Home Buying: Top Five Tips


(NC) — Buying a new home can be both an exciting, and at times, overwhelming experience. Choosing the perfect floor plan and designing your dream kitchen are only part of the puzzle. The key to ensuring your experience is a rewarding one is to go through the process with open eyes and ears, reading all important materials and understanding the process from start to finish. Here are some tips to help ensure your home buying experience goes smoothly:

1. Research your builder. All builders in Ontario must be registered with Tarion. The first step when purchasing a new home is to learn whether your builder is registered. This can be done by visiting tarion.com and clicking on “Licensed Builder Directory.” All licensed builders in Ontario are listed in this database as well as their service record for the past 10 years. If you don't find your builder registered here, call Tarion at 1-877-9-TARION to ensure you are not purchasing an illegally built home.

2. Understand deposit protection and delayed closings. Builders are entitled to extend the closing or occupancy date specified in a purchase agreement as long as they provide proper notice. (When proper notice is not given, buyers are eligible for delayed closing or occupancy compensation.) It's a good idea to read up on your rights and responsibilities in delayed closing or occupancy situations.

3. Do a thorough inspection. This ensures that construction is done in a workmanlike manner, is free from defects and is constructed in accordance with the Ontario Building Code. The inspection task generally falls on the homeowner. Some homeowners don't feel that they have the expertise to properly assess the condition of the new house and hire a home inspector to guide them. Remember to ask the inspector if he/she is qualified to assess the work on a newly built home.

4. Take care of your home. All new houses and condominiums in Ontario come with a warranty that lasts seven years from the date of the first possession. In order to ensure your home stays covered, you need to perform regular seasonal maintenance. Check out tarion.com for a full list of season maintenance tasks that should be performed on a new home.

5. Know your warranty rights: Once you provide the down payment for your new home, it's protected under the new Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. This warranty comes with certain obligations, so it's important to understand the statutory warranty process. Your builder is required to provide you with a Homeowner Information Package prior to moving into your new house or condominium which fully explains your rights and obligations. If you do not receive this package, an electronic copy is available at tarion.com.

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