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Buyer Beware When Buying a New Home

Posted by Sherry Rioux on September 7, 2008

My first real estate advisor was my Dad.  He used to say that when you buy a home, make sure it’s one that “first your foes lived in, then your friends and then you.”  The idea was that a new house has deficiencies that can cause frustrations while subsequent owners add to and perfect a home.

I admit these lessons coloured my viewpoint.  While sometimes a new home is suitable for certain buyers, I generally think a resale home offers less risk and more benefit in most cases.  I do want to say though that there are some very good developments and home builders that I would even recommend but they are unique.

A few years ago, I had a client who insisted on buying one of the first 3 homes to be built in a brand new subdivision.  I cautioned her that there was a risk in doing so.  What if the developer sold off the land to someone else who had an entirely different vision for her neighbourhood?  What if their work crews were terrible?  Did they have a TARION track record?  Well sure enough, she bought the house.  The builder went belly up, the land is for sale and the deficiencies have never been corrected.

More recently, I’ve been working with some super folks looking to buy a high-end condo in the area for rest and relaxation from their busy lives.  They became intrigued with a new development and picked what they thought would be a perfect site.  It overlooks a quiet meadow with a fabulous view of the mountain where the sunsets would be magnificent.  It’s quiet and peaceful but they’d have to pay a significant “lot premium” to acquire that end unit spot.

What the builder’s salesperson didn’t tell them is that a new road is planned to run right beside the unit and then, the meadow will be a construction zone for years to come as hundreds of homes are planned for that land.  Their view of the mountain will likely be impacted by the new condo’s to be built right behind them.  Not only that but the builder is a year behind schedule and existing owners are screaming foul over unaddressed deficiencies.  After I heard about their plan to buy, I got the plans for the area which I was able to show them.  That purchase is now on hold.

When it comes to buying new, buyer beware.  Model homes often have thousands and thousands of dollars of enticing upgrades and slick presentations that make the fantasy exceedingly powerful.  In many cases, you as a buyer are on your own and unrepresented in negotiations.  Take your time, think, ask and seek outside advice before signing on the dotted line.
Related Posts:

Collingwood New Home Subdivision Tour Part 4
Continuing Our Collingwood New Home Subdivision Tour:  Riverside

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When it’s time to buy or sell real estate in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain or Georgian Triangle area, contact Marg, an experienced and competent Broker who’s ready whenever you are!

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