Building a new home is one of the largest investments a person will make in their lifetime and it can be an intimidating process. Many potential new home buyers have imagined building their dream home, but instead decide to buy an existing home because they don’t know where or how to start the process of building a new home. There are simple steps that can help any new home buyer begin the process of building their new home.
The first step is planning.
The summer months are a great time to do the planning and research needed to determine what your new home needs and wants are. Understanding what you need and want — in terms of the size and functionality of the home, your lifestyle, life stage, and location — will help you determine which neighbourhoods are suited to your current and potential needs.
Once you determine your new home needs and which neighbourhood suits you best, the next and critically important step is to find the right builder.
Deciding who you buy your new home from can be just as important a decision as deciding what and where you want to build.
Each company is unique, so finding the right builder for your specific needs is a key decision. Home building companies in Manitoba can range from smaller builders that build only a few custom homes per year to large companies that build hundreds of homes. Each builder caters to a different type of customer. So how do you know which one is right for you?
This is where some online research can help you get to know the builders in the community or new development you are looking at building in. Visit the development’s website to see which builders are building in the community. Visit the builders’ websites to get a sense of their history and experience, the types of homes they build, and if they specialize in certain aspects of design and construction.
Check to see if the builder is a member of the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association. A quick visit to our website and Our Members section provides a list of our builder members. Membership in the association is a strong indication a new home builder is a professional who is committed to customer satisfaction and is in business for the long term.
Another key resource is the Better Business Bureau. Any complaints listed against a builder will be posted on the BBB’s website. Check social media and ask for customer references directly from the builder.
Once you’ve put together a list of builders and homes you want to research, the next step is to visit the builder’s show homes or contact them directly for an initial discussion.
This is how you will learn the details of each builder’s approach to construction and the different services they offer. Make sure you ask the builder to explain how their company deals with the buying process, their after-sale service, and what is covered under their third-party new home warranty.
Have them explain how and when final features and finishes selection takes place, what the payment milestones are, and how those milestones are defined. Find out their policy regarding on-site visits and the pre-delivery inspection. These are important questions to have answered before making a final decision.
Lanny McInnes is president of the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association.