This is the second in a three-part series by local experts who want to help you find home sweet home. Whether you’re looking, building or buying old or new, here are some tips on how to find your home in the BoQ.
In tracked housing (the kind of homes you’ll find in a classic subdivision, aka “cookie-cutter” homes), the builder chooses the majority of the design and interior options. With this type of purchase you’re typically buying the home and the land.
Find the community you want to live in with the schools, hospitals or other available services you desire.
Determine what product you want—a rowhouse, bungalow, condo or 2-storey, etc. Search the Quinte Home Builders’ Association site for builders to find locations where your home choice is being offered.
Pick A Builder
Tarion, whose primary purpose is to protect consumers of new homes by ensuring that builders abide by the provincial legislation, is a good place to start. Also check the QHBA website. Our local home builder association lists credible builders in the region. Check with realtors or other housing professionals for advice as well.
Meet with your builder to discuss your build interests and sign contracts. Be prepared to put a deposit down when you sign the contract. Tarion currently limits this percentage payment to a maximum of $40,000. Once construction begins, you typically have limited interaction with the building process. Outside of a few options with available design plans and finishes on the inside, you likely won’t be doing a walk through until the home is complete.
If you want more control over your build, go custom. There are usually two routes: you could purchase the land and have a builder build on it, or some custom home builders own land that you can choose from for building.
Be aware of how custom builders work, as it isn’t apples to apples. Some builders work on an allowance system, where they offer a base price and then anything above the base option is an additional cost. Other builders offer turn key solutions, where the price they offer is the final price.
Have A Wishlist
The builder can then create a design based on what you want and provide advice on what they think will or won’t work.
Custom homes usually take between 6 months to 1.5 years, and you’ll be working very closely with the builder on every part of the decision-making process. So make sure you get along with your builder; if you don’t mesh now, it’s going to be a very long year.
They’re professionals who live and breathe building homes. You might only build one house in your lifetime, but this isn’t their first rodeo. Odds are if the builder makes a recommendation, it’s worth listening to.
Be Part of the Team
In a custom-home build, you’ll be an active part of the process: visiting the site, taking layout meetings, doing walk throughs near completion and at completion.
Tarion warranties apply to all types of new builds, with warranties from one to seven years, depending on what part of the home they relate to. Make sure you understand your warranty when you meet with your builder. tarion.com