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Old
01-03-2014, 06:23 PM
  #1
illbeback
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Purchasing a new home

Anyone have any advice on purchasing a new home?

Should I go to a real estate agent? What are the pros and cons of going to one versus purchasing it on your own?

Any recommendations on home builders? I was looking at Minto as they are pretty reputable but their town homes are kind of expensive for my liking so perhaps a terrace home would suffice? Any information on terrace homes would be appreciated (for ex: are they sound proof enough to have a bunch of guests over with loud music, are they a good return on investment when planning to re-sell them?).

Lastly, any good sites other than the typical for searching for a home? Remax, GrapeVine, Royal Lepage I've used already.

Any other information would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks in advance.


EDIT: also can you negotiate a lower price for BRAND NEW homes? Or are the base price fixed? I know you can negotiate for older homes but not sure about brand new ones.

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01-03-2014, 06:28 PM
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MiscBrah
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call in to the real estate and mortgage show on CFRA on saturday afternoons. Or just go to a different forum.

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01-03-2014, 06:29 PM
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GimmeMyJetpack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illbeback View Post
Anyone have any advice on purchasing a new home?

Should I go to a real estate agent? What are the pros and cons of going to one versus purchasing it on your own?

Any recommendations on home builders? I was looking at Minto as they are pretty reputable but their town homes are kind of expensive for my liking so perhaps a terrace home would suffice? Any information on terrace homes would be appreciated (for ex: are they sound proof enough to have a bunch of guests over with loud music, are they a good return on investment when planning to re-sell them?).

Lastly, any good sites other than the typical for searching for a home? Remax, GrapeVine, Royal Lepage I've used already.

Any other information would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks in advance.


EDIT: also can you negotiate a lower price for BRAND NEW homes? Or are the base price fixed? I know you can negotiate for older homes but not sure about brand new ones.
You can always negotiate.

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01-03-2014, 06:29 PM
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benjiv1
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I just bought a new build in March, that will be ready in August. (First house)

While we didn't have an actual real estate agent, we did have a family friend help us out.

We bought with Mattamy and have had 0 issues so far. My Aunt also recently bought with Mattamy, and closed in November with no issues.

From what I understand, its a good idea to hire a real estate agent when buying "old", but not entirely necessary when buying new.

Also, a new home increases in value almost as soon as you move in.

You can negotiate on a new build. We went in to put an offer down on a construction special, only for it to have been sold a couple days earlier.

I managed to get the same special, plus a couple extra little bonuses.

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01-03-2014, 06:44 PM
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mat_sens
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I just bought a condo with Brigil couple months back (not yet started the construction). I am a first time home so it's an exciting time for me. Really happy with them as of now even though construction isn't beginning until after winter. What I got from pre-construction prices is some you can definitely negotiate and others not so much because the price is already low.

Also, I've only heard horror stories about Minto when I was looking around for condos and townhouses so be careful. PM me if you want more info.

If you're buying used, check out mls.ca.

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01-03-2014, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by benjiv1 View Post
Also, a new home increases in value almost as soon as you move in.
Have you been paying attention to like...anything the past few years?

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01-03-2014, 07:02 PM
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jaygodard
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Best place to buy right now is North Kanata, Morgans grant area or keyrock drive area, DND just bought the old Nortel building and 4000+ people will be working there witch makes the area very desirable! Also it 7 minutes from Canadian Tire Centre, 7 mins from Cenrum and the new basspro and outlet mall! The value has increased 7-9 percent over the last several years, Minto and Richcraft are building in the area and they are both great!

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01-03-2014, 07:59 PM
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Spire2000
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Negotiating a new build is difficult. You won't get a lower price but you could negotiate some upgrades or design centre money.

A real estate agent won't be much help with a new build and the builders will be reluctant to work with one, thereby removing any goodwill they could throw your way in terms of upgrades. New home builds are at near-capacity in some areas and the buyers don't have much leverage.

Not sure where you are looking at, but one piece of advice is to stay away from Phoenix. They built our first home in Orleans and our entire neighbourhood was continuously irate with them for their after move in service.

We are in a Richcraft new build now and have been extremely happy with them. They are a little on the pricey side, but there are a ton of inclusions (like hardwood, granite, etc...) standard and they tend to only build in quieter areas. We've been in our place in Orleans off Trim Rd for about 4 years now and our $400,000 home was recently appraised at $520,000. Our neighbour behind us just sold for $640,000 with a slightly bigger home and finished basement being the main differences.

