Why Real Estate is a Strong Industry for Canada’s Economy

There is no denying that in certain regions, especially oil-sensitive markets, the decrease in economic growth has been felt. But, the gradual growth in places such as Toronto and Vancouver have shown the degree in how real estate supports the economy Canada wide.

With newly built homes and the buying process, we understand the need for accessible information online. With real estate purchasing, we can see many different sectors of this industry being an active part of the sale. In fact, Canadian home sales actually push higher in 2016 as a CREA Report states how February paves new perspectives.

Despite the weak projections that real estate has been experiencing over the past year, Canada’s economy emerged stronger than anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2015. One of the main factors we have to thank is real estate, due to the industry’s steady growth in our gross domestic product (GDP).

Limited data exists on the specific impact between newly built homes sales and those of used homes. This creates a value of amalgamating the statistics of both home types and understanding the position it holds within Canada’s national GDP.

Statistics Canada has recently shown that the GDP has grown by 0.8 % in 2015’s fourth quarter, totalling an annual GDP growth of 1.2 %. Housing accounted for a whopping $7.4 billion increase in GDP, which is about half of Canada’s economic growth in 2015.

If you weren’t sure how real estate affects our economy, consider this: real estate GDP is the most consistent with growth in comparison to other industries. The GDP rate grows steadily for the home industry, while other industries such as manufacturing and oil and gas tend to fluctuate.

A large reason for this GDP in real estate has to do with the value that a buyer is willing to pay rather than the cost that the seller incurs to create it. This is referred to as imputed rent. Imputed rent accounted for an astounding $4 billion in real estate GDP, and much of the overall GDP in Canada.

Buying a home is a large sector of our economy, and the rising prices in the Canadian housing market over the past decade will eventually subside.

Buying a New Condo – What You Need to Know Before You Buy

If you are in the market for a new home, buying a new condo may prove to be just the solution for you. Condos have many benefits to offer homeowners along with many amenities that they might otherwise not be able to afford. As with all purchases, there will also be caveats to buying a condominium that must also be considered.

Things to Consider Before Buying a New Condo

If you are seriously considering buying a condo, here are 5 things that are worth pondering.

  1. Carefully calculate the cost: First and foremost, before making the final decision to purchase a condo, you might consider the resale value of such. Condos are, in most cases, cheaper than townhouses or detached family homes, but they will often sell for less as well. This leaves less room to turn a profit should you decide to sell your condo down the road. This is especially true if the homeowner’s association is particularly difficult to deal with, as well as if the fees attached to such are high. Take care to read over the association rules carefully. Pay special attention to building maintenance fees, as it is not uncommon for homeowner’s associations to charge hefty fees for individual maintenance and renovation projects. You should also ask the association if you can review minutes from previous meetings. This will make you aware of any existing maintenance issues that might prove costly in the future.
  2. You will not own the land: Each owner of a condominium complex contributes monetarily to the cost of exterior building maintenance and upkeep, as well as any other amenities that exist. However, it is important to remember that you will not own the land in which the building (or your condo) sits.
  3. Social opportunity: Condos are great home solutions for families, couples and singles. The close proximity of neighbours and the shared access to the property’s amenities equates to much social opportunity for any social status. With such close quarters you are likely to meet new people and make new friends. However, also be mindful that this means you are also sharing walls with neighbours. Therefore, loud music and large parties might be out of the question. Before you sign on the dotted line, you should check to be sure that those in which you will be sharing walls with are the type of people, or person, that you can get along with.
  4. Convenience: Condos often offer a major convenience factor for homeowners. Not only are condos generally centrally located and accessible, but they also typically offer close proximity to areas of work and play. Condos offer close access to major cities and areas that the homeowner might not otherwise be able to afford – generally speaking. Not only that, but they also generally include many other amenities that if not for the community, the homeowner would not be able to afford such as tennis courts, gyms and pools. A major plus is that being part of a community negates the need for the physical maintenance of such amenities to fall on the homeowner.
  5. Location, location, location: Put extra thought into the building itself, the location of it, the surrounding areas and the condition of the property. If you note that there are many for sale units in the building, this might be a red flag. This often times means that there is likely dissatisfaction among homeowners with the property or area.

If you are looking into buying a new home, buying a new condo might be the perfect solution for you. Take care to consider the above 5 factors and good luck with your search!

