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BUILDING A HOME
Purchasing a home should begin with questions - lots of questions to help you make the right decisions about the builder you choose and the home you buy. Asking questions also helps you to understand the buying process and eliminates any uncertainty you may have about it. Here are some of the common questions that home buyers ask in consumer seminars, in calls to local Home Builders' Association offices and at builders' sales centres.

HOW DO I FIND THE RIGHT BUILDER?
The Canadian Home Builders' Association is a good place to start to get the names of professional builders in your area. Also ask friends and family for recommendations. Talk with several builders before you make your final choice. Check each company and the quality of their homes. Visit model homes or sales offices. Compare facts and figures about every builder. How long have you been in business? Where have you built before? Where are you building now? Can I see one of your construction sites? Ask about builders' customer service and third party warranty. Ask for references from past customers and follow up on them.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO BUILD MY HOME?
Usually it takes between 8 and 16 months to construct a new home, depending on size, design, the season, permits and a number of other factors. In larger developments, construction of your home may not begin until a certain percentage of the homes have been pre-sold, to ensure an efficient and cost-effective construction process. Your builder will provide you with a detailed schedule so you'll know exactly what to expect and when.

CAN I MAKE CHANGES TO THE DESIGN?
Today, customizing is the norm, not the exception. Often, your chosen plan can be modified, before the foundation is built, to suit your own needs and desires - for example, moving walls, expanding closets, adding windows. However, each builder has a different approach, so ask about flexibility and limitations in the design.

CAN I VISIT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE TO WATCH THE PROGRESS OF MY HOME?
Seeing your home take shape can be an exciting aspect of buying a new home. Ask your builder about the company's policy on site visits and what arrangements are required. Keep in mind that for safety reasons, you should not enter the construction site for an unscheduled visit.

WHAT IF THERE IS A DELAY IN FINISHING THE HOME?
Both you and the builder want to see your home completed on time, and in the vast majority of cases your home will be ready to move into as scheduled. Very rarely, delays do happen as a result of the unforeseeable - most often, sudden shortages of material or labour. Ask your builder to explain in detail what you can expect in case of delay - notification requirements and so on - and make sure that it is covered in the agreement of Purchase and Sale.

Professional home builders welcome your questions. They know a well-informed customer is most often a satisfied customer - the greater your confidence in them, the more satisfying the process for both of you.

For more information on building/buying a new home go to www.chba.ca.

 

 
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