Find a well established builder, if you are new home buyer.

How to find a well established builder?

Research the Builders who build there

Tips to find a well-established builder:

  • Find the local Builders Association for a list of Builders that are registered members. You can access this through organizations like the Canadian Home Builders Association. It is important to note that there may be other Builders out there as well that just have not chosen to be members of a local builders association. They may well be great, but generally, those who pay a fee to be a member have not only gone through a due diligence process to be a member but also take the business seriously and are well established.
  • If you do find a Builder who is NOT on the local Builder association (and perhaps even if they are) you want to check to see if they have a valid business license and if they have been recognized by the Better Business Beaureu or other local organizations.
  • Your local city hall may also have a list of the number of permits that Builder has pulled for construction in the past year, giving you an idea of the strength of the Builder and may even be able to share their knowledge and experience with that Builder. Both small and large Builders have been known to go out of business and it’s important to check this out carefully, especially as later you will be giving them deposits. (example: REID Built – Bankruptcy)
  • Check local rating sites such as Avid Ratings and HomeStars who utilize consumer ratings of the Builders. It is also best to look at more than one as it is possible a rating site is paid to ensure that Builder looks better than they really are so verifying various resources will give you the clearest picture.
  • The Developer will typically choose those Builders they are working within that Development and there is a myriad of reasons they have made that decision. The developer is selling the lots to the Builder, but remember they need to assist them in selling as well as the Builder needs to pay them for the land and that doesn’t always get paid at the beginning. Often the completion of that payment comes out of your purchase when you move in so you are helping to pay for the development of that community.
  • Finally, talk to friends and family or utilize your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to reach out to find out who has built with particular builders and the quality of experience they had.

Buying a brand new home from builder? Steps to find new home

brand new home
Find brand new home

Looking to buy a brand new home for the first time?

We want to offer you some key suggestions on purchasing a brand new home, you can use to ensure you make the most of your own research on buying. Learn how to utilize some Real Estate professionals as well as find how to use the Builder Sales representative all to your benefit, so that in the end YOU have all the knowledge and information necessary to protect yourself in making a great decision on a YOUR new home.

Step 1: Start Your Research Early

Buying a new home is far more detailed than buying a new TV or new car. It will likely be the most important decision AND investments you ever make for your family. Many of our parents will readily admit they “wish they had known” ……… is the time to seek and find the best home and investment opportunity for you and your family.

Start researching as early as possible. Many of us assume that there is only a limited number of Builders in the city you come from. We make this assumption because those are the Builders that do the majority of the mass marketing and so it’s not hard to see why you come to this conclusion. Reality is that there will undoubtedly be FAR more Builders than you even though…in fact, your favorite real estate agent most likely isn’t aware of many more than you are. Often the ones they take you to are the few they have experience or a relationship with.

For example in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, the population in 2016 according to Census Canada is only 295,095 and yet there are 120+ Builders in the city, some of which only building 1-2 homes a year, but others building 100’s.

Step 2: Figure out where you want to live

Determining the best place to live based on your employment, a significant others employment, secondary and post-secondary education needs, as well as recreation requirements for the family all, play a large part. Some key factors to look at are:

  • what new communities are being developed now, or are soon to be opening in your area and what they have to offer. Many developments are years in the making so with a little research you can see what might be coming soon and be at the lead of understanding who is building there and get in early.
  • What amenities is the development going to offer, including important ones like schools? If your children are newborn or only a year or two it might be perfect as that new school may be scheduled to open just as your child reaches the age of requiring one and be first on the list because they live in the area. New school, new teachers, a new approach to education can also be an exciting advantage. Others that have older kids may find new private school options or public transportation routes that will make it easier for them to attend post-secondary and still live at home, saving you money.
  • Look at the transportation routes planned, will a route that now exists be changed or a large freeway interchange built that changes what part of the development you want to be in. Some City roads have been planned for 20 years or more, little research you will find out if you want to live close to a brand-new interchange planned two years from now or not.
  • Shopping, what is planned? Is there daycare? Seniors facilities and services? Even items like police stations and fire halls can be important to what the rating will be for insurance and your overall insurance costs in that community once you move in.