Living in a Condo – 5 Tips for an Amazing Condo Lifestyle

For many buyers, owning a condo is the first step toward full-fledged homeownership. For others, condos offer a great solution when looking to downsize. For instance, retirees often find selling their home and investing in a condo the best way to allow for funds to be spent in ways that bring them great pleasure. Condos also generally offer excellent benefits to owners in terms of their proximity to cities, or rather in town living.

If you are thinking of buying a condo, here are 5 tips to help you maximize the worth of your condo lifestyle.

5 Tips that Will Ensure Living in a Condo Allows for the Lifestyle of Your Choosing

Use these 5 helpful tips when shopping for a condo to purchase, to ensure that the property you select is one that will allow for the amazing condo lifestyle of your dreams.

  1. Location: In real estate lingo, it is “location, location, location,” where they repeat the word three times for a reason – because it is that important. Location is not only important for you as the buyer, but also for future potential buyers. As the buyer, you must take the time to investigate the area. Know the streets, know what the traffic is like, the proximity to the types of things that you enjoy, as well as even in a decent school district. This is important not only for your benefit, but also in the future should you ever decide to sell your unit.
  2. Rules & regulations: Condo buildings have many people living within close proximity to one another. Living arrangements of this type require rules and regulations in order to keep the peace. Before you buy, make sure that you are okay with the rules in order to be sure that you will be able to enjoy your new home as you please. For instance, if the property does not allow dogs and you have two, or begins quiet hours at 10 when you like to stay up late and have people over, you can assume this property is not going to bode well with your plans for an “amazing condo lifestyle.”
  3. Homeowner’s fees: Prior to purchasing be sure that you have a full understanding of the homeowner’s fees – what they are and where they are utilized. You do not want to buy a unit in a condo only to find out later that the HOA fees will cost you a third of your paycheck, or that the HOA is broke and has no money for expensive repairs should an emergency arise.
  4. Upkeep and maintenance: The beauty of (quite literally) owning a condo is that your HOA fees generally go to the maintenance and upkeep of the exterior of the building. Make sure that the property is well maintained and taken care of. Part of home ownership is feeling proud, you want to be able to feel this sense of pride every time you turn into the complex.
  5. Amenities: When shopping for the perfect condo unit take care to make sure any units you are interested in come with amenities that will bring you enjoyment. Maybe it is a pool, hot tub, tennis court, gym, etc. whatever would bring you pleasure – ensure that the property has everything that you desire.

Use the 5 simple tips above when selecting the perfect condo that will allow for the amazing condo lifestyle that all condo buyers dream of. Take your time and do your homework, and you are sure to find the condo of your dreams!

Best Restaurants in Calgary by Neighborhood

Calgary today is so much more than it once was, in terms of the cuisine. The once quiet and sleepy town now boasts a vibrant and flourishing restaurant scene, driven by hungry young Chefs. Today, when you walk through the streets of Calgary there is a sense of excitement that did not exist before. Making their appearance seemingly around every corner, are fresh new restaurants brought to life by innovative and modern, talented Chefs; as well as historic staples staying strong and offering contemporary classics. These Chefs are the heart of the town with a vision to bring edgy, boldness and life back to this oil-rich city. Farm to table and other creative and inventive restaurants are now setting the scene for this new-found foodie hub.

Best Restaurants in Calgary to Visit by Quadrant

Regardless of which corner of Calgary you find yourself in, you can be sure of one thing – you will find a top restaurant worthy of your time. Here are some top names to look out for should you find yourself in SE, SW, NE or NW Calgary any time soon.

Southeast Calgary:

  • Rouge – Rogue has been a staple of the Calgary dining scene for over a decade now and they have yet still to lose their appeal. With new control in the kitchen, Chef Jamie Harling brings with him a fresh and natural approach to seasonal fare. Tending to the garden, nourishing the crop and harvesting what is in season, Rogue is bringing diners dinner from a garden that is no more than a mere 50 yards from the kitchen.
  • Alloy – If you are looking for reliability and pure excellence, then stop by Alloy in southeast Calgary. This posh, trendy downtown restaurant brings to life surprising, yet explosively delicious Latin, Mediterranean and Asian fusion flavours. The dishes are layered with modern classics that showcase the considerable talents of Chef/owner Rogelio Herrera.

