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01-04-2014, 10:13 AM
  #26
The Lewler
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Being in your 40's and still paying student debt is just pissing money away.

People reaching way beyond their means.

Get rid of your student loan first.

It's debt, and it's taking a big chunk out of your cash flow. If it got you into a decent, secure job, then it's not bad debt, but you need to repay it ASAP. Rent while doing this, as it will be guaranteed cheaper.

Then re-evaluate.

If you are in a job where you will be in one place for the long haul (very rare nowadays) , and the idea of having your own home is important to you, then save for downpayment. 20%+ of the price so you avoid CMHC.

Do not buy a home because you think it's a good investment.

While residential RE may have been in the past (although numbers would show not as good as some people claim) , economists the world over now believe Canada is one of the most over-priced real estate markets on earth.

The economics of it are frightening. Record household debt, interest rates that have been at emergency rates for long enough that people now think they are normal.. houses cannot keep rising exponentially in value while the average Canadian's wage does not. Certain people, and certain small segments of markets will always behave differently. But if average Joe and Jane Canuck are making 47k a year each, and carrying 50k in consumer debt, there is only so much they can pay for a house in their lifetime.

Invest your money. Diversified portfolio, use a fee-based advisor. Make money on all the debt slaves.

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01-04-2014, 10:14 AM
  #27
TrueNorthGooner
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Dont buy from Minto. They're Awful.

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01-04-2014, 10:55 AM
  #28
SilverSeven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonkTastic View Post
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...
Every cookie cutter builder is crap. You can read horror stories for them all. I remember when my mom moved into a Richcraft/Claridge neighbourhood. Within a year half of the houses were SINKING because they didnt put in these giant foam blocks under them. FOAM...can you imagine how cheap it must have been to do? After that the foam blocks were at every new build site.

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01-04-2014, 11:06 AM
  #29
mat_sens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSeven View Post
Every cookie cutter builder is crap. You can read horror stories for them all. I remember when my mom moved into a Richcraft/Claridge neighbourhood. Within a year half of the houses were SINKING because they didnt put in these giant foam blocks under them. FOAM...can you imagine how cheap it must have been to do? After that the foam blocks were at every new build site.
Yeah Ottawa has a lot of problems with different types of soil. Minto had a 100 houses sink due to that. I'm guessing they didn't put money to evaluate the quality of soil before building though, if something like this happened.

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01-04-2014, 11:07 AM
  #30
SenateReform
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSeven View Post
Every cookie cutter builder is crap. You can read horror stories for them all. I remember when my mom moved into a Richcraft/Claridge neighbourhood. Within a year half of the houses were SINKING because they didnt put in these giant foam blocks under them. FOAM...can you imagine how cheap it must have been to do? After that the foam blocks were at every new build site.
Yeah it's pretty surprising how poorly built some of the new builds are. They're always trying to build as fast as possible while also being as cheap as possible, it's a scary combination. A lot of the subdivisions will have major community problems down the road due to poor planning. Lack of schools, traffic infrastructure which can't deal with growth, low vegetation and inadequate drainage are all common too although less obvious. These issues will cost you down the road (and the city too).

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01-04-2014, 11:26 AM
  #31
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Call a mortgage broker and see how much mortgage you can qualify for. They'll also let you know what type of mortgage rates are available.

They will also probably want proof on your job, how many hours and your hourly wage.

Then, start doing some math. Most builders on new homes want $15k down payment. Mattamy asks for $5k a month for three, while I believe Minto does $5k every other month.

More math. Estimate your closing costs. Mortgage broker will probably tell you to estimate 1.5% of the purchase price.

More math. When figuring out how much you can afford, don't forget taxes.

So if you're buying something at $250k, a 5% down payment would be $12,500 and your closing would be approximately $3,750.

Ottawa home building forum - http://www.buildinghomes.ca/communit...splay.php?f=35

CMHC calculators - http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/buho/buho_005.cfm

Good luck. I've recently started looking as well.

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01-04-2014, 12:51 PM
  #32
BonkTastic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenateReform View Post
Yeah it's pretty surprising how poorly built some of the new builds are. They're always trying to build as fast as possible while also being as cheap as possible, it's a scary combination. A lot of the subdivisions will have major community problems down the road due to poor planning. Lack of schools, traffic infrastructure which can't deal with growth, low vegetation and inadequate drainage are all common too although less obvious. These issues will cost you down the road (and the city too).
Personally, when we bought our 1st house in 2008, we (my wife and I) had a policy of not buying a house built in the new millennium. Building codes are just SO UNBELIEVABLY CRAPPY these days... The quality of a place built in 1993 compared to a place built in 2013 is absolutely mind-boggling.

If I were buying in Ottawa right now, I'd much rather buy an older home with proven "good bones" and put in a few thousand in upgrades on my own than buy anything built in the last 10-12 years that might fall over in a stiff breeze.