New Home or Used Home – is there really a question here?


welcome to new home

New Home Buyers are not interested in used homes……they are looking for a brand New Home for so many reasons.

The most important thing to recognize is the desire to buy a Brand-new home is in fact growing amongst consumers with more than 53% indicating their next home will be a new one. More millennials are looking to find the newest in innovation and best location to settle into, one that matches the type of lifestyle they want to be living.  Baby Boomers are also leaning more toward a new home as well as they are tired of the many years of maintaining their used home.  They have spent countless hours and thousands of dollars keeping their home as a solid investment so that they can now sell and move into something new, maintenance free and offers the many luxuries an early retirement lifestyle deserves.

New Home Buyers want new items, the newest in appliances, smart homes, energy efficiency, new home warranty, maintenance free building and more. They are not interested, and simply don’t have the time or willingness inherit someone else’s worn carpeting, used  kitchen appliances or look at some other family’s initials scrawled into cement they didn’t put there. They want their Houzz and Pinterest Dream of a new home, one that is clean, well designed, effective, innovative with a great location to amazing amenities.

Do You have to Use a Real Estate Agent? Nope…

Unfortunately, most buyers can’t easily look up only new homes on (MLS). The average consumer CAN NOT look up the house by age of home, your stuck looking through all the used homes to find them. This is because the system is specifically designed to ensure you only get limited information encouraging you to call a real estate agent.

Thankfully other online services are appearing to help many New Home Buyers in becoming extremely well versed in new homes, the projects, the builder and more.  Many start their online research as much as 5 months before they ever talk to a Builder or an agent. They use so many online services including the Canadian Home Builders Association, the Builders own website, or sites that bring all the new homes into one place like

Buy Direct from a Builder or Use an Agent?

By the time many New Home Buyers decide they are ready to buy their brand-new home, they often already know more than the local real estate agent.  So, one of the first questions you may have is should you even use a Real Estate Agent?  “What value does the Real Estate agent bring and I heard the Builder will keep the price higher to pay their commission?”   Yet you have also heard from your friends and others the horror stories in buying a new home direct from a Builder and not getting what was promised and the many headaches that follow.

Take a look at the next series of Blog posts for the Steps of what to do next!

Radon gas a deadly killer. How to evict radon?

Radon gas

Radon is a radioactive gas, it is invisible and dangerous if found in high concentration in your home and considered one of the deadly killer in Canadian Homes.Why? Most of the homes in Canada does have radon gas because it occurs naturally in the ground, but the concern is how much is safe and how to evict radon gas? This is one of the important issue new home buyers should consider while purchasing their new home.

We all know that inhaling carbon monoxide is harmful for our health…but there is another silent killer in our own home called Radon gas.

What is Radon gas? How does it affect your health? When it enters your home? Here’s all you need to know

Radon falls in the category of radioactive gas which occurs naturally due to the breakdown of uranium in the ground. You cannot see, smell or taste radon gas, as it can enter in your home undetected.

In the outside atmosphere radon is not concentrated therefore it’s not concern. However, in confined spaces like your house, radon gas concentration can increase up to high levels leading to many health risks.

How does it enter into you home?…

Radon gas enters your home from any place where the house touches the soil and there is an opening.

Main entry points in your home are:

  • cracks in foundation walls and floor slabs
  • construction joints
  • gaps around service pipes
  • support posts
  • window casements
  • floor drains
  • sumps or cavities inside walls
  • dirt floors

What amount of radon is dangerous?

There are lot factors that contribute the concentration of radon in your home like, the amount of uranium in the ground, the number of entry points in your home and last but not least the poor ventilation in your home.

Health risks to you and your family?

16 % of lung cancer deaths in Canada are caused by exposure to radon gas for long time.

The time difference between the exposure and the onset disease is many years, it does not happen over days or months. Occasional exposure to radon does not produce symptoms like coughing and headaches as happens when you are smoking. The risk starts to develop when you are inhaling the air which has high concentration of radon gas and the period of time you are doing same.

