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Advantages of Buying a Brand New Home - When you buy a brand new home, you get the best of both worlds—all the traditional value you expect in a home, plus the advantages that only a newly built home can provide. Get what you want. New home builders offer unparalleled quality and value. Choose from an incredible selection of new home models, then work closely with your builder to decide on the features and finishes that work best for you and your family. You choose the builder. When you buy a brand new home, you get to choose your builder based on their reputation and track record. Professional new home builders are proud of their work, they have the skills, experience and integrity to do the job right, and they are committed to your satisfaction. You know what you get. With a new home, you know how the house was built and what went into it—both what you can see and what is behind the walls. And if you have questions later, your builder will be there to give you helpful and accurate information. Quality construction.…

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Construction Practices for Superior Quality - "They don't build them like they used to." "New homes are put together too fast." When it comes to home construction, some people still long for the "good old days". The truth is that new homes are better built, better designed, and use better materials, products and systems than ever before. Today's professional builders understand building science and know how to build a home that not only looks good, but is well constructed and great to live in. Today's new homes are bright and comfortable year-round, save on energy costs and have good indoor air quality, and take full advantage of the many advances in building products, materials and systems. And to top it off, a new home is carefully crafted with attention to the details—both what you can see and what you can't. Modern home building is a team effort under the direction of a professional builder who uses the expertise of more than 30 different skilled trades working on a home at different…

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Environmentally Responsible Products - Great advances have been made in building products that contribute to the "greening" of Canadian homes. Today's new homes show clearly that environmental responsibility, energy efficiency and healthy indoor living go hand in hand with comfort, convenience and great design. New products enter the market all the time. Below is a small sampling of the latest materials, products and technologies that professional home builders are working with today. Not all are brand-new ideas. Some are improvements on standard products, or old ideas given new life. Some already enjoy widespread use, while others are at the early stages of market acceptance. The structure Sustainable building products, like certified lumber, are produced from renewable resources that are managed to last for future generations. Composite beams and joists used in framing are made from fast-growing trees using sustainable forestry practices. Waste from building materials is processed and incorporated in siding,…

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Indoor Air Quality - With Canadians spending more than 90% of their time indoors, much of it at home, the "healthiness" of their home is a serious issue. Poor indoor air can have a detrimental impact on people's well-being, from a general sense of feeling tired or "under the weather" to contributing to, or even triggering, allergies and asthma. A home's air is affected by many things: off-gassing from building materials, finishes and furniture; excessive moisture leading to mold growth; improper ventilation, and incomplete combustion in heating systems. Our daily activities also have a big impact-moisture from cooking, bathing and laundering; off-gassing from household cleaners; hair, dander and litter dust from pets and even emissions from equipment in a home office. Today's new homes are built to give you the best possible indoor environment—a comfortable, enjoyable home with clean fresh air, a comfortable moisture level, and no molds or lingering odours. Construction…

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Energy Efficiency for Savings and Comfort - The energy efficiency of Canadian homes has improved greatly over the years. Thanks to major advances in building techniques and product innovation, today’s new home owner can expect to use only half of the energy required for a similar home built in 1950, and at the same time enjoy a far more comfortable living environment. While today’s new homes offer an excellent starting point, there are still many opportunities, large and small, to increase the energy performance and comfort of your home. Ask your professional new home builder for information and advice. The builder’s specification list of materials and products is a great starting point. For instance, how will your home be insulated, and could you add extra insulation in the attic, the most exposed walls or the entire house? What are the cost implications and possible impact on construction? Your builder can explain these and other opportunities to help you make informed decisions to suit your budget and long-term…

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Designed for Living - Good home design begins with an understanding of how people live in their homes. New home builders are offering plans and designs to meet the needs of today's consumers, using modern technology to build homes that are attractive, highly functional and feel good to live in. Often a builder's standard designs are just a starting point; many builders will customize their homes to suit homebuyers' individual needs. Here are some of characteristics of new home design: Efficient use of space. Many new homes stress spaciousness rather than square footage—smaller, well laid out homes with all the details and amenities of larger homes. High ceilings of 9, 10 and even 11 feet, and sloped or cathedral ceilings, add to the sense of space. This also allows for larger windows that extend your home visually. Open layouts. One of the more popular design trends is the open concept, or "the great room"—a large informal space for living, working, eating and relaxing. Partial…

