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How to choose a builder for your home

How to choose a builder for your home

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(Photo credit: kadmy/iStockphoto.com)

If you’re looking to buy a preconstruction home, the process is slightly different than buying resale. You’ll have the floor plans to help you decide whether the home’s layout is suitable for your needs and by visiting the builder’s sales centre they can walk you through more details of what the finished product should look like.

The home’s layout is important, but who’s doing the work is a crucial part of the picture, especially since you can’t walk through the property before putting a deposit down. Take time to thoroughly research the builder’s reputation to find out more about what you’re getting into.

Each province has its own regulations for builders. In Ontario, builders are required to be registered with the Tarion Warranty Corporation, a corporation that regulates new home builders and covers any warranty issues. Before any construction starts on the site, they must be registered with Tarion which includes technical tests based on information from the Ontario Building Code and meet certain financial qualifications.

While Tarion does inspect potentially illegal builders, they’re not responsible for inspecting whether a property meets building codes. People buying a home from an illegal builder could put their investment in jeopardy and it’s important that you investigate the company you’re about to make a purchase from.

Another good resource to consult if you’re shopping for a newly built home in Ontario is the Ontario Builder Directory. It details the properties they’ve built within the last ten years, if there were any warranty claims made against it that were not done within a certain time period and with whether Tarion needed to step in to cover homeowner claims. You’ll also want to contact your Better Business Bureau to check whether there were any claims filed against the company that would be of interest.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CBHA) also offers another great resource to helping future homeowners choose their builders. They provide a worksheet that walks you through the questions you should be asking them and what to be looking for when you’re inspecting a previous property. Of course, you’ll want to consult someone either than the builder themselves and a customer reference check should be critical to your decision. Some questions you’d want answered include information on how the buying experience was and the quality of work done in the home with more details found at the CBHA website.

You can also get a better idea of the builder by stepping into their sales centres and having them walk you through a model home tour. Don’t be afraid to ask for the property’s construction supervisor and ask whether they have a spec home that you can look at or whether you’ll be able to visit the construction site. Make sure to have their information in writing, so you’ll know who to contact. Take into account the state of the current job site and how construction looks so far.

If you’re buying a newly built home, you’ll be eligible for an HST housing rebate, depending on where you live. Rebate4U helps you file HST rebates properly and our priority is to provide our clients with the most professional and quality service in obtaining rebates for their new and renovated homes. We are proud to offer our clients the most personal and attentive service, and we make sure that all of our clients are 100% satisfied.

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