Southwest Calgary:

  • Blink – Blink has effortlessly matured to become a reliable and consistent best when it comes to restaurants in Calgary. Offering the most superb selection of wines, and innovative cocktails, alongside the highest quality of ingredients handled by Chef Chris Dewling, Blink brings French influences to finest of regional ingredients.
  • Raw Bar – If Asian fusion is what you are craving then hop on over to the southwest quadrant of Calgary for dinner at Raw Bar – the latest in ‘Vietmodern’ style cuisine. The fusion Chef Duncan Ly brings together, meets in the most harmonious of ways. He has found an impeccable balance of flavours in each and every dish, of which he brings nothing short of hugely enticing bold tastes. The restaurant itself is stylish, yet relaxing with exceptional cocktail offerings and decadent pastries for those with a sweet tooth.

Northwest Calgary:

Notable – You can count on the plates at this NW staple to always be well-crafted and, well, notable. This restaurant boldly withstood the test of time by proving that there is no need to be a follower of trending foodie fare. Instead, Chef Justin Labossiere stays true to his roots and offers the city lunch and dinner that will surely not disappoint.

Northwest Calgary, Is that the Area for Your Next Home?

Northwest Calgary is set dramatically between awe-inspiring prairies and breathtaking mountainous peaks. The natural grandeur of this city is nearly incomparable to other areas of Canada. The Calgary scene comes complete with chic urbanites who love to enjoy the finest in world-class cuisines and the most exciting in outdoor adventures. Calgary is a city that is bursting with advanced energies and buzzing with lively locals and tourists, which boasts a thriving entertainment scene in the area.

As with most all cities in Canada, Calgary is sectioned into four quadrants. Each of these four quadrants – north, south, east and west – hosts their own unique characteristics that make their specific community appealing. For this reason, when looking to live in Calgary, it is important to decide what intrinsic qualities you desire in the area that you live. For the purpose of this post, let’s take a look at the northwest quadrant of Calgary and what it has to offer its residents.

Why Northwest Calgary?

The northwest quadrant of Calgary is home to the University of Calgary or U of C, making this area a great place for families with college-aged children or for young adults who attend the university, or simply enjoy the lively scene. The northwest quadrant of Calgary is among the most residential areas. Stunningly situated close to the Rockies, this area of Calgary offers the most exquisite views of the mountain peaks. If you are looking to reside in an area with opulence, attractive scenic views, an endless array of exceptional cuisine and eclectic boutiques, not to mention a lively spirit – then northwest Calgary is the area for you.

What to Do in Northwest Calgary

Northwest Calgary is home to the city’s most popular and pleasant neighbourhoods, such as Edgemont, Country Hills, Sunnyside, West Hillhurst, Tuscany, Rosedale and Dalhousie. Additionally, Kensington is one of the more dynamic of neighbourhoods in northwest Calgary, as it encompasses a vast majority of the area’s diverse cafes, bistros and pubs, as well as arts and crafts shops and boutiques. Located just a short walk from downtown, Kensington is a great neighbourhood to hang out in for any given amount of time.

Calgary has recently been deemed the Cultural Capital of Canada, and it is not hard to understand why. This city is chalked full of culture, history and attractions of the arts. You can spend the day exploring Canada’s largest living museum at Heritage Park Historical Village or expand your knowledge about how the city came to be at Fort Calgary. The area has plenty of options regarding theatres where you can enjoy the opera, symphony or a simple play.

For panoramic views of the city, the Calgary Tower is just a short distance from northwest Calgary. Also, there is a slew of other attractions within the area such as the Telus Spark Science Center and the Calgary Zoo, among many alluring parks and outdoor trails.

The shopping scene is robust, and there is no shortage of available outdoor activities in the northwest quadrant of the city. Within a close enough proximity to allow for the possibility of many day trips; hosting an abundance of attractions; home to a full blown foodie scene; as well as the presence of many historic, modern and high-end neighbourhoods; northwest Calgary has something to offer everyone.

Buying a Brand New Home in Calgary

Buying a new home in Calgary means many different things to you as the buyer – not only is it a dream come true, but it is also affords you the opportunity to get the home you have always wanted, it is an investment that means a lot to your future, and it is an achievement that you should be proud of. Though buying a new home means all of these great things and it is therefore easy to become starry-eyed about the whole occasion, you must remember the reality of the situation. The reality is that buying a new home is a legal transaction and being that it is such, it must never be done in the absence of a detailed contract.

