The purchase of a new home is an exciting endeavour. Due diligence during the buying process will ensure a quality home that your family will enjoy for many years.

The first step is to choose an area that suits your lifestyle. A family may prefer to live close to good schools and amenities geared towards children and a professional may prefer to live close to downtown. Your priorities will dictate where you will be most comfortable.

Once you have chosen a location the next question is what can you comfortably afford. A consultation with a representative from your financial institution will provide you with information regarding the price range within your reach. A pre-approved mortgage will allow you to shop with added confidence.

The next step is to choose a builder. It is always wise to contact a number of builders that offer new homes in the area and price range that suit you. Check out company websites, model homes and each builder’s approach to dealing with potential homebuyers. In Ontario every home builder must be registered with Tarion – a new home warranty program that protects a home buyer from costs incurred if a builder fails to address deficiencies in a new home. A search on the TARION website will tell you if the builder is registered and if there is any history of claims. It is also a good idea to check to see if the builder is a member of the London Home Builders’ Association as members receive information and training in the latest technologies and codes. Get references from past customers and follow up. Following these steps, will give you a solid foundation for comparison and decision making.

After you have chosen your builder it is time to get down to details. Most new home builders offer a great selection of finishes for cabinetry, trim, flooring, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures etc. This process can be overwhelming for the homebuyer and consultation with a professional designer may be very helpful. Many new home builders offer designer consultation as part of their sales package. Often builders offer the option of changing floor plans by moving walls, expanding closets or adding windows. Each builder addresses those changes differently so be sure to ask if you can make changes and what the costs may be.

Before signing your Agreement of Purchase and Sale have your lawyer review it and advise if any changes should be made. The agreement should include the selling price, payment schedule and closing date along with detailed plans and finish schedule.

Seeing your home being built is an exciting aspect of the process of buying a new home. Simply driving by will keep you informed as to the progress of the build. Always ask your builder about their policy regarding site visits and how to arrange them. Any time you step onto a construction site, provincial safety laws require you must have the proper safety gear. To ensure compliance, usually the home buyer will only be allowed to visit when there is little or no construction activity.

The Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) is usually the first time you visit your new home in its completed state. The PDI provides you with the opportunity to learn how to operate and maintain the systems in your new home and to identify any deficiencies that need to be addressed. TARION provides a publication called “Getting Ready for Pre-Delivery Inspection” which is available online and will help you to understand the process. A PDI Checklist is also available to ensure that the PDI is thorough.

Never hesitate to ask your builder anything that is on your mind. A well informed home buyer ensures a far more enjoyable and satisfying experience for both you and your builder.

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