The risk of lung cancer significantly increases if you are a smoker and also breathing radon.

What is the prevention method?

Radon gas is dangerous and one of the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmoker. This gas is odorless and colorless that’s why most Albertans are unaware of its presence in their homes. In a research done by Robson DNA Science Center Network, it was found that 1 in 8 Alberta homes exceeded Canada’s maximum acceptable radon limits. Research shows that the radon gas issues is higher in newly built home as compared to older ones, because they are built more airtight.

How to Evict Radon?

Get your home tested to see if its affected by radon gas or not. Buying a new home is always challenging and a big decision of everyone’s life, you can add buyers’ condition to have radon gas test before purchasing. The process takes 3 months but you can always buy test kits which cost $60 and the total cost will be less than $3000. Purchase your radon test kit from here (link)

There are also some devices that are approved by Health Canada, the standard long-term radon detectors are the electret ion chamber and the alpha track detector. The most popular long-term radon detectors are the electret ion chamber and the alpha track detector.

The detectors are placed inside the home for some time and then send to labs for test. Radon gas is measured in units called “becquerels per cubic meter” (Bg/m3). In order to get the accurate results, the tests are done in different seasons as the levels of radon can be different in fall as compared to winter months. The concentration of radon gas inside the home varies over time, that is why the standard time for the test is 90 days, set by Health Canada. Ready to conduct the radon test yourself?

Follow these rules before doing the test


  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions and the guidelines before placing the radon detector inside your home
  • Make the measurement in the lowest lived – in area where you spend less than 4 hours a day
  • Avoid bathrooms, as you spend less in this room
  • In order to avoid disturbance during the measurement, place the detector somewhere in the corner.
  • Place the detector a minimum of 50cm from any floor, wall or ceiling and more than 20 cm from other objects.


  • Don’t take the measurement in the kitchen, as the exhaust fan, humidity and airborne particles from cooking can alter the test result.
  • Don’t place the detector close to an outside wall, near a sump or floor drain
  • Avoid locating the detector in drafts from heating or air conditioning vents, near windows or doors, or sources of heat, such as stoves, fireplaces or strong sunlight.



  1. Evict Radon. Retrieved from
  2. Canada, H. (2014, July 30). How to Test for Radon? Retrieved from
  3. Canada, H. (2012, September 25). What are the Health Effects of Radon? Retrieved from
  4. Evict Radon. (2017, November 12). Retrieved from
  5. Image retrieved from Http://







New Homes, Millennials just love them more!

New Homes fit the Millennial generation better as they don’t want what their parents had, they want a brand new homes that fit their fast paced lifestyle.

I don’t know how to renovate?

Gone are the days of the average home buyer who is looking for a home that “needs a little work”. There are very few of those below the age of 30 that were raised by their parents with the skills and knowledge to renovate a home. In fact, few possess the skills to operate a power saw or a drill…and it’s not their fault.  Most of their parents were raised in a generation where being handy at home was not for them; they had their careers to work on, friends and then the internet had come along.

The handy home repair requirements were taken care of by their parents (millennial grand parents) so the kids didn’t have to.  Well, launch forward 20 years and the children (our millennial) didn’t grow up with any role models to have learned anything about how to utilize some of the common power tools, much less take on the task of renovating a home.  Unfortunately, it’s not something that SIRI can answer for you either.

So what does this mean to New Home Builders and Renovation companies out there?  Well it means they have a whole lot more business coming their way, and its only going to grow.

Aren’t New Homes Better?

“Buying a new home directly from the builder, whether a condo, townhouse or detached, is a popular choice. Almost one-third of all homes sold in Canada each year are brand new. In Ontario alone, more than 52,500 buyers opted for a new build last year, and a forecast by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) predicts that number will only climb.”  Romna King, Money Sense  (

millennial are looking for a turn-key home where they can just move in, that is close to the many amenities of their community, close to friends and public transportation and that is selfcontained – not requiring much in the way of maintenance – or carries a monthly fee that takes care of those many needs. They also want a new home that offers the most advanced technologies available that suit their lifestyle, allow for continued and uninterrupted enjoyment of social media and other online experiences and, with a large component of people working from home, the ability to have speed, access and office space related to day-to-day business is key.