Agreement of Purchase and Sale

If you only bring any one thing to the table at your first new home buying experience, let it be that you want everything in writing! The number of first time homebuyers who forget this simple fact, oftentimes find themselves at a loss when problems present themselves during the closing. An agreement of Purchase and Sale, the contract that should come along with your new home, will point out in writing the terms that exist between the builder and yourself. That is, the ‘who, what, when’ and how much it is going to cost you. Not only that, but such a contract is important in spelling out the rights, obligations and restrictions that each of the parties involved has in the transaction.

The lack of a detailed contract may in some cases amount to costly and unfortunate circumstances as they relate to your new home. We would all like to think that all builders are honest individuals that stand by their word 100 percent, however the reality is that this is not always the case. For that reason, having a written contract will offer a reference point in the instance a disagreement or misunderstanding between the builder and yourself arises. Without such a contract, it might prove impossible to reference what was agreed upon and furthermore enforce any arrangements that were part of the deal.

It is important to understand that there is no standard when it comes to an Agreement of Purchase and Sale for buying a new home. Builders may simply take a model from their local home builders’ association and adapt it to fit the specs of your new home. That being said, you can expect that no two new home building contracts will be alike. Where each will be specific to the buyer, the new home, and the builder; as well as include any disclaimers, limitations or warranty details as they prove applicable.

Signing the Contract for Your New Home

Because a new home contract is in most cases a “living document” of sorts – in that, it will continue to develop with the addition of attachments, schedules, waivers, etc. – it is therefore important that you keep a copy of all updates. Keep track of all meetings and make notes of all changes as they occur. Keeping a good paper trail will help to maintain a professional and friendly relationship with your builder, as well as prevent misunderstandings.

It is important that before you sign the final copy of your Agreement of Purchase and Sale, you ensure that you have a complete understanding of everything that is stated in the contract. Know what is mentioned and what is not, understand your obligations and your builder’s best-practices commitments, and most importantly makes sure that all of your questions are answered in a way that brings you full satisfaction.

Mortgage Questions? Here are the Answers

It’s a new year, which is a time to reflect, renew, and recharge. Perhaps your resolution is to save for your first home, or just become more knowledgeable about buying a home? We’re ringing in the new year with a countdown of 10 frequently asked questions about mortgages.

FAQs About A Mortgages

  1. Can I afford a mortgage?

Assessing whether or not you can afford a down payment and regular payments is an important first step. Have a look at what you qualify for, as well as what you can actually afford.

To determine if you qualify for a mortgage, your gross annual income, credit history, and assets/liabilities are taken into consideration.

Affordability is based on your household income, your personal expenses each month (including any other debt you’re paying off), any home expenses (condo fees, heating costs, taxes), and mortgage insurance (if it’s required). You also need to ensure you have enough money on hand for the down payment, and closing costs associated with making the purchase of a home, like legal fees.

You can plug your financial details into payment and mortgage affordability calculators to paint a picture of your financial situation.

  1. What’s the difference between a mortgage broker and a bank?

According to the Mortgage Professionals Canada’s (formerly CAAMP) fall mortgage report, 45% of borrowers obtained their mortgage from a Canadian bank, 42% from a mortgage broker. So, what’s the difference?

There are a few differences between banks and brokers. A broker is a licensed specialist who is the intermediary between you and the lender, while a bank is the lender that will issue the mortgage directly, and receive your monthly mortgage payments.

RateHub.ca recommends using a broker for a few reasons. Banks will allow you to consolidate all of your services with one provider, which can offer a certain level of trust. They will also provide customer service to you after closing. However, a broker has access to multiple lenders (including the Big Five banks) and rates, they’ll shop around for the best rates to match your financial situation, and can often pass along discounts to you. A bank will only offer their own rates and products, leaving the negotiating up to you.

  1. What’s a variable rate mortgage?

A variable rate mortgage is a type of mortgage where the interest rate can fluctuate due to changes in the prime lending rate. A variable rate will be quoted as prime plus or minus a certain amount, such as prime minus 0.50%. If prime is 2.70%, then your rate will be 2.20%. If your lender’s prime rate goes up or down, your mortgage rate will, too. The prime rate can fluctuate, but your rate’s relationship to prime will remain constant over your term. Variable rate mortgages usually have lower interest rates, but they don’t offer the same stability that a fixed rate mortgage does.

