Building New

After much deliberation, Jordan and I are excited to share that we are now looking at building a home of our own rather then buying something that is 30-60 (+) years old and needs a tonne of work!  In the end we'll probably spend about the same, but have less work that we need to do right away.  This is a huge advantage for us in this particular time of our life.

We're looking at building in a community that is just outside of the city which will give me small town peace of mind when we start to have kids in a few years. The commute is about the same for me and Jordan a little bit longer - so no problems there.

Building also gives us a financial advantage in that the home wouldn't actually be ready for possession until September/October of this year - so we have more time to save $$ and have a fabulous wedding in August.

We put $1,000 (refundable) lot hold last night and now have a couple of weeks to negotiate the purchase agreement.

Has anyone every built/bought brand new?  Any words of advise?


  1. Jessie, I have not built a new house but I've heard some stories of people who have. Just be very careful with the upgrades that you choose for your house. It's very easy to spend another 50K over your original budget by upgrading everything that you want. For instance, the kitchen sink comes standard with a nice faucet but you decide that you want to increase and its only $250 for the upgraded one. All of those upgrades add up in a hurry. Make sure that you have a budget lined up before you build and do your darndest to stick to it.

    We did purchase our first house brand new. There are a number of things that we didn't think of that we had to buy that we wouldn't have with a used house. For starters, you have to buy blinds. It was about $1000 for blinds for our house and that was just for the upper level (we had a bi-level house). Another area that we spent a ton of money was on putting in a lawn and landscaping. A new house typically doesn't come with grass or any other landscaping. We did it ourselves but it still cost a lot for grass seed and other supplies.

    We did get a two year tax abatement for buying a new house. I have no idea of how things work in Canada but it might be something to check out.

  2. I think ND Chic has a lot of great points. On the plus side, if you are moving in in the fall, that gives you until the spring to save for landscaping costs! Plus with your green thumb some of that you'll be able to do.

    I am so very excited for you!

    Also you can just use tinfoil for window privacy in the mean time... I joke!

  3. I built my first home new and ND pointed out some expenses that I had to pay for in my home.
    Also, some new homes don't come with any fixtures, such as bathroom mirrors, hooks for towels, etc. I had a "lighting allowance" but I ended up spending more because the allowance didn't buy very nice light fixtures.
    One important thing I learned is to visit the site as much as you can... every day if possible. I had to carry a copy of the contract with me in the car because I'd go into the house and find it wasn't being built as agreed to. For example, the basement bedroom was supposed to have a closet but I noticed it was missing just in time (they were about the drywall). And even though I pointed out EXACTLY where I wanted my phone and cable jacks, they still messed that up!
    Don't forget about fees... to hook up cable, phone, water, etc...
    There are definitely advantages to building new, since you get to pick everything to your liking... just watch out for the hidden costs!

  4. Budget for finishing your own driveway too, some builders do not include a paved driveway in the purchase price.

    In terms of upgrades, I would recommend upgrading to pot lights on the main floor because if they aren't installed during the build, they are very hard to install afterwards. Pot lights in the basement and upstairs levels can be added in later with minimal fuss, but that main floor ceiling is impossible to access, especially with the california knockdown finish that they apply in most new builds.

    Also, insist on cable access in each of the bedrooms and any other room you think you might want cable TV. It's easy to install when the walls are being built, but very hard to install afterwards.

    Congrat's! You'll love it!

  5. I work in the real estate industry, so I've seen the positives and negatives of building new. The good thing is that you have a lot of control over the quality of finishes, you get the Tarion 7 year warranty, and yes, you don't have to worry immediately about maintenance.

    The negatives are run-on deadlines (which are expensive and annoying since you'll want to move in), unexpected costs and expenses, and if you're in a neighbourhood that is being built from the ground up, don't expect to see trees or grass for at least two or three years, and even then, it will look cut and paste.

    Are you buying new with a custom home in mind or are you buying a "model"?

  6. Ah oops, asked about when the house will be ready but found it out here. Take progress pics!!


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