1. Choose the type of home that meets your lifestyle needs
Do you like being close to downtown, or would you prefer living outside the city? Do you like the prospect of maintaining a garden? Where do you want your children to attend school? These are lifestyle decisions that play a large role in the new home buying process.
You also have more design choices than ever before. Would you like a 'smart' home that's pre-wired for your media and entertainment needs, or a gourmet kitchen for entertaining? Or both?
There are two major types of new homes available to you - freehold and condominium - and each has different construction timelines and warranty coverage.
To find out more about new developments that may suit your needs, read the home sections in major newspapers as well as real estate websites such as www.homesmag.com and www.condolifemag.com. Check out Twitter for the latest builder and industry news.
2. Determine what you can afford
Once you've chosen the location and type of new home that fits your needs, meet with a financial representative to determine a mortgage amount that you can comfortably afford. This will help you understand the types of homes that fit into your price range. You should also consider getting a pre-approved mortgage, in order to shop with added confidence.
For more information on new home financing, visit the Canadian Bankers Association at www.cba.ca or call them (toll-free) at 1-800-263-0231.
3. Research your builder
Talk to homeowners in the neighbourhood(s) you're interested in. Find out if they were satisfied with their builder.
Look up any builder you're considering in the Ontario Builder Directory section to ensure they are registered with Tarion. You'll learn how many homes they have built in the last 10 years, and whether they have had any claims with us over this period.
4. Talk with a real estate lawyer
Before you sign your Agreement of Purchase and Sale, or Contract for a Custom Home, have it reviewed by a qualified real estate lawyer. There are other issues for you to consider, which are explained in the Making the Deal section of our website.
5. Prepare for your Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI)
The Pre-Delivery Inspection is probably the first time you'll visit your new home in its completed state - and it's your primary opportunity to learn how to operate and maintain your new home as well as to ensure that everything has been built according to your purchase agreement.
6. Read the Tarion Homeowner Information Package
The Homeowner Information Package should be given to you by your builder before or during your Pre-Delivery Inspection. It outlines your new home's statutory warranty, the responsibilities of both you and your builder, and how Tarion will handle a warranty claim.
Whether you purchase a freehold home or a condominium, we encourage you to read this document in its entirety - and we recommend that you file it with your other new home documents so that you can refer to it in the future.
7. Visit our Online Video Library
Our Online Video Library has a wide range of educational videos designed to help new home buyers learn about statutory warranty coverage and how to make a claim.
8. Complete and submit any required Statutory Warranty Forms on time
Even though most builders will do everything they can to ensure your home is ready when you move in, sometimes items are missing or not working properly.
To help you better understand what is and isn't covered under the statutory warranty, we encourage you to review the Construction Performance Guidelines prior to submitting a Statutory Warranty Form. Additionally, if you believe that there are items missing from your home, we recommend that you refer to your PDI Form or your Agreement of Purchase and Sale to confirm this before you submit a Statutory Warranty Form. To get an item resolved, you should contact your builder and follow our statutory warranty process.
9. Maintain your home
You've made a big investment in your home, so you should take care of it all year round. It's important to remember that the ongoing maintenance of your new home helps to ensure that your statutory warranty rights are protected.
We've created a maintenance guide that addresses common questions and provides tips on how to look after your new home through all four seasons.
10. Enjoy all your new home has to offer!
You've done a lot of research, decision making and waiting by the time you reach this point. Now it's time to enjoy your new home!