Minto builds a ton of houses in Orleans. I don't hear much bad about them, but the sheer amount of builds should have its pros and cons.

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01-04-2014, 12:17 AM
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Sens Mile
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I would at the very least have a consultation for a real estate agent.

I know this is not the traditional forum for these type of things, but my family raves about an agent they used by the name of George Kachulis. He works through Royal Lepage and is a guy that knows his stuff, knows the city, and won't pressure you into doing anything. His credentials are at http://www.callgeorge.ca/

And to Hfboards mods, I am sorry if this post is considered inappropriate. If this is a violation of the rules can I just have a friendly reminder instead of an infraction? First time I have ever made a post like this one and am unsure on the guidelines. Just helping out a fellow Hfboarder with information on a guy who could help him, and where we had a personal excellent experience with him.

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01-04-2014, 12:40 AM
  #10
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01-04-2014, 12:59 AM
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Sorry, just passing through, saw this thread as the most recent in the Atlantic division, one good tip when buying a house (not new houses) is to check the cupboards and the closets. First, if the previous owner have them filled to the brim, it could point to a lack of storage space in the house.

Second, it's always good to check the walls inside the closets because people rarely fix them, you can see if there's water damage, if there's mold, etc.

And I'm out of here

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01-04-2014, 01:13 AM
  #12
FolignoQuantumLeap
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My advice would be to not ask for advice on a hockey forum. Seriously though, something like r/ottawa would probably be way more helpful

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01-04-2014, 02:05 AM
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MainDotC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illbeback View Post
Anyone have any advice on purchasing a new home?

Should I go to a real estate agent? What are the pros and cons of going to one versus purchasing it on your own?

Any recommendations on home builders? I was looking at Minto as they are pretty reputable but their town homes are kind of expensive for my liking so perhaps a terrace home would suffice? Any information on terrace homes would be appreciated (for ex: are they sound proof enough to have a bunch of guests over with loud music, are they a good return on investment when planning to re-sell them?).

Lastly, any good sites other than the typical for searching for a home? Remax, GrapeVine, Royal Lepage I've used already.

Any other information would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks in advance.


EDIT: also can you negotiate a lower price for BRAND NEW homes? Or are the base price fixed? I know you can negotiate for older homes but not sure about brand new ones.
You have to understand that buying a home is not like buying a Pepsi from the store. The bank will perform a very thorough background and credit check to examine your worthiness of being lent money to purchase the deed to the house, thus making the bank the actual owner of the house. Before you even think of negotiating or trying to throw your weight around you need to understand that your credit history will be heavily scrutinized to find any possible reason to deny you a mortgage or offer you a loan with an inflated interest rate that the bank knows you will not be able to pay back and (they hope) eventually foreclose. Given the circumstances I wouldn't even bother if I were you and please try to be a little more cognizant of the magnitude of the situation.

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01-04-2014, 03:38 AM
  #14
danielpalfredsson
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I'm not an expert, so this isn't advice......but I'd imagine now is a bad time to buy. Lots of sources report housing prices as being completely out of touch with most usual factors such as median household income. That, and Canadians are taking on massive levels of debt.

Buy when everybody is running away. Even in Ottawa, between the cost of taxes, maintenance, and time and/or money possibly saved from being able to live in an apartment closer to work (due to the flexibility of renting), waiting a few years to get into the property market couldn't hurt.

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01-04-2014, 05:17 AM
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This is strictly anecdotal, but I've heard absolutely scathing reviews of Mattamy in Ottawa. Poor build quality, lots of problems due to poor work and cutting tons of corners. My brother-in-law has a Mattamy home, and every house on his block had extensive black mold & water damage due to ice dams forming above their garage, due to a cut corner that would have cost the builder $30/home to avoid.

Lots of other stuff out on the web about Mattamy and issues they've had in the Ottawa valley...

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01-04-2014, 06:31 AM
  #16
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Just bought my first house a few weeks ago. I knew very little about purchasing a house before but have learned lots.

An agent can save you a huge amount of time and will cost you nothing. They actually get commission split from the selling agent in most cases. Our agent knew what we wanted so he was on the constant lookout and sent us houses we might be interested in as soon as they were available. He also arranged viewing times for us and did all the negotiations. The important thing to look for in an agent is reliability and trustworthiness.

