Renting and owning are more different than many first-time homeowners may realize. Here’s a quick list of 10 things to know before buying that first home:
1. Have your home inspected prior to sealing the deal.
Warranties are there to protect the homeowner if your home is a new build, but inspections can help protect you if your home is a resale. It’s always wise to insist that the home pass an inspection as a condition of purchase.
2. Arrange a pre-closing inspection.
“Homebuilders will arrange a pre-delivery inspection before closing,” explains Elizabeth Havery, Manager of Customer Care for the GTA Division of Mattamy Homes. For those purchasing a resale home, it’s recommended that you make a condition of your deal a pre-closing walkthrough just prior to closing.
3. Arrange for some visits to your home between initial purchase and closing.
This makes it easier to plan for renovations, updates and even things like window coverings and décor for new builds.
4. Be prepared for closing day.
Between arranging financing and managing all the legal steps, the closing day can be busy. “We always recommend being in close touch with your lawyer and mortgage broker to make sure you’re fully prepared for closing,” says Havery. Be sure to carefully read and fully understand all legal and financial documents and be ready for all timelines and costs associated with closing.
5. Plan a moving day that allows enough time for closing.
Closing the deal between buyer and seller can take quite a bit of time and often runs into the evening, so it’s wise to plan to move in sometime within a few days of closing. “We usually recommend that people consider moving in on the weekend following the closing of a new construction home, when construction in the community is not as busy and trades aren’t around,” explains Havery.
6. Buy homeowners insurance.
Up until now, you probably have only purchased contents insurance. But as a homeowner, you’ll have to buy insurance on the structure itself. Talk to your insurance agent or broker to get quotes. “Be aware that new builds do have new home warranty protection to cover defects through Tarion,” adds Havery.
7. Set up your utilities.
Whether you previously rented or owned, you may be familiar with updating Canada Post of your new address and the set up of phone and cable connections. “Additionally, in the weeks leading up to your closing day, set up your utilities, such as water, hydro, gas, hot water tank rental and security systems if applicable,” says Havery. “It is important to contact all of these service providers before closing to ensure the activation of your accounts.”
8. Do whatever fixes and updates you can before you move in.
It’s certainly easier without furnishings, so whether it’s sanding floors and doing renovations or simply painting or changing up hardware and switch plates, it’s always easier before move-in.
9. Service the furnace, air conditioner and ducts.
“Most new home builders should conduct an initial duct cleaning prior to the closing date,” says Havery. Remember that your furnace and air conditioner require annual servicing, ducts need to be cleaned periodically and furnace and air filters need to be changed regularly.
10. Introduce yourself to your neighbours.
It’s a great way to establish good relations with those who border your property. Besides making new friends, you’ll create an informal community watch for when you or your neighbours are away from home.
Link to the full article from TheStar https://www.thestar.com/sponsored_sections/valueyourhome/2019/03/10-things-every-new-homeowner-should-know.html