[ Please read until the end of this article for links to builders with Quick Possession Homes available in Central Alberta. ]
When shopping for your home, you'll discover that most homes on the market are resales. Yet, one out of four homebuyers purchases a new home. Both new homes and resales offer advantages. Before you make a decision, let's . . .
- offer innovative use of space and style
- greater energy efficiency
- a choice of options and upgrades
- everything is new, and modern
As you can see, there are advantages to both. Most people consider both new and existing homes before they decide to purchase. Should you be thinking about buying a new house, here are 10 points to consider before you visit your first show home.
- on the average they are less expensive
- often they are in established neighbourhoods with mature landscaping
- homes have already settled, fencing is done, landscaping is done, etc...
1. Determine a Comfortable Price RangeBefore you visit your first show home, sit down with your mortgage broker and do your homework. You'll want to be prepared so that you can determine a comfortable price range for your new home. If you own a home, you'll first need to know the net proceeds from its sale in order to determine how much cash you'll have to work with. Don't simply estimate this but carefully calculate every possible selling cost. Determine the size of your down payment, then work out a monthly debt load so you can determine a comfortable price range.
2. Builder Salesperson Versus Buyer's AgentHere's a good point to remember. The salespserson in the show home represents the builder, not you. As a buyer you can choose to work with a buyers' agent at typically no additional cost. It's his/her business to best represent your needs by being knowledgeable about home construction, warranties, financing, differences in pricing, quality, even lot selection so that you get the best value for your money. Important: In-order for you to be represented by a buyer's agent they need to be in attendance with you on your very first visit to the show home.
3. A Builder For All ReasonsLike all tradesmen, builders vary in their fields of expertise. For example, there are builders who specialize in custom homes or acreage properties, and others who build a large volume of homes every year in the city. Determine your own specific needs or preferences, then shop around for a builder that will best address your requirements.
4. Get the Facts About Your BuilderBefore making a final decision, it is wise to check out the reputation and financial strength of the builder. Get "spec sheets" on home features covering everything from floor plans to energy efficiency, including lot availability and delivery of your home.
5. Check Out the Neighbourhood
- Learn as much as you can about the community.
- Discover what amenities it has to offer.
- Investigate if financial reserves have been set aside to build major amenities like parks or schools.
- Find out from local land-use officials what else is planned or could be constructed in the area, especially where vacant land is applicable.
- Review the rules for the homeowner's association, or find out if one will be set up.
- Think of how you will be affected by commuting routes and times.
6. Choosing Options and UpgradesThe less expensive the base price of the house is, the more options and upgrades you can add without fear of overpricing it for the neighbourhood. Options are items the builder completes during construction at your request, such as finishing the basement development. These features can add resale value to your home. Upgrading means selecting quality above "builder standard" such as carpeting, tile, detailing, kitchen fixtures and appliances. Be sure to take advantage of builder incentives that offer free upgrades or credit off the sale price. Remember, you can always add a deck, finish a basement or do the landscaping later and sometimes for less money.
7. Negotiations and Lot SelectionOften, buyers don't realize that there may be room for negotiating on price, upgrades or options. For example, you may have some scope for negotiating with the builder if they have completed a spec home but hasn't sold it. Builders may offer discounts or incentives to help close a sale in a slower market. Also, some "premium lots" are priced higher and are sometimes saved to be sold last. You may be able to request and negotiate on one of these lots in advance, but you will typically have to wait longer to build in that section. Be sure to secure the best lot location you possibly can from the options available without going over your budget. Lots that are flat in the back yard are always best for re-sale. Avoid lots that slope, narrow from front to back, or have retaining walls.
8. Be Sure the Contract Works in Your Favour!When spelling out the particulars of an agreement with your builder, ensure you protect yourself by having safeguards written into the agreement, such as:
- understanding if / how you can get your deposit back if something happens;
- detailing your upgrades;
- allowing you access to the construction site to check on progress;
- a 30-day advance notice of the closing date.
- an explanation of what the fine print means in the warranties of the builder and manufacturer.
9. Financing - What's Best for You?Some builders, especially in high-volume communities, will allow you to secure traditional financing. This means your mortgage starts as soon as you get the keys from the builder. With custom homes or smaller builders, they will often require "draw financing". This is where your lender will make lump sum payments to the builder at different stages of construction. You will be making mortgage payments during these stages (before you are living in the home). However, because "new home" lending is highly competitive, you have many financing choices. The government may even lend you up to 10% of the purchase price towards your down payment, under the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive. Make sure to get pre-qualified by your mortgage broker before you go shopping, and understand all of your options.
10. Just Because it's New.... - Doesn't Mean it's PerfectYes, it's new and typically it's built with modern materials that are durable, low maintenance, stronger, quieter, and safer. But because nothing is perfect, even if it's new, consider hiring a reputable, licensed home inspector. Then create a builder "punch list", from what you've learned to address any problems before closing. Consider budgeting for items to be modified or added later on. Many new home buyers use a buyer's agent to help them negotiate the best price and terms with the builder.Here's a fact that you may not be aware of, some builders have newly-constructed homes available for quick possession. Usually these homes are completed or ready to move into within 30 days. This is an advantageous way to purchase a home if you need to move in quickly, or need a physical space to walk through and see before you sign a contract.
If you would like to inquire or go see any of the homes below, just let us know!
Contact Warren Hansen for more details.
Call / Text: 587-377-5686
A) To View Resale Homes Click Below:
B) To View Quick Possession Builder Homes Click Below:
Abby Platinum Master Built
Mason Martin Homes
Deer Run Homes
San Maria Homes
McGonigal Signature Homes