The biggest difference in today’s home buyer however is NOT that they don’t have the handyman skills their grandparents possessed, but the seemingly innate ability to know how to research and find out so much information about a home. The days of relying on a REALTOR® or the show home staff member are not what they used to be.

Buyers today know the marketplace, they know the inventory by checking out sites like NewHomeListingService where they can find all of the Builders and their product in one place, and do a great deal of research before they ever talk to a Builder, show home person, or an agent.  These sites operate like the Trivago and of the world that amalgamate all of the hotels in one place allowing you to choose what hotel works best for your needs.  NewHomeListingService does the same thing for the new home building industry.  Today’s buyers of new homes are aware of the average costs of home and readily compare amenities and features of various homes and conduct a ton of research long before making that decision.  So what can Builders and REALTORS® do to prepare for this?

Do Builders Really Get What We Want?

Builders, first of all have to market where these buyers are looking and that is totally online.  Now many Builders have a website which is great, but here is the problem for the consumer: If you plan on buying a new home and rely on the websites, you now have a great deal of research to do. There are literally hundreds of Builders in each community offering a variety of inventory, some available soon, some not available until after an 8-10 month build time.  Each one features their upgrades differently and some will publish their prices while others will not.  Consumers who have online experiences like booking a hotel, are looking for that same experience. They don’t want to be creating spreadsheets to cross compare features, pricing, amenities. They want it all in one place so they can quickly make a very educated decision.

Why? They just Don’t Have Time.

Their lives are filled with social interaction both online and off, and life today is as busy as ever.  Consumers of old never experienced a faster experience, so never demanded it.  Years ago, Real Estate Agents used to have a printed book of listings and consumers relied on them to know what was for sale and to take them. Years after sites like existed, people would be inconvenienced if they were told they had to do their own research or rely on others to get them information.

REALTORS® also must be able to quickly find information as there are many new buyers who simply don’t have the time to spend online looking and rely on a professional to do the research for them. But that doesn’t mean they will accept a few properties to look at. They expect agent to show them ALL of the possibilities. That means a lot of research for agents and a lot of time lost, all while their own client may just walk into a show home and buy without them.

Knowing about sources like NewHomeListingService,  and others, can accelerate that research and make it so much easier and faster to help buyers find brand new homes. Because they don’t want a “fixer upper”, and grandpa sure isn’t going to be able to help them out too much…well maybe a little, but guessing with the vision being not what it used to be things may not be as straight as they’d hoped.

New home buyers are where the future is at.  They are either buying a brand-new home, which is great for Builders if they can bring the many features to a home that new buyers want, or fantastic for the business of renovation companies. Either way, the new young buyers are a force that need to be considered and knowing where to advertise new homes or where to help your young clients find new homes will be crucial to your future success.

Milo Anderson

How a Mortgage Broker Can Help You Navigate the Edmonton Real Estate Market

When you think of the people who help navigate the real estate market, your first thought is probably realtors. These experts understand all the components of a home that make up its value, like what type of home it is, whether it’s close to good schools, and what similar homes have sold for recently. But there’s a second professional you should have on your side to help you navigate the Edmonton real estate market: A mortgage broker.

Much like real estate agents help you shop for homes, an Edmonton mortgage broker can help you shop for mortgages. They work with multiple mortgage lenders (including some you might not have heard of) to get the best deal for you. And their services are usually free because mortgage brokers earn a marketing fee from the lenders they work with. But since they get paid no matter which lender you end up using, their primary interest is in getting you a mortgage with the right rate and terms for your needs.

In hot housing markets, homeowners can count on their home to appreciate in value and mask the cost of mortgage mistakes. But in Edmonton—where home prices have been flat or slightly falling for the past few years—you can’t count on a rise in house prices to make up for the cost of paying interest on a mortgage.

It’s important to get the best possible mortgage rate to maximize your equity when it comes time to sell. Mortgage brokers have access to rates far lower than those available from any bank or credit union. On a $500,000 mortgage amortized over 25 years, the difference between 2.99% and 2.64% is close to $3,000 in equity over a five-year term.

