What You Should Know
When you buy a new home you want to get full value for your investment. This means choosing an established and reputable builder - someone you can trust, someone who has the technical skills, a proven track record and a professional business approach.
Fortunately, there are many good builders around and with a little effort you will have no trouble finding someone who is right for you. Before you enter into a contract with anyone, ask questions, lots of them, to make sure it is the kind of company you want to do business with.
(1) Is home building your profession? Home building is a serious business. It takes commitment to keep up with everything that is going on in the industry. It requires solid business skills and a track record of satisfied clients. If a "builder" proposes to build your home part-time, you should proceed with caution. If this builder offers you a "better" financial deal, you need to consider the adage "you get what you pay for."
(2) What is your experience and how long have you been in business? Good builders are proud of their track record, whether they have been in business for three or 30 years. They will tell you about their background, their training and experience, their strengths and what sets them apart from others. They will be honest with you about what they can do for you, when and how much.
(3) Are you a member of a local Home Builders' Association? Membership in a local home builders' association in Ontario means that your home builder is also a member of the Ontario Home Builders' Association and the Canadian Home Builders' Association. Membership in the association is an indication of a builder's commitment to the industry, to the success of their own company and, ultimately, to their customers. They agree to abide by the Code of Ethics set by the Canadian Home Builders' Association.
(4) Are you registered with Tarion Warranty Corporation? Each builder in Ontario must be registered with Tarion Warranty Corporation. Warranty programs provide additional protection for the homebuyers' investment. Ask if your builder is registered with Tarion and find out all the details of your warranty coverage. You can also contact Tarion at www.tarion.com.
(5) Research your builder. Visit your builder's existing sites. Talk to the people who are now living in the neighbourhood and ask them what they thought of the home buying process they received from the builder. Ask your builder for a list of purchasers willing to talk to them about their experience.
Remember, when you buy a new home you are also "buying" the builder. It is important to pay as much attention to choosing the right builder as you do to choosing the right home.