We were unimpressed with the quality of most new builds we saw. It seems like the trend is to build as cheaply as possible as quick as possible although most older homes will have at least a few compromises so you'll have to decided what's important to you.

There's a lot that you have to pay attention to when looking at houses. Is there proper drainage, signs of amateur workmanship, good ventilation? Try to imagine future work you may want tondo and look at how you may be limited by things like placements of walls, pipes, regulations and by laws etc.

We spent 5-6 months looking and we saw a huge amount of places that just seemed terrible. We also wasted about 1 month looking at homes we couldn't afford so I'd recommend getting pre approved for a mortgage so you know exactly what you can afford.

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01-04-2014, 08:05 AM
  #17
Nac Mac Feegle
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Definitely do your research on these different builders if you're buying new. We didn't years ago and bought a Sanrob home. They conveniently went "bankrupt" right after our neighborhood was built, and came back under a different name a year later (and then went the bankrupt-resurrection under a different name routine a couple more times). I would love to get out of my current place, but it was built so badly that not only would no one buy it for a decent price, but even putting in thousands in repairs wouldn't fix the fatal flaw in it (they literally built the foundation/house on the wrong side of the lot, and now the side door to the driveway is on the right side of the house, yet the driveway is on the left). There are a lot of con men in the construction industry...don't go into the housing market with your eyes closed!

Honestly, if you can find an older home that has a strong set of bones on it at a good price, it's almost better to to buy that and invest some savings into insulation/electrical upgrades than purchasing a new place.

One big tip - do not purchase anywhere near your maximum allowable mortgage form the bank. The way utilities, taxes, etc, are increasing, you need to leave plenty of wiggle room financially to survive. Always be conservative and live within your means. I'm (un)lucky enough to have lived during the 1980s, and at that time, there were quite a few people who quickly landed in hot water when it came time to renew their mortgage during the hyper inflation years....having a 7% interest rate suddenly become 21% during that time was a killer. You never know what will happen in the future - job loss, sickness, natural disaster, economy going haywire, etc...always leave yourself a financial cushion.

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01-04-2014, 08:12 AM
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600,000 for a SFH in an Ottawa suburb is absolutely ridiculous.

Your home is not an investment, do not buy it for that reason.

That being said, if I had to buy a new home in Ottawa, and I could afford it, I'd buy a Cardel.

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01-04-2014, 08:33 AM
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Just bought a house after looking for over a year. I can't really tell you anything about new construction, but here's what I recommend:

1. Figure out what you can spend. Save up and put as much money down as possible. If you can't afford at least 5-10% you should keep saving. You don't want to borrow a downpayment. Make sure your credit scores are clean and there are no mistakes (Transunion/Equifax). Shop around for a bunch of pre-approvals within a short timespan. This will limit the damage on your credit rating.
2. Start going to open houses well in advance so you can figure out what you want. Your Sunday afternoons are now booked for the foreseeable future.
3. Figure out roughly what neighborhoods will work for your commute to work, recreation, friends, etc. Drive around and look at the houses. Some neighborhoods will be mostly split levels, some will be mostly two stories, some will be bungalows.
4. You will meet agents at the open houses. When you meet someone that you like, ask them to put you on an email list. You'll get a daily email with new listings in your search area and price range. You aren't committed to using them until they make you sign an exclusivity agreement. For us, this was not until we put in an offer on a property. Choose an agent that is flexible enough to take you to a property on your schedule but also seems like they will be a competent negotiator. The seller pays your agent but they are legally obligated to work in your best interests.
5. Keep a spreadsheet of some approximate repair/renovation costs and use this to guide your purchases. For example, if they're asking 400k for a property, but it needs new windows, a new kitchen, new floors and a new furnace, you might want to just pass unless you've got a bunch of extra money in the bank. Another house listed at 415k with no work necessary is a much better deal. Do the math. From my experience, the Ottawa market seems to be very little room for price negotiation (maybe 10k or so except in rare circumstances) so you'll probably just have to pass on the houses that need too much work for the price they are asking, or wait for them to drop in price on their own. You'll get a feel for what certain properties are worth. If you go see a property and you notice that it sells, ask your agent what it sold for. This will help you calibrate. If you feel like they're asking 20-30k too much, it doesn't hurt to put in a lower offer, but don't get your hopes up in this market.

