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April 14, 2016

Building a brand new home is a very exciting process but it can be quite overwhelming with contracts, floor plans and home decor to think about.  You may have to channel your inner 'want vs need' but this list could remind you of something that could make your life a whole lot easier.

Your Mortgage

Building takes time and there can be delays so we recommend securing a long term rate hold with one of the big banks as a form of insurance, your worst case scenario.  However once you are within 90-120 days of your possession date allow us the opportunity to shop for rates for you to secure a better rate.

Your Realtor

  • Seek out a Realtor who is experienced with new home purchases to assist you with the process.  A good Realtor will help you evaluate various communities, builders, plans, and finishing options. 
  • Make sure you consult with a Realtor BEFORE walking into builder showhomes. You should be accompanied by your Realtor for the first visit, and you and your Realtor can register with the builder. 
  • Do your research. Look for reviews online and even ask them for past client referrals. 
  • When buying pre-construction, ask if they have any near complete product (aside from the showhome) you can view.  Showhomes always look great and are always fully loaded with pricey upgrades.
  • Don’t forget to ask about the GST rebate.  If you are buying a new primary residence for $450,000 or less in Alberta, BC, or Ontario, you may be eligible for a nice juicy rebate.

Your Home

Bathrooms

  • Ensuite dual sinks
  • Makeup / vanity area
  • Add an outlet in the master bathroom closet as a night light
  • Outlets inside upper and lower vanity cabinets for dryer etc.
  • Heated towel racks
  • Do not caulk the bottom of the toilet to the flooring as it will hide leaks
  • Make use of a pony wall and turn it into storage space
  • Choose standard faucets and fixtures as these can be replaced with higher quality parts in the future (often less expensive too)

Closets

  • Add outlets to closets that might need it
  • Make sure closets have space for both double hung rods and singles to accommodate for longer clothing
  • Include a full size broom cupboard in pantry or laundry room to hide cleaning items out of sight
  • Add cubbies in your mudroom
  • Add a motion sensor to pantry and closet lights
  • Laundry chute if laundry room is downstairs
  • Shoe racks in master walk-in closet

Outdoor

  • Hose outlets on all 4 sides of your home
  • Hot/cold outdoor water is great for washing pets
  • Gas line to BBQ
  • Keypad entry on garage door
  • Prewire for outdoor speakers
  • Hot tub hook up rough in
  • Run conduit under the driveway for future wiring needs
  • Outdoor outlets in soffits for christmas lights with switch to turn on/off
  • Garage door windows add a more high-end appearance

Kitchen

  • Outlets in the pantry for charging or for items that may end up living there
  • With wide islands, place cabinets on both sides for storage
  • Built-in paper towel holder
  • Custom storage organization in kitchen drawers
  • Set up for both gas and electric appliances (rough in gas line to stove)
  • Pantry light on motion sensor
  • Pull out garbage/recycling/laundry drawer
  • Two soap pumps at sink (one hand soap, one dish soap)
  • Easy access cupboard for storing frequently used appliances

Electrical / Plumbing

  • Security system & cameras on walkways and front gates
  • Run wire and prepare your roof for future solar panels
  • 20z circuit with outlets waist high in garage to plug in tools
  • 20z circuit for TV and A/V equipment
  • Prewire for indoor and outdoor speakers
  • Carbon monoxide unit on the wall near bedrooms
  • 220V in garage for tools
  • Include a drain in the garage to remove excess water from vehicles during rain or snow periods
  • Plan the location of your electrical panel so it’s hidden from sight
  • Water faucet in your garage to hose down your garage when it gets dirty

Lighting

  • Under cabinet lighting
  • Outdoor lighting on timers or motion sensors
  • Master switch from master bedroom for all exterior lighting
  • Pot light over fireplace (if no TV is present)

Heating / Cooling

  • Get a central vac rough-in even if you don't plan on buying a full vacuum system right away
  • Rough in toe-kicks in kitchen for easy clean up
  • Heated floors in basement or tiled areas
  • Zoned heating can control the heating on each floor individually

Basement

  • Wet bar and games area
  • Pot lights help illuminate dark rooms
  • Mechanical rooms are often larger than they have to be - this space can be used as another room for a fitness area
  • TV wall mount and prewire HDMI and cable wire into wall

Bedrooms

  • Silent slamming doors
  • Light switch near the bed

And Finally...

Ask your site superintendent lots of questions during your walk throughs. Be as detailed as possible with them and have them point out all light switches, outlets and door swings so that you can make any adjustments before it's too late. Also, remember to enjoy the process. Leverage your mortgage broker, realtor and home builder for their expertise but do not hesitate to contact True North if you want unbeatable service! 

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