There are a lot of things that can delay a new construction home and we experienced many of them – Permit delays with the city, trade strikes, issues sourcing materials.
Will My New Home Be Delayed?
Things get tricky if you are selling one home to move into another, or renting a place that needs notice. I would definitely have a backup plan so you don’t end up displaced because of a construction delay.
I cannot stress how important it is to read every detail of your purchase agreement
What Else Do I Need To Know?
In addition to your actual closing date, there are a lot of other important milestones to be aware of when buying a new construction home. Including meetings with the design centre to make structural and design selections and your deposit schedule.
Right, When Do I Actually Give Them The Monies?
Buying new construction is a little different then buying pre-existing. Instead of handing over a down-payment and making mortgage payments right away, you make a series of deposits to your builder, 4 over the 3 months after you sign your purchase agreement that can add up to 6-10.+% of the purchase price.
What About The Design Center? When Do We Pick Our Finishes And Talk About “Upgrades”?
Most builders split their selection process into two different visits – one to make “structural” selections typically with the builder and one or more for “design” selections.
One of the advantages of buying a new construction home is that you have the ability to customize it to your tastes. These selections are usually made at your builders Design Centre in a series of appointments before your new home is built.
What Kind Of Selections Will I Make At The Design Centre?
All of them.
No seriously. You’ll have to select everything from the colour of your door knobs to the height of your kitchen cabinets. And while some things are going to be standard (aka included in your purchase price) many, many things will be upgrades.
When Will I Visit The Design Centre?
One to Five appointments in total at the design centre. First meeting is typically a couple of weeks after signing your purchase agreement.
- first meeting meet account manager or sales rep and they'll outline the different meetings you'll have.
- second meeting “stage 1” or “structural” selections – this includes any changes to the floor plan as well as cabinetry and electrical changes.
- third meeting your exterior package – these are usually pre-designed packages that includes coordinating siding, stone and paint.
- forth meeting look at all your options for your “stage 2” (or design) selections. This is where you get into the specifics of cabinet doors, flooring, paint colours and more. There's a lot to think about after this meeting.
- fifth meeting you make your final design selections.
How Will I Know What Selections I Will Need To Make?
Generally you will need to select your flooring, cabinetry, hardware and exterior package (siding, brick etc.). There may be multiple variations of your floor plan to pick from and configurations to choose.
What Are Upgrades?
An upgrade is anything in addition or above the standard set by the builder.
How Will I Know What The Builder Standard Is?
For the most part it will be in your purchase agreement, but even that might be vague.
Okay, But What About All The Things That Aren’t Mentioned?
They’re likely going to be upgrades. If there’s something that isn’t specifically mentioned, ask. It’s best to know going in what kind of budget you’re going to need for upgrades.
But, What I See In The Model Home Will Be Standard Right?
Ummmm…maybe? But I would say not likely. If your development has a model home make sure to ask what is standard and if anything you see is an upgrade.
Are Upgrades Ever Included In The List Price?
Absolutely. Some builders include certain “upgrades” in the standard which usually raises the price, but eliminates surprises later on. Other builders may offer special promotions where certain upgrades will be included in the purchase price if you purchase before a specific date, or they may offer a credit to use towards upgrades.
So If, For Example, My Builder Includes Granite Countertops Standard I Won’t Need To Upgrade Right?
Sure…IF you like the standard granite options.
There are levels of upgrades and each level is a different price. And, of course, what you like will usually be the most expensive.
Let’s use this kitchen as an example…
First, the standard kitchen cabinets had uppers that were 30” tall. This kitchen was going to have 9’ ceilings so 30” uppers seemed really short. Right off the bat, you're presented with the option to upgrade uppers to 36” for $725 or 42” for $895.
If granite countertops were not included in your purchase price so replacing the laminate would be an upgrade. Granite can range from Level 1 at $3,550 to Level 5 at $6,450+ and quartz $7,060+.
Then there’s the cabinet doors. The standard doors could all be all wood tones in very traditional styles – not the look you want. If yoiu like a solid colour shaker, a level 2 upgrade and could be at a cost an additional $5,000.
This doesn’t even take into account other upgrades like backsplash tile, under cabinet lighting, pot drawers or corner cabinets.
Yup, upgrades can add up quickly and add thousands or even tens of thousands to the original purchase price.
Do I Have To Upgrade Things?
No, of course not! You definitely don’t need to upgrade. You can pick the standard for everything and not pay a cent more than what is outlined in your purchase agreement.Here’s the problem, you might not like the look of the builder standard or you may want more functionality than the standard offers.
Here’s the thing. Before you sign anything you should understand what is included and be really clear on what isn’t – that way you can start thinking about what you will need to budget for upgrades and whether that still works with your overall budget.Sure, you can upgrade all the things. Or, you can be strategic and upgrade things that may be cheaper (or easier) to have your builder do and leave other things to update later.
Okay, so when my home is built, how do I actually get my keys?
Within a few weeks before your closing date your builder will reach out to set up a Pre Delivery (Orientation) Inspection.
This is an opportunity to walk through your home and point out any things that still need to be finished or any issues that need to be flagged. Mistakes can happen.
There were also a bunch of other things that had not been finished yet that the builder that have to be resolved. If you watch home improvement shows, you’ll hear them sometimes call this a punch list. Make sure you invite your realtor we have trained eyes for finding everything wrong in a room!
So, When I Take Possession That Means Everything Is Done…Right?
Mmmm not necessarily. Luckily you have a full year to keep bringing them back.
Are There Any Other Dates I Need To Be Aware Of After I Take Possession?
Your home warranty program will include a schedule of dates by which you can submit claims if there are any things the builder need to change/fix after you take possession.
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