Checklist for New Home Buyers

There is a lot involved in buying a new home, and a lot of information to gather before you can make final decisions. Doing your homework carefully can get you there sooner, and with greater confidence. To help you get started, here is a checklist of questions to ask and things to consider.

The builder

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • How many homes have they built?
  • Are they full-time builders?
  • What is the training and experience of the builder/key people?
  • What is the company’s niche or strengths?
  • What sets the company apart from others?
  • Do they belong to the Canadian Home Builders’ Association?
  • Do they belong to other industry or business organizations?
  • Is the company registered with a home warranty program?
  • Do they build homes under a “green” labeling program?

The quality of the builder’s homes

  • Tour the builder’s model home(s).
  • Read the company’s spec sheets.
  • Check the builder’s standard inclusions, upgrades and extras.
  • Check the brand names of products used.
  • Visit a building project in progress, if possible.
  • Ask the builder for customer references and contact them.
  • Talk with previous buyers in the builder’s development.

The community

  • Get information on the overall vision and plan for the development.
  • Get detailed information on amenities and services in the development.
  • Walk around to get a sense of the neighbourhood.
  • Note the location of streetlights, postal boxes and bus stops.
  • Ask about the landscaping plan for the development.
  • Check the distance to shopping, schools, health facilities, transportation and other essential services.
  • Get detailed information on the services that are important to your and your family.

The builder’s processes

  • What are the steps in their home buying process?
  • What flexibility and options do they offer in plans and layouts?
  • Do they provide assistance with selection of finishing products?
  • What is the payment schedule?
  • How frequently will they communicate with you during construction?
  • What’s the company policy on site visits?
  • How do they deal with the “what-ifs”, such as delays or mistakes?
  • Do they conduct a walk-through of the home with the purchasers prior to possession?
  • How does the builder’s after-sales service program work?

Check out more details, once you have decided on the home

  • Estimated property taxes.
  • Estimated utility bills.
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