Almost one in every three homes purchased in Canada are bought directly from a builder. A pre-construction home can be a perfect fit for many homebuyers, as they are typically less expensive than their ready-built counterparts. Buying into a promise, pre-construction homes give families the opportunity to be the first to create lasting memories in a space.
As a real estate broker and the Founder of City Accord Realty Inc., Michelle Kam has been working in real estate for as long as she can remember. With extensive experience amassing a very large and loyal client base, she is here to break down everything you need to know about buying a pre-construction home.
Determine Your Budget
A pre-construction home is a house you buy before it is constructed, which means you will be buying a home off of blueprints or a 3D computer rendering. The first step on your pre-construction home buying journey is finalizing a realistic budget and having a mortgage broker pre-qualify you. Once you have done that, Michelle Kam explains that you should define your requirements for a home/condo, make a list of the amenities you need in your neighbourhood, and of course, find a great real estate agent to help you achieve those goals.
Define Your Home Requirements
First things first: defining your requirements. Understanding what you need from your home will aid in your search. You want to limit your requirements to what you feel is absolutely necessary and prioritize those. The more requirements you have, the harder it will be for your real estate agent to match you with various properties. The same goes for your amenities—create a list of requirements and prioritize them to make the process as smooth as possible.
Develop a Negotiation Strategy
Before you visit a presentation centre, Michelle explains that you will want to ask your realtor to provide you with any marketing materials and available floor plans. Prior to stepping into the presentation centre, have a plan for which units you will consider as well as a negotiation strategy. For example, you may want to express interest in a cheaper unit so that they can ‘up-sell’ you to the one you are actually interested in—this may offer an incentive for the ‘up-sell’. Michelle Kam suggests visiting at least five presentation centres before considering making an offer. Taking your time to weigh the pros and cons of each development can ensure you make a well-informed decision.
Once you have decided on a development, Michelle explains that a ‘cooling-off’ period exists in which the home is committed to you, but you have 7 to 10 days (depending on the province) to back out and get your full deposit back. Once the purchase has been finalized, Michelle Kam tells her buyers to expect delays, but explains that warranty programs offer protection for new build homes including closing coverage, protection for your deposit, and the cost of repairs should there be issues in the construction of your home.