You’re ready to make the leap. The thought of finding your dream home is an exciting prospect. Building a new home, customized and tailored to you, even more so! You’ve spent a lot of time thinking about your ideal home, but how much of time have you spent interviewing potential builders?Engaging with a professional builder is an important step in the home-building process. You should feel open to ask any number of questions that come to mind. It’s a process of turning unknowns into knowns. Cost is, of course, one of the first questions you'll want to ask. But setting aside the most obvious one, here is a list of ten important questions you should ask a builder before making your final decision.
1. Is There A List Of Recent Buyers Available To Review?
If they’re an established building company, it means they’ve been at it for a while. They should have a list of references for you to review. If there’s an opportunity to do some scouting before breaking ground, why not take the opportunity?!
2. Is There A Pre-Established Financing Plan?
There are a variety of mortgage loans available through major financial institutions. However, most builders already have a routine financing plan for their construction process through preferred lenders. It’s important to find out early on and see how this can benefit you.
3. Are There Additional Fees Related To The Home Or Development?
Nobody likes hidden fees. That’s not to say there are any attached to your new home, but there can often be development fees and taxes associated with home building. It’s best to ask now so you're prepared.
4. What Can And Cannot Be Customized?
Intertwined with questions of cost is customization. What features may be customized and what are considered standard? Is there any negotiating room?
5. Are There Different Floor Plan And Add-On Options?
Part of the new home draw is often the flexibility to create the exact space you need. Can the basement be left unfinished? Can a deck or porch be added to the exterior? If it’s being built from the ground up, build it to meet your needs.
6. Does The Price Include Landscaping And Are There Any Guarantees?
Landscaping costs can add up when it comes to a new build, depending on your ambitions. Many builders include some form of landscaping, but it’s important to clarify and investigate further. Are there quality assurances with new grass and new trees?
7. What Does Your Warranty Program Cover?
Once your new build has been planned, it’s time to discuss the warranty. As of February 2014, every new home built in Alberta is protected under Alberta’s New Home Buyer Protection Act. Coverage is provided by home warranty providers. Make sure you know exactly what you'll be covered for in your new home.
8. What Are The Estimated Property taxes? When Did They Last Increase?
It’s time to dive into the details. This question may sound pretty basic, but knowing how much you'll need to budget for in the years ahead is very important!
9. What Kind Of Facilities, Services And Amenities Are In The Neighbourhood?
It’s important to think long term. Everyone’s lifestyle is different and as such everyone prioritizes different local facilities, services and so on. Ask yourself: what am I searching for now? 5 years from now? 10 years from now?
10. Are You Familiar With Any Other Major Development Plans Coming To The Area?
Again, there’s great value in looking ahead. Whether this is your first home, your final home or something in between, it’s important to ask about future development. There are numerous factors that will affect your home's value, and some of them lie in what’s to come.
Aside from inquiring about specific pricing and design, keep the above questions in mind when you interview a builder. At StreetSide Developments, we're here to help. Not only will we provide you with valuable insight into our building practices, but asking important questions ahead of time can spare you from any surprises down the road.