Tips for Choosing a Builder

#1. Choose the type of home that meets your lifestyle 

Do you like being close to Sarnia, or would you prefer living outside the city? Do you perfer an up and coming subdivison or are you looking for a lot not in a subdivision? Do you like or dislike the prospect of maintaining a lawn and garden? Where would you like 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? Are you interested in a green and energy efficient home?
 
It's also helpful to read the home sections in major newspapers as well as real estate publications to find out more about new developments in your area that may suit your specific needs.
 

#2. Determine what you can afford

Once you've chosen the location and the 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 ensure that you spend your time wisely on homes within your price range. You should also consider getting a pre-approved mortgage, which will allow you to shop with added confidence.
 
Financing for new construction is different & more complicated than re-sale homes. So DO YOUR HOMEWORK! For information on new home financing, make an appointment with your Mortgage Specialist.
 
#3. Research your builder
 
You'll most likely start your search by visiting the builders Model Home; talk to homeowners in the neighbourhood(s) the builder has built in. Find out if they were satisfied with the level of after-sales service that they received from their builder. Next research on-line. Visit the builders website. If a builder doesnt have one... Beware! Ask the builder or agent representing them for an information package.              
 
I recommend that you look up any builder you're considering on http://www.tarion.com. Simply visit the Licensed Builder Directory section to ensure the builder is registered with Tarion and to review their track record. You'll learn how many homes they have built in the last ten years, and whether they have had any
claims with Tarion over this period.
 
#4. Questions for your Builder
 
Its important to ask as many questions as you can to determine if you want to work with them. This is an interview process so do not be intimidated.
 
Is HST included in your prices?
What are other hidden costs that you find arise frequently? 
Do you have any other model/vacant homes to view at this time?
Do you use energy efficient products?
Do you use licenced trade professionals? 
Are you registered with Tarion? 
Do you outsourse your designs? If so to who?
Is the design included in your price or are we paying the company separately? 
How much approx would that be? Do you know how many revisions that includes?
How many new homes did you build this year?
How many new homes have you built the last 3 years?
How long do it take to build a home? How many times in the last year did you go over that timeline?
Do you give a price per square foot?
What are your average allowances on say a 1800 sqaure foot house?
  

#5. Talk with a real estate lawyer

Before you sign your Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS), which is the contract for the construction of your home, there are a number of steps to take. One of the most important is to have your APS reviewed by a qualified real estate lawyer. Also ask your lawyer if they have dealt with this builder in the past and if their past clients had any issues with them.
 
There are additional steps and issues for you to consider once you have signed your Agreement of Purchase and Sale.   You can find that info on my website under the page " after the signed contract".