Building or Buying? Make sure to ask Questions!
One of the biggest decisions a person can make these days is to buy a home. Whether it’s a $450,000 custom build or a $160,000 carefree condo, buying your first home is a huge commitment and you want to make sure you ask the right questions and get the appropriate answers.
One question that is asked a lot is “do I really get what I pay for?” which comes from that place of “if it costs a lot of money it must be good right?”
The answer to both questions is a frustrating “it depends.”
What does it depend on? Ultimately it depends on your builder. You need to know the right questions to ask (and the answers to listen for) before you take the plunge into home ownership.
What is included in the cost? Simple but important. Find out the whole cost when considering a home purchase. Is tax included? Is the lot price included? Make sure that final cost from the builder/seller is truly the final cost.
Be direct and to the point with your questions. Don’t beat around the bush. We tend to think direct
questions are rude and often have an expectation that “if it is important, they will tell me”, but this is
not always the case. Remember that you’re the one spending the big bucks – don’t shy away from
asking questions and don’t settle for anything other than a clear response.
What finishes are included and what’s extra? Do not assume anything. Make sure you know what you are getting for your money.
How do I know my new home will be built well, and will be safe for my family? Ask to see an
occupancy permit. Nobody ever asks to see an occupancy permit on a new build. Most people don’teven realize there is such a thing. A new home has to pass a series of home inspections to ensure they meet the minimum requirements of the building code. Everything from the foundation, the framing, the plumbing and more are looked at in detail throughout construction before an occupancy permit is issued.
Speaking of inspections, the people responsible for such things in the Morden-Stanley-Thompson-
Winkler region are MSTW. Before you buy, feel free to call them and ask if there were any concerns or red flags on a build. They would be happy to tell you.
Can I exchange included items for credits? Maybe a new home includes appliances but you already have a set you love. Ask if you can exchange the included items for credits or cash off the total price of the home. This is not always possible, but you never know if you don’t ask.
What kind of warranty do I get? This is another question people often forget to ask or simply assume the answer to. You need to make sure the builder believes as much in the home as you do.
Are they willing to offer a warranty and if so, what is it?
Francis Family Homes and Hive Development offer a comprehensive warranty on everything we build AND we are part of the New Home Warranty Program of Manitoba. Ask your builder if they are part of this program.
Are there any ongoing service and development fees you should be aware of? Make sure you ask your builder about this. Sometimes new developments have additional annual fees levied by a city for sidewalk and other city costs over a period of years – above and beyond taxes. You can also ask your city office for an estimate on property taxes, as that will be a consideration for you as well.
Does your contract protect you from increasing supply prices? Say you lock in at $310,000, but the cost of lumber suddenly skyrockets. Are you expected to pay that increased cost or does your contract protect you from this?
If you are buying a condo, make sure you ask about sound proofing! Believe it or not, a good builder can make sure that your condos are so soundproof you’d think you were living in a single-family home.
Ask about the materials used and how many layers of soundproofing there are. At Hive Development’s Lexington on 9 th condos, we use no less than six different layers of soundproofing material between units.
Remember - ask questions – a good builder is not afraid to answer them for you.
If you are considering building a home or buying a new condo, consider giving us a call. We’ll answer your questions and make sure you are comfortable with your investment.
Check us out at www.francisfamilyhomes.com, www.hivedg.ca and www.lexingtonon9th.com.