If you’re like many Albertans who have run into financial trouble in the recent economic downturn, a mortgage broker can help you overcome credit problems to find options to buy or refinance a home. While Canada’s Big Five banks prefer to work only with people who are employed full time and have good credit, that’s not the reality for many people.

Fortunately, there are many alternative lenders who are willing to lend to people who don’t fit in the banks’ “ideal borrower” category. A mortgage broker can review your financial situation with you and help you find the lender that will give you the best deal given your circumstances. These services are available to support new Canadians as well.

If you’re buying a new home, the best time to engage with a mortgage broker is before you start your search. Start by looking for the broker with the best mortgage rate. There are many mortgage brokers with local offices in Edmonton and some others who serve the area from elsewhere if you don’t mind working with your mortgage agent over the phone or by email. Your broker can help you get a sense of options and explain the difference between mortgage products.

Your mortgage broker can also get you a mortgage pre-approval, which is a letter stating how much you can afford to spend on a home. Being armed with that information gives you great bargaining power when making an offer on a home. The sellers may be more motivated to give a good deal to someone they know is serious and won’t cause the sale to fall through because of financing issues.

The maximum mortgage amount on your pre-approval is based on regulations that state your mortgage, property taxes, heating costs, 50 per cent of your condo fees (if applicable), and payments on other debts can’t exceed 44 per cent of your income. This calculation is known as your total debt service ratio (TDS). Buying a home that maxes out your affordability can cause stress on your budget later on so many people prefer to spend less than their maximum pre-approval amount. Talk to your mortgage broker about what your mortgage payments will be using different purchase prices or use a mortgage payment calculator for a quick estimate.

Navigating the Edmonton real estate market can be easy if you have the right professionals on your side. Using a mortgage broker is a great way to ensure you get the best mortgage rate and the right mortgage terms for your needs. Talk to a mortgage broker before you begin your search and you’ll be armed with the right information to find your new home. is a website that compares mortgage ratescredit cards, high-interest savings accounts, chequing accounts, and insurance with the goal to empower Canadians to search smarter and save money.

Top 5 Edmonton Communities – Tamarack Common

Tamarack Common is a new southeast Edmonton community, developed by Qualico Communities. Tamarack is a great community for “Edmontonians” because of its location to pre-existing amenities and quick access to the city or airport. For recreational amenities, residents can enjoy the Meadows Community Recreation Centre and Golf Course, as well as playgrounds and parks around the community.

Residents have access to a multitude of shopping, such as Sobey’s Garden Market, Milwoods Town Centre, Home Depot and Staples. Tamarack Common is located less than five kilometers away from Grey Nuns Hospital. For families within the community, there are several schools in the surrounding area: Mary Hanley Elementary, Father Michael Troy Jr. High, Velma E. Baker School, and A. Blair McPherson School.

Home buyers have a wide range of homes available to them, including duplex style homes, rear lane access homes, attached garage homes and townhomes. The Tamarack community has three builders: Sterling Homes, Parkwood Master Builder and Pacesetter Homes.

Sterling Homes is one of the most established home builders in Western Canada with over 65 years of experience. Sterling Homes will be building single family houses, rear lane town homes and front garage duplexes.

The second builder is Parkwood Master Builder, who will be contributing front garage duplexes and single family homes. Parkwood Master Builder has been working in the Edmonton area for over 28 years and emphasizes a thorough customer experience for every new homebuyer.

Finally, Pacesetter Homes will be building single family homes, rear lane townhomes and front garage duplexes. Pacesetter is a well-known builder to the Edmonton area, known for quality and a focus on the customer’s experience.

Tamarack Common is an exciting new community in the southeast Edmonton area, with all the pre-existing amenities, moving and getting settled in will feel effortless. Its location is near several schools making it ideal for families, however its location near Anthony Henday Drive and Whitemud Drive gives residents easy access to the city and airport, making it ideal for young professionals as well.

The DigiHand is a YYC Social Media Marketing company that helps align small business owners with savvy individuals to help grow their social media following and business.