  1. What’s a fixed rate mortgage?

A fixed rate mortgage is a type of mortgage where the interest rate stays the stays the same for the duration of your mortgage term. For example, if you have a five-year fixed rate mortgage at 2.89%, your rate and mortgage payment amount will stay the same for those five years. Fixed rate mortgages are more popular, and offer more stability than variable rate mortgages.

  1. What costs are associated with when buying a home?

There are a number of costs to consider before buying your home, other than your mortgage and you’ll need some cash set aside in addition to your down payment. Your costs will vary depending on what type of home you’re buying (house or condo) and where the home is located. Costs can include the land transfer tax, legal fees, title insurance, home inspection and appraisal fees, and even taxes on CMHC insurance (issued by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation).

  1. What’s an amortization period?

This is the actual length of time it takes you to pay off your mortgage in full. The maximum amortization period in Canada is 25 years for high-ratio mortgages (where the buyer puts down less than a 20% down payment and requires CMHC insurance), and can go up to 35 years for conventional mortgages (those with a down payment of 20% or more). On the other hand, a term is the length of time you commit to one mortgage rate, lender, and associated mortgage terms and conditions.

  1. What’s the difference between a closed, convertible, and open mortgage?

A closed mortgage is a great option for those who are planning to take a little longer to pay off their mortgage, and interest rates are typically lower. You can’t negotiate or refinance throughout the mortgage term, nor prepay (making a lump sum payment toward your mortgage) by more than the limit in your terms and conditions without incurring a prepayment penalty (often, you can prepay a certain amount of the original principal amount, once a year). Closed mortgages can be fixed or variable, and interest rates are lower than rates on an open mortgage.

A convertible mortgage offers similar benefits to a closed mortgage, but it allows you to change the type of mortgage you have – either between fixed and variable rates, or from a shorter term to a longer term – before your term is up, without penalty. Not all lenders offer convertible mortgages.

An open mortgage is great for those who plan to pay off their mortgage in the short term. They can be prepaid, even in full, at any time throughout the mortgage term, without the borrower having to pay a hefty prepayment penalty. However, the flexibility of an open mortgage comes at a cost – typically in the form of higher mortgage rates.

  1. What will my monthly mortgage payments be?

Your monthly mortgage payments correspond to the amount of your down payment, whether or not you have mortgage insurance, your amortization period, the rate and type of your mortgage, and taxes. A mortgage payment calculator will allow you to test scenarios and compare mortgage rates, plus it will calculate CMHC insurance and the land transfer tax. And shop around for the best mortgage rates.

  1. Do I need mortgage default insurance?

Commonly known as CMHC insurance, you’ll require it if your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price. This protects your lender in case you default on your loan.

  1. What options are there to pay off my mortgage faster?

It’s great to be ambitious about paying off your mortgage, but it’s also important to plan your mortgage around your current financial situation, with a bit of wiggle room or a backup plan in case you run into unforeseen obstacles down the road.

If you already have a mortgage, you should shop around and compare rates again when you’re ready to renew. You may find yourself with some added savings and extra money each month, which you can put toward your mortgage.

You could also consider taking advantage of lower interest rates by refinancing your mortgage. However, refinancing before your term is up will result in a penalty, so it’s important to do the math to determine if this will actually result in extra savings for you. A mortgage refinance calculator can help you determine the costs.

Check if you can make biweekly payments, instead of monthly. This will work out to an extra month’s payment toward your mortgage every year. Bear with us…there are 52 weeks in a year, and 12 months. If you pay half of what the monthly mortgage amount would be, but every two weeks, by the end of the year you’ll have paid the equivalent of 13 months instead of 12.

You can also put money directly to the principal amount – but be careful of those prepayment penalties!

We hope you’ve learned a few things about mortgages that you might not have otherwise known. With this newfound knowledge, you’ll be a more educated home buyer.

RateHub.ca is a website that compares mortgage ratescredit cards and deposit rates with the goal to empower Canadians to search smarter and save money.

Choosing a Home Builder for Your New Home

Purchasing a new home is a big decision. When making a purchase of this magnitude, choosing a home builder for your home is just as important as the home you select to be built. In purchasing a new home, you must keep in mind that you are also “purchasing” the company who is building the home. That being said, the qualifications of the builder that you select will ultimately determine your satisfaction with their quality of work. In the end, it will be their skill set and commitment that will result in optimum gratification. It is imperative that you take the time to research builders and select one that has the credentials necessary to meet your expectations as they relate to the quality of your new home.

