Select one of the frequently asked questions below to learn more about buying, selling, and renting real estate. Also, begin to think about important things to consider when diving into your real estate search.
Question about Pro-Construction Homes and Condos
Why should I buy a Home or Condo at Pre-Construction Stage?
Buying your home or condo during pre-construction stage can get you a huge savings and also allows you a much wider selection of floor plans and locations within the building.
What Are The Advantages Of Buying A Brand New Home from A Builder?
- New, clean home, which will result in less maintenance, less repairs and in return, less expenses.
- Choices of décor and finishes, resulting in a home that meets your tastes, rather than someone else’s.
- Home is Covered Under TARION Warranty Corporation
What Is The Tarion Warranty Corporation?
Tarion is a government regulated organization which regulates/licenses all builders and vendors of new homes in Ontario, and provides the following safeguards and benefits to all new home purchasers, namely:
- Deposit protection of up to a maximum of $20,000
- Provides a one-year all purpose warranty against defects in workmanship and materials
- Provides a two-year “power train” warranty against defects regarding the electrical, plumbing and heating delivery/distribution systems, as well as violations of the Ontario Building Code’s health and safety provisions
- In addition to providing warranty coverage for the individual unit, (up to a maximum of $150,000), Tarion provides warranty coverage for the common elements of the condominium, (up to a maximum of $2.5 million)
- Protection against major structural defects
- Protection against substitutions of key elements in a new home made without the purchaser’s approval, in those cases where the agreement of purchase and sale expressly allows the purchaser to make choices regarding such elements
- Provides compensation to purchasers for delayed closings
See tarion.com for details of warranty coverage and limitations.
How Is Your Interim Occupancy Date Established?
Your interim occupancy date is the target date upon which it is estimated in your agreement of purchase and sale, that your home will be completed to permit occupancy. This date is dependent upon a number of factors, including the achievement of a threshold level of sales to permit the commencement of construction of the condominium building, and the particular location of your suite. You will be kept up-to-date on the progress of the development, and will be given a revised occupancy date, once it has been established by the builder. Even though you will be moving into your new home on the firm occupancy date, you will not be getting title to it at that time, since the condominium will not be registered.
What Is Condominium Registration?
Registration refers to the formal creation of the Condominium Corporation. The process is initiated when the builder submits plans and paperwork to the requisite governmental authorities, once all of the units and common elements within the project have been substantially completed. The condominium’s declaration and description are ultimately registered in the land titles office, following their approval by the requisite governmental authorities. The entire process may take approximately two to five months following your interim occupancy.
What Is A Homeowner Orientation (HOO)?
Your Homeowner Orientation is more than just an inspection or the statutory Tarion PDI Inspection of your new home, it is an opportunity for you to learn all about your new home, it’s care and your community.
When Do I Get My Keys?
Keys are given to you on the date that you take possession of your new home, and are part of the closing package you receive from your Concierge. Included in your closing package are any keys/access fobs required for common areas, two sets of keys to your home, two mailbox keys and more.
What Is Final Closing?
Final closing is the date upon which you will receive title to your home (unit), and will occur approximately four to six weeks after the condominium (including all requisite by-laws) has been registered.
On final closing, the purchase and sale transaction governed by your agreement of purchase and sale will be completed in accordance with the statement of adjustments prepared by the Builder, in order to account for outstanding occupancy fees, realty taxes, common expenses, etc. At this time, your lawyer will receive a deed/transfer of title to your home (for ultimate registration), in exchange for your payment of the outstanding balance of the purchase price.
Can I Buy Extra Parking Or Locker Units?
Usually the Parkings and Lockers are limited in number. Most builder will allow you to buy additional parking or locker if there is enough inventory. You will be put on a waiting list and contacted by builder once a parking or locker is available.
Will I have a choice to Select My Own Colors And Finishes?
For Pre-consturction properites, you always are invited by the builder to select the colors and Finishes (Tiles, Kitchen Cabinets & counters, carpets, etc). This will happen shortly after the builder has started the construction.
Am I Allowed To Have Pets in my condo?
Pets are generally allowed in the Condominiums but it’s strongly advised to refer to the rules and regulations of your condominium before you buy it.
Question about Mortgages
Can a home depreciate in value?
Generally, real property never depreciates in value, or more so, it is not very common for property to depreciate. This is why it’s a great investment. Make sure you carefully consider location and community when choosing a home, it can effect the homes future value greatly.
If you are in a newly developed area, do some research on the construction of the surrounding areas being developed to determine if they may effect your homes value.
Is an older home as good a value as a new home?
This is really just a matter of preference, but both newer and older homes offer distinct advantages, depending upon your unique taste and lifestyle.
Older homes can generally cost less than new homes, however, there are many cases where new homes can also cost less then older homes. Most new homes will not have any backyard landscaping and some don”t include any front landscaping either. With an older home, the landscaping is normally already completed and could have 10”s of thousands of dollars in landscaping done, which is included in the purchase price.
Taxes on some older homes may also be lower. Some people are charmed by the elegance of an older home but shy away because they”re concerned about potential maintenance costs. Consider a home warranty to get the peace of mind you deserve. A good Home Warranty plan protects you against unexpected repairs on many home systems and appliances for a full year or more after you move in.
In a new house, you can pick your own color schemes, flooring, kitchen cabinets, appliances, custom wiring for TV”s, electrical, computers, phones and speakers, etc., as well as have more upgrade options. Modern features like media rooms, extra-large closets and extra-large bathrooms and tubs are also more attainable in ground-up construction. In a used home, you rely largely on the previous resident”s tastes and technological whims, unless you plan to farm thousands into a remodeling and rewiring.
New-home designers can use new building materials such as glazed Energy Star windows, thicker insulation and other technology that will lower future energy costs for the owner. Most states now have minimum energy-efficiency requirements for new construction. Kitchens and laundry areas in new homes are designed to house more efficient energy-saving appliances. Older homes, unless they have undergone an energy retrofit, usually cost much more per square foot to air-condition and heat.
Builders have to follow very strict guidelines in new-homes and additions, especially in the West and Northwest, where earthquake safety standards must be observed. In general, new homes are usually more fire-safe and better accommodating of new security and garage-door systems.
Older homes can be better judged for their quality and timeless beauty. New homes that now possess a smooth veneer might reveal the use of substandard building materials or shoddy workmanship over time.
As you can see there are advantages and dis-advantages to each, but it really comes down to what fits you and what you are looking for in a home.
What is the difference between being prequalified and preapproved for a loan?
If you’re prequalified it means that you POTENTIALLY could get a loan for the amount stated to you, assuming that all of the information you provide to the bank is accurate and true. This is not as strong as a preapproval.
If you’re preapproved, it means that you have undergone the extensive financial background check, which includes looking at your credit history, previous tax returns and verifying your employment – and the lender is willing to give you a loan, basically meaning you’re approved!
You will usually be provided an accurate figure which shows the maximum amount that you are approved for. Most builders prefer buyers that have been preapproved because they know that there will not be any problems with the purchase of their home.
What is title insurance?
Title insurance is insurance that protects the lender and buyer against any losses incurred from disputes over the title of a property.
How is interest calculated on a mortgage loan?
Most mortgages originated today calculate interest in arrears, unlike consumer loans which calculate interest to the date of payment receipt. As an example, when borrowers pay their February mortgage payments, they are paying the January interest. This method of calculating interest is based on a 360 day year in which each month has 30 days.
Is there a minimum credit score?
Not really but a credit score of 660 or above is considered to be a good score by lenders