That's it for now. I close on my first house in a few weeks.

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01-04-2014, 08:35 AM
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Lenny the Lynx
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My advice would be to not ask for advice on a hockey forum. Seriously though, something like r/ottawa would probably be way more helpful
Especially since the average age on here is like 16.

Also I think people are overhyping the prospect houses on here (the not yet built ones). It's like every other thread

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01-04-2014, 10:02 AM
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Have you been paying attention to like...anything the past few years?
Hahaha.

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01-04-2014, 10:13 AM
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mat_sens
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If you want customer reviews (buying new). Check out Homestars.com

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01-04-2014, 10:23 AM
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StefanW
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I would always use a real estate agent for purchasing a home. They can schedule the appts for viewings for you, and as someone already pointed out their commission is split from the selling agent so it costs you nothing. Avoid taking advice from people about real estate agents unless you know the person well. People often recommend relatives and friends (or friends of friends), and you can end up with a bad one. A good real estate agent will be patient with you and not pressure you in any way in order to make a sale, and will point out obvious flaws in houses you view.

I would avoid using a home inspector that your real estate agent suggests. The agent makes money if they get a sale, so it is in their best interests to suggest home inspectors who are likely to move a sale forward. I'm not saying everyone is shady, but when you make the largest purchase of your lifetime you want to be extra cautious.

I would not personally recommend buying a home brand new. If you are considering it, add the lot fee and the price of the home together and see what is comparable in the area. If you are happy with the comparison then go for it, but if you find that you are paying a bunch of extra cash for nothing then avoid buying new. One advantage to homes that have been lived in for a few years is you can see how the house has shifted, whether there are obvious flaw or defects in how it was built, etc. Builder flaws in particular are often pretty obvious when a house is 5-10 years old.

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01-04-2014, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Two Line Pass View Post
Just bought a house after looking for over a year. I can't really tell you anything about new construction, but here's what I recommend:

1. Figure out what you can spend. Save up and put as much money down as possible. If you can't afford at least 5-10% you should keep saving. You don't want to borrow a downpayment. Make sure your credit scores are clean and there are no mistakes (Transunion/Equifax). Shop around for a bunch of pre-approvals within a short timespan. This will limit the damage on your credit rating.
I would go one step further and say ideally have 20% saved for a down payment. That way you don't have to insure your mortgage and pay extra fees when you don't have to.

I just got out of school and will have to pay my student loan soon. I, however, also have savings that can cover it or a down payment on a home.

When I was working during the summer, some of the older coworkers in their 40s had student loans and mortage still. Can you actually get a mortgage with a student loan still? Is it advisable? Would it be better to pay off student loan right away or put a down payment on a home and avoid paying rent.

Ofcourse I will take a better look at my finances but just thought I would throw it out there since many of you prob experienced same thing.

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01-04-2014, 11:11 AM
  #25
StefanW
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I would go one step further and say ideally have 20% saved for a down payment. That way you don't have to insure your mortgage and pay extra fees when you don't have to.

I just got out of school and will have to pay my student loan soon. I, however, also have savings that can cover it or a down payment on a home.

When I was working during the summer, some of the older coworkers in their 40s had student loans and mortage still. Can you actually get a mortgage with a student loan still? Is it advisable? Would it be better to pay off student loan right away or put a down payment on a home and avoid paying rent.
Ofcourse I will take a better look at my finances but just thought I would throw it out there since many of you prob experienced same thing.
I have a student loan that is lingering plus a mortgage. It actually is not that bad, because student loans come with a pretty good interest rate. Anyway, it goes by percentage of income paid toward debt maintenance, not the type of loan, so it does not make a difference if you are paying $300 a month (for example) on a car loan or a student loan.

There are a lot of factors that go into whether buying a house is advisable. I personally decided that paying rent was a dumb move in the long run, and that the amount I would continue to save would be offset by jumps in housing prices. As a result, when I bought my first house I beat the big real estate run in a different city and the value of that house increased by about 150% in a 5 year span. I made several times more than the total mortgage payments I made over those 5 years, so it worked out great for me. The extra equity also made buying a house in Ottawa relatively easy when we moved here. The thing is no one has a crystal ball, and there is no telling whether it would out as well if I did the same thing today.

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