebuilding has seen significant changes in construction techniques and new technology over the last 10 years. New homes today often come with efficiency features such as tank-less water heaters, high efficiency condensing furnaces, low-flow showerheads, energy efficient appliances, high-performance windows and “smart” thermostats. This means today’s homes and condos are easier on your utility costs— and the environment — while providing you a home that is as tech savvy as you are.
Registered builders vs. DIY
New homebuilders in Ontario need a licence to build. In fact, it’s the law that they be registered with Tarion. This means that builders must meet financial and technical tests before they can build homes, providing you with some peace of mind about your investment. An older home on the other hand may have changed ownership several times—which could mean it’s seen many years of DIY fixes or renovations that may not meet the current Ontario Building Code. Older homes may also have more hidden issues like faulty wiring, illegal alterations and use of older materials.
A newly built house or condo gives you the opportunity to customize it to your tastes before it’s even built. Depending upon the builder, you can often choose wall colours, design and colour of cabinets and counter tops, types of fixtures in your kitchen or bathroom, floor finishes and the style of interior trim throughout your home.
Under the warranty that comes with a new home, there is coverage for emergency situations that are considered to be within the builder’s control. Some examples include a gas leak in the home, a complete loss of electricity or water, a complete stoppage of sewage disposal or a plumbing leak that requires entire water shutoff. An emergency could also involve something that renders your home uninhabitable for health and safety reasons, such as damage to a home’s structural elements.
Builders are required to address an emergency situation within 24 hours and full repairs must be completed as soon as possible. If you can’t reach your builder in an emergency, you can contact Tarion for help.
Radon is an invisible, odourless, naturally occurring gas that can seep into homes through cracks in basement floors, walls and foundations or gaps around service pipes. Exposure to excessive levels of radon (above the Health Canada guideline of 200 becquerels per cubic metre) can be dangerous to your health. The good news is that your new home warranty protects your home against radon for a full 7 years.
Protection beyond your condo unit
Buying a newly built condo means that you also get access to newly built common elements -- shared areas within the condominium property that can include pools, yoga or sauna rooms, gyms, and wi-fi lounges. Common elements can also include balconies, porches, and backyards, even though these may be individually maintained by unit owners.
While your unit has its own warranty coverage, there is also coverage for Common Elements – this warranty is managed by your condo board. So, if there is a problem in a shared area of your condominium, you can let your property manager or condo board know and they’ll take care of getting it addressed.
So before you go for something pre-loved, consider whether you want your dream home to not only have all the latest features but also some extra protection. For additional home buying tips, visit Tarion.com or check out these videos for further information on the advantages of buying new.
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.