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Great advice for your new home build.

Does the smell of fresh lumber make you smile?

Perfect, we got your attention just in time. Whether you're looking to build a home or want to buy one just-built — here are some things you need to know.

Love the idea of being the first owner?

Building a home is very exciting, but the process can get a bit overwhelming with so many details coming at you. Here is some important info to consider if you're thinking about a newly-built home to call your own.

An experienced Realtor can be a big help.

  • Seek out a realtor who is experienced with new home purchases. A good realtor will help you evaluate various communities, builders, plans and finishing options.
  • Do your research! Look for realtor reviews online and even ask them for past client referrals. Or, one of our expert brokers can offer a realtor referral based on our long-term, trusted relationships within the industry.
  • Make sure you consult with a realtor BEFORE walking into builder showhomes. And your realtor should go with you, at least for the first visit, to help you register with the builder.
  • When buying pre-construction, ask your realtor if the builder has any nearly-complete projects you can view (aside from the showhome) or even visit. Showhomes always look great and are usually fully loaded with pricey upgrades. Checking out current builds may help put your mind at ease.

Design tips!

Keep on top of your design wants throughout the building phase — use this list for helpful things to think about.

Most important on the mortgage side? Keep track of your rate.

Building a home takes time, and there can be delays. If you aren't getting a draw (construction) mortgage, we recommend securing a long-term rate hold with one of the big banks in case your build takes much longer than anticipated (rates may change considerably during that time).

And, once you're within 90-120 days of your possession date, make sure to hold your best possible rate with us! You won't need to worry if rates increase while you're busy with the construction or home-finishing details. We'll help you save cash you can put towards other new-home things you may need.

Already dealing with a True North Mortgage broker? Great, they'll be on top of this process for you.

About that possession date and final purchase price

It's natural to start planning your life around your move-in, but here are a few notes of caution:

  • Possession dates often get pushed back, and it can happen multiple times. The good news? Once you finally move in, you'll truly appreciate your new digs and breath deeper, surrounded by that new-home smell.
  • Your budget projections may be thrown off-kilter. Your final home purchase price can end up higher than initially projected due to material increases or upgrades. Make sure to read the fine print of your original contract for the scope of builder-changes allowed.
  • Confirm with the builder if your purchase price already includes the GST and provincial taxes.

What extra docs will you need for final mortgage approval?

  • Letter/Certificate of Possession — confirming move-in date
  • Statement of Adjustments — confirming final closing costs, including any amendments or upgrades
  • Floor Plans & Specifications — often included in the purchase agreement but sometimes a separate document
  • New Home Warranty — often included in the purchase agreement
  • Condo Budget & Unit Strata Fee (if applicable)
  • An appraisal may be required, if so, the build must be at least 97% complete

Don't forget about the GST rebate!

Ask your realtor or lawyer about the GST/HST rebate. It's available to everyone, not just first-time home buyers (limits apply, or may vary by province). When you're building a new home, the costs can add up — so it's a good idea to save money where you can!

Are there other rebates you can get? Check the list here.

Remember to enjoy the process!

Even with all the details and the anticipation of your actual move-in, it's your chance to build a home the way you want it. You'll learn a lot, and will appreciate your new home all the more. And, don't forget to leverage the expert advice from your mortgage broker, realtor and home builder.

At True North Mortgage, our highly-trained brokers know all the ins and outs of a new home mortgage. We provide unbeatable service while securing your best rate.

We care, and it shows. Wherever you are in Canada, give us a shout for 5-star service.

Come home to your best mortgage