Thinking About Buying a Home? Think New!

     Typically the process of buying a brand new home takes place over time and in several stages. To begin with, you want to take some time deciding your priorities—what you want, where you want to live and how much you want to spend—and then exploring what's available.
     Discuss with everyone in your household what they want in your new home and surroundings. Make lists of what's important and divide them into must-haves and would-be-nice-to-haves. Also think about what you absolutely don't want to live with.  Our checklist Needs and Wants, can help.
      Next, check ads in your newspaper to get a sense of what builders are offering. Talk to family, friends or co-workers who have recently bought a new home. Browse the Internet for information about builders, homes, communities, products and financing, as well as home buying advice. Talk with your lender and get mortgage pre-approval so you know the price range you should be looking at. Attend a home show to look at the latest in features and finishings, and to meet area builders.
      Now you are ready to see what's available. As you drive around visiting builders' model homes, sales centres and offices, it's a good idea to take notes. That way, it is much easier to make clear comparisons later.
      The key to successful home hunting is to take your time. Don't rush. Take a thorough look at everything and ask questions—lots of them. The builder or salesperson should be ready and pleased to answer each question. Sales centres will often have a complete information package on the homes, the development and the community, including schools and other facilities. Keep in mind that a builder's model home is usually just one of several designs offered by the company—a starting point.
      When it comes to style, layout, features and finishing touches, builders are giving free rein to great design. You will have no trouble finding a home that reflects your preferences and way of living. At the same time, builders understand the importance of convenience—functional layouts, easy work areas and low maintenance products.

      Before you sign a contract with your builder to buy your new home, make sure you know what you are buying. Ask the builder to explain the warranty that is offered before you make a final decision—what’s covered and what’s not. Also verify that the builder is registered with a warranty provider; you can contact the provider by telephone or check their web site.  For more information on new home warranties, see our article New Home Warranties Explained.
      No new home is complete without your personal touch. While builders’ practices vary, they all leave room for you to create the final look of your home. You choose the cabinets, flooring, tiles, lighting and other finishing components. You can add extra features such as fireplaces and mantels. In many cases, you can modify the floor plans, add windows or change the exterior cladding. When you buy a brand new home, you have the opportunity to get what you want, from the beginning.
      Explore our site for tips, articles and checklists to assist you in the new home buying process.