Finding The Right Home

Buying a new home is an exciting and rewarding process. It is also a serious decision and a significant investment. Doing your homework and carefully researching the marketplace means that you will be able to buy your new home with confidence, knowing that you are getting the most for your money from the best in the field.

Once you have determined the price range that you can afford, you can begin to look for your new home. It usually takes time to find the right home at the right price, but the following checklist will help you to get started.

Decide Where You Want To Live. The location of your new home is one of the most important factors you will want to consider. As you explore new neighbourhoods and communities, keep these questions in mind:

  • How far are you prepared to travel to work, school and shopping?
  • Do you prefer to be close to libraries, entertainment and recreational facilities?
  • Is there a hospital and other medical and dental services in the vicinity?
  • Are there environmental considerations such as air pollution or noise from cars, trains or airplanes?
  • Are there public "green spaces" in the immediate neighbourhood?
  • Does the zoning permit tenants and boarders, or a home office?
  • What are the short and long term development plans for the neighbourhood and the surrounding area?
  • What would the neighbourhood be like to live in now? What will it be like five, 10 or more years from now?

Choose A Professional Builder. When you decide to buy a new home, it is important to select a professional builder. The quality of your home is determined by the quality of your builder; and when you buy from a professional builder, you are assured of getting the most value from your investment.

  • Contact your local Home Builders' Association for the names and telephone numbers of member builders. Association members are committed to professionalism in the construction industry and adhere to a strict Code of Ethics.
  • Contact the New Home Warranty Program office in your area for a list of registered builders (if applicable). Most provinces operate a new home warranty program that guarantees against defects and structural failures, and most professional builders belong to the program, where available.
  • How long has the company been in business and on average, how many homes do they build annually?
  • Talk to friends and family members who have recently bought a new home, and ask for their recommendations.
  • Gather at least three names of prospective builders. Contact each of them to discuss your housing needs.
  • Take a good, close look at the builder's model homes. Are they soundly built, and well-finished? How do they compare with other homes by other builders?
  • Ask the builder about the post-sale service "package". Many builders have an established follow-up system after move-in. Compare the service packages of different builders.
  • Request a list of the builder's previous projects and customers. Take a look at some of these homes and talk to the homeowners. Are they satisfied with their home? Did the builder complete construction on time?
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau once you have chosen a builder. Are there any complaints on record? If so, how were the complaints resolved?

Source: Calgary Region Home Builders' Association