When it comes to choosing a home builder for your new home, you will find that there are thousands here in Canada. From builders who are part of a larger scale, building hundreds to thousands of homes a year, to those that operate on a more personal and small scale level, only building a few homes each year. You may also notice that each builder will have their own niche, so to speak. It could be prominent neighbourhoods, adult lifestyle communities, or distinctive focuses such as energy efficient homes, among many others. Knowing what you want in your new home will therefore play a vital role in selecting the best builder for the job.

Choosing a Home Builder for the Job

Remember as you begin your search for the perfect builder of your new home, that each company will do business in their own unique way. That being said, as you look at model homes do not only think about the home that you are viewing, but also the builder that is behind the home. Some important questions to ask yourself about each and every builder that you consider are:

  • Who is this company and what do they specialize in?
  • Are the homes that they build high quality, or do they cut corners?
  • What do previous buyers have to say about buying from this company?
  • What guarantees and other after-sale services do they offer?

About the Builder

When you are purchasing a new home, you want to be sure that you do your due diligence in order to ensure that you get the full worth of your investment. So how do you do this? Easy, you select a reputable builder, one who is established – a company that you can trust, that has a proven track record of successful builds, a professional approach to business, and necessary technical skills.

Here are a few questions that you can inquire about to be certain that a builder is worth consideration for the job.

  • Ask for references and past experience history. How long have they been in the business?
  • Is home building the builders only profession?
  • Is the builder a member of the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA)?
  • Does the builder offer home warranties?
  • Will you be able to visit the building site as you please?

Before making your final selection of builder for your new home, carefully consider all building prospects. Think about who the company is, what the company has to offer you and your family, and what they would be like to purchase a new home from. In the end, select the company that has the most to offer you in terms of the best value and overall quality for your investment. The builder that brings you the greatest sense of confidence should be your new home’s builder.

Buying a Brand New Home in Canada

Buying a new home is a process that takes time and research. Purchasing a brand new home is a big investment and an important commitment. It is important when you are buying a brand new home that you are comfortable with your decision, that you feel confident in the builder, and that you are satisfied with the neighbourhood that your new home is in.

Before You Begin Your Search for Buying a Brand New Home

The actual buying process of a buying a brand new home takes place in stages. Before you start looking for the perfect prospects, you will need to prioritize your wants and needs. Take into consideration when drafting your priority list where you want to live, how much you have to spend, how much space that you need (both currently and foreseeable future), and what specifics you are looking for in your new home.

Preplanning before you begin your search for buying a brand new home will save you and your family much time and effort. Discuss with the entire household what they want in their brand new home and what they would appreciate in surrounding areas. Once you have determined what the ‘wants’ of your household are, you can then move forward with prioritizing them into ‘need-to-haves’ and ‘would-be-nice-to-haves’. In making this list, also take the time to consider those things that your family absolutely cannot live with or without. Consider:

  • The home itself
  • Layout – divided or open spaces; informal or formal appeal; privacy; ability to change the space should new needs arise
  • Size – square footage; bedrooms; bathrooms; playrooms; guest rooms; office, etc.
  • Mobility – need for handicap accessibility?
  • Outdoors – room for swing set; pool; fenced in yard; etc.
  • The community
  • Traffic
  • Proximity to public transit
  • Commute time to work
  • Nearby green spaces
  • Finances
  • What funds do you have available?
  • How much are you able to put down for down payment?
  • What would you like your monthly mortgage to be?

Begin Your Search

Once you have prioritized your family’s wants and needs as they pertain to buying a brand new home, you can then begin your search for the right builder. A good starting place is to check ads in your local newspaper, talk to friends, co-workers and even family members who have recently purchased a new home. These word of mouth recommendations are able to help you get a sense of what local builders are offering. You should take the time to discuss with your lender, the mortgage pre-approval process. This way you will have an accurate depiction of what you can look into spending, price-wise.

Home shows are also great places to meet builders and to explore new home finishing options. Drive around and tour model homes, offices and sales centres to discuss offerings. Take notes – this makes comparing and contrasting options easier later on, plus make sure to ask questions and lots of them so later you are not left wondering something you could have asked at the beginning.

Overall, the key to buying a brand new home of your dreams is to take your time, do your research and never settle for less than what you are willing to live with for the rest of your life.