Tips for Buying New Builder Homes in Ottawa

Here are some tips for you when you plan to buy a new builder’s home in Ottawa.

First, people may not know this, but when you plan to purchase a new builder home, you can also use a real estate agent, the service does not cost you. In fact the agent will be representing you and will watch for the best interest & needs of yours. At the end of the transaction it will be the builder who will pay the commission to the agent, thus making it a free service for you, the buyer.

Today I wanted to list out some tips you may consider when purchasing a new builder house.

1. Visit the show homes

Usually show homes are the most upgraded version of the houses, so don’t be fooled to think that your new home would look exactly the same, with the lowest price range that the builder states on their pamphlet. Most things that you see in a model home are considered upgrades. Do ask questions on what comes in a standard package versus upgraded and how much do the upgrades are charged with HST.

2. Visit builder’s older neighborhoods

Visit the previous areas the builder has worked on and find out if the customers were happy with the service that were provided by the builder. Most new houses might require repairs in the first years(land settles, wall cracks, quickly finished details, etc.) Find out how responsive the builder has been to the needs of their clients.

3. Find the reputation of the builder

These days most reviews can be found online, sites like has reviews by people, although nothing beats the direct access to ask a friend or relative who has dealt with the builder of your choice. One can also look at Ontario Builder Directory to find out if the builder you like is registered or not.

4. Hire an inspector

You may think that its a new home and what can go wrong? I would have to disagree with that statement, its your biggest investment, purchasing the house, why would you want to make an uninformed decision on your investments. By hiring an inspector to go through the brand new house you will have a full report (Electrical System, Fireplace, Insulation, Furnace, Water heater, Roof) of where things are incorrect and where the builder has cut corners. Any experienced inspector will be able to provide you a detail report which you can use to request for fixes from the builder.

5. Be careful of surprising closing costs

Your total closing cost and not including your additional upgrade should be around 1.5% to 4% of your purchase price. Always read the fine print in the agreement of your purchase agreement of the builder, there could be developer fee added on. Get a total cost of it in writing before the closing.
Your regular closing cost to consider may include hydro and gas meter installation, land transfer tax, bank appraisal fee and legal fees.

I hope these tips will help you in finding the right builder for you new home, as mentioned, it is always an advantage for you to use a real estate agent to help you in the process of finding your new home.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

I hope you have had a great start to the holiday season…


Author: Nilay Ertemur

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