Top 5 Edmonton Communities – Cavanagh in Heritage Valley

Cavanagh is a new development located in Heritage Valley, in the south of Edmonton. Cavanagh is described as “modern living in the heritage valley,” providing homes that reflect early Albertan heritage, but with an updated feel and urban twist.

Cavanagh is a great community for young families and young single professionals because of its location. Cavanagh provides residents with easy access to shopping, dining and the airport, however residents also have access to Blackmud Creek for outdoor recreation.

Cavanagh gives homeowners diversity in housing types and styles, however each type features common design elements, giving the community a sense of architectural harmony.

Cavanagh has five builders contributing to the community, including Cameron Homes, Hopewell Residential, Pacesetter Homes, Rohit Group of Companies and Sterling Homes.

Front Garage Single Family Homes are built solely by Sterling Homes, one of the most established Family Home Builders in Western Canada.

While Front Garage Duplexes are built by Cameron Homes, Pacesetter Homes, Rohit Group of Companies and Sterling Homes.

Cameron Homes is a family owned company from Edmonton known for an emphasis on family values.

Pacesetter Homes is also an Edmonton based builder who focuses on customer satisfaction and individuality.

Rohit Group of Companies is a leading home builder in Edmonton and Fort McMurray, known for its town homes and duplexes.

The Laned Homes are solely built by Hopewell Residential, a home builder, who’s been building homes for Albertans for more than 20 years.

Finally, Laned Duplexes are built by Hopewell Residential, Pacesetter Homes, Rohit Group of Companies, and Sterling Homes.

Cavanagh is a new community that comes with history. This community’s unique design features make it an exciting new addition to the Edmonton area. With a fantastic group of contributing builders and range of housing styles, Cavanagh is a great place for anyone to call home.

The DigiHand is a YYC Social Media Marketing company that helps align small business owners with savvy individuals to help grow their social media following and business.

Featured Builder of the Week — Cornerbrook Custom Homes


Cornerbrook Custom Homes is a division of Cornerbrook Construction Ltd., incorporated in 1975. They are a Leduc based builder focused on creating homes unique to the buyer.

As a family owned and operated business, Cornerbrook works hard for it’s customers because they pride their selves in their work. Not only do they build homes fit to your liking, but they offer renovation services as well as design services. At Cornerbrook, small details are just as important as large details, and their constant contact with suppliers and clients ensures no details are overlooked.

Cornerbrook Construction Ltd. Is a member of the Alberta New Home Warranty Program (ANHWP), and has been since 1986. They have also received a multi-year Service Award in the home building industry.

Cornerbrook offers over 20 different floor plans featuring a variety of layouts for bungalows, two-storey homes, bi-level homes, or homes on acreages. Though they have many plans, you are certainly not limited to their floor plans, they are more than happy to collaborate with you and your plans or ideas.

Featured Builder of the Week — Avalon Master Builder

Avalon Master Builder is a family run company started by Steve and Joyce Scott in 1983, and now is run by their son Ryan Scott. They have a Master Builder designation, and are members of the Calgary Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) and are EnerGuide approved. They have also done some Built Green homes, LEED certified communities, and Holmes on Homes stamp of approval projects.

Their mission statement? “We want to build net-zero homes at no extra cost to our homeowners. We want to work with extraordinary people. We want to use innovative building ideas and designs to create better living and healthy homes for our customers and the environment.

As one of the best builders in Alberta, they have many awards:

  • Customer Choice Award (Calgary Region) 9 times in the past 12 years
  • In 2012 they won the Homeowners mark of Excellence Award due to holding the highest overall customer satisfaction survey in Canada.
  • In 2015 they were awarded the SAIT Polytechnic Partnership Award

All Avalon built homes must meet third party standards in energy efficiency and sustainable building practices. Each home is tested by a trained, independent expert and given an EnerGuide rating that certifies the energy efficiency of your home. Avalon’s vision for the future is net-zero homes. A net zero home uses as much, or more, energy than it consumes.

Every home they sell is covered by a ten-year Alberta New Home Warranty Program (ANHWP), which covers major structural construction items.