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Safety - One of the benefits of buying a brand new home from a professional home builder is the built-in "safety factor". Your new home will be built to modern construction standards and codes using up-to-date materials and products, and its systems and equipment will be designed to operate effectively and safely. Here are some of the more common safety features that you should expect in a new home. The electrical system should have only the latest approved components. The wiring behind the walls is brand new, and the electrical service is sized to your home's requirements. New homes have lots of electrical outlets. In bathrooms and other "wet" areas, the outlets should be equipped with ground-fault circuit interrupters. Materials with the appropriate fire ratings should be used throughout the home, from drywall to carpeting. A smoke detector should be installed on each level of the home and wired directly into the electrical system—far safer than battery-operated…

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Warranty - One of the great advantages of buying a brand new home is a warranty. Purchasing a home is a significant investment, and you want to make sure it is well protected. As you look at homes and get to know the builders in your community, consider the warranty carefully. Is a new home warranty mandatory? In British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, builders have to provide homebuyers with a third-party warranty. In the rest of Canada, the decision is left up to the individual builder. For homebuyers, the choice is easy-you want to buy your home from a professional builder with a solid reputation, excellent after-sales service and a third-party warranty. What's covered? As a minimum, a new home warranty generally includes deposit insurance and protection against defects in work and materials as well as major structural defects. Additional coverage may include defects in your home's mechanical systems or building envelope. Some warranties include living expenses to offset the cost of temporary…

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The Typical New Home Buying Process - Buying a brand new home is a big decision and an important investment, and there is a lot to think about. You want to buy with confidence, enjoy the experience and know that you have made the best decision for you and your family. Typically, the process of buying a brand new home takes place over time and in several stages. To begin with, you want to take some time deciding on your priorities—what you want in a home, where you want to live and how much you want to spend—and then explore what's available. Once you have narrowed your choices down to one community, one builder and one home, you are ready to work out the details and sign a contract with your builder. Then it's time to step back and let the builder do the work. Before you start looking Get off to a great start by doing some pre-planning before you go house hunting. Discuss with everyone in your household what they want in a new home and surroundings. Make lists of what's important and divide them into…

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Mortgages - One of the first steps in buying a new home is to take a realistic look at what you can afford and how you are going to pay for it. If you are like most people, you will probably have to finance your home purchase with a mortgage loan. What is a mortgage? A mortgage is a loan that uses the home you buy as security. This loan is registered as a legal document against the title of your property. Here's a quick overview of some of the most common aspects of a mortgage that you need to understand. The principal is the amount of the loan, or the cash actually borrowed. The interest is the amount the lender charges for the use of the funds, or principal. Interest rates vary according to many factors, including terms and conditions of the mortgage. Mortgage payments are applied toward both principal and interest. The amortization period is the actual number of years that it will take to repay the entire mortgage loan in full. This normally ranges from 15 to 25 years. The term is the length…

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Types of Mortgages - There are two basic types of mortgages: Conventional mortgage The loan amount does not exceed 80% of the property value, defined as the lesser of the purchase price or the appraised value. High-ratio mortgage, or National Housing Act mortgage The amount is more than 80% of the property value (up to 95%). By law, a high-ratio mortgage must be insured against borrower default. The borrower pays a mortgage insurance premium (a percentage of the total loan amount) which can be added to the mortgage loan or paid in a lump sum in advance. The borrower must also pay an insurance application fee.

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How much can you afford to spend on a new home? - The amount of money you can afford to spend for a new home is determined by two factors: 1. Your downpayment. This is the amount of money you have available from your own assets. You need a minimum of 5% of the total purchase price as a downpayment. A larger downpayment means lower mortgage payments or, even better, that you can pay off the mortgage faster, thereby saving thousands of dollars in interest payments. Or you may be able to buy in a higher price range, if you qualify. (Be careful, though, not to stretch your budget to the limit, and to set enough money aside to cover the other expenses of buying a home.) First time home buyers can use their RRSPs towards a downpayment and closing costs. Under the federal government's Home Buyer's Plan, first-time buyers can borrow up to $25,000 tax-free ($50,000 for couples) from their RRSP savings. The funds must be repaid within 15 years, but you don't have to begin repayments for two years. 2. Your ability to carry mortgage debt.…

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