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01-04-2014, 01:02 PM
  #33
BK201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonkTastic View Post
Personally, when we bought our 1st house in 2008, we (my wife and I) had a policy of not buying a house built in the new millennium. Building codes are just SO UNBELIEVABLY CRAPPY these days... The quality of a place built in 1993 compared to a place built in 2013 is absolutely mind-boggling.

If I were buying in Ottawa right now, I'd much rather buy an older home with proven "good bones" and put in a few thousand in upgrades on my own than buy anything built in the last 10-12 years that might fall over in a stiff breeze.
Bonk bonk bonk new houses have a lot of better things too.

I won't get all into it but I have purchased a new home and seriously they come equipped with stuff that is just better.

Hot water on demand, the windows, vent taping, insulation, the codes for pressure leakage.

They actually pressurize your house before you get it and it can only leak in certain spots and retain a certain pressure.

It's not all bad my friend.

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01-04-2014, 01:17 PM
  #34
illbeback
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Thanks everyone for their input, greatly appreciated.

Yes I know this is a hockey forum but I thought I would give it a try to post a thread in multiple places to see perspective from all points.

Seen that alot of people mention new houses being built very poorly, if there are any malfunctions due to how the house is built are the home builders responsible for the expenses it cost to fix them? Or is the onus entirely on the home owner? Or is that based on a contract of some sort that handles all of that?

Im leaning more towards a newer build (houses 5-10 years old max) because I want a more modern looking house and dont want to pay the extra money on top of a the house price to renovate it to my liking.

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01-04-2014, 01:52 PM
  #35
BonkTastic
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Originally Posted by BK201 View Post
Bonk bonk bonk new houses have a lot of better things too.

I won't get all into it but I have purchased a new home and seriously they come equipped with stuff that is just better.

Hot water on demand, the windows, vent taping, insulation, the codes for pressure leakage.

They actually pressurize your house before you get it and it can only leak in certain spots and retain a certain pressure.

It's not all bad my friend.
- Old homes often have newer windows.
- "hot water on demand" is just a tankless hot water unit, which is an easy install.
- etc...

I'm just saying: I'd rather buy a house with good bones and upgrade it later than a house with bad bones that will start to fall apart after 10 years.

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01-04-2014, 04:22 PM
  #36
Nac Mac Feegle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonkTastic View Post
Personally, when we bought our 1st house in 2008, we (my wife and I) had a policy of not buying a house built in the new millennium. Building codes are just SO UNBELIEVABLY CRAPPY these days... The quality of a place built in 1993 compared to a place built in 2013 is absolutely mind-boggling.

If I were buying in Ottawa right now, I'd much rather buy an older home with proven "good bones" and put in a few thousand in upgrades on my own than buy anything built in the last 10-12 years that might fall over in a stiff breeze.
I'd say anything built before 1985 would be a solid bet.

Only caveats:
1 - houses over 20 years old will need insulation upgrades, especially in the attic and basement (old insulation packs down over time in the attic especially)
2 - the older the home, the closer you need to look at electrical. One thing that has improved over time are wiring and electrical standards. Plus, the modern home owner needs a heavier personal electric grid than what was used 30+ years ago.

Quote:
bonk bonk bonk new houses have a lot of better things too.

I won't get all into it but I have purchased a new home and seriously they come equipped with stuff that is just better.

Hot water on demand, the windows, vent taping, insulation, the codes for pressure leakage.

They actually pressurize your house before you get it and it can only leak in certain spots and retain a certain pressure.

It's not all bad my friend.
Having a new home that is well sealed is nice, but doesn't mean a whole lot in 5-10 years after the house settles. That's usually when leaks develop.

And another note: homes that are tightly sealed need a strong ventilation and air circulation system. The air inside a "tight" home hardly circulates, and can give rise to mold, mildew and poor air quality issues. Not all tight homes have a good airflow.

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01-04-2014, 04:37 PM
  #37
VikingKarlsson
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Don't buy Minto or Claridge. Cheap build. They charge almost as much as everyone else.

I purchased an urbandale home. Great home. They are staying ahead of the game with new technology and I have had zero problems so far. Will probably purchase another urbandale home in a few year.

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01-04-2014, 04:54 PM
  #38
Zorf
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I worked in new home construction for 4 years, and these are the companies I know to avoid: Minto, Longwood and Phoenix. Just really poor build quality. Minto cuts a ton of corners and Longwood has just terrible finishing work. I haven't actually worked on Phoenix homes, but everyone in the industry hates working for them (my company refused to work for them), so you really only get the desperate contractors who aren't good enough to work for anyone else. That's just asking for problems, and from what I understand, there are many.

Urbandale, Monarch and Tamarak are pretty good. I have worked on their homes pretty extensively and they are all well built. Monarch and Urbandale definitely stand out above all others that I have worked on.

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01-04-2014, 05:58 PM
  #39
Rocket Richard
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Regardless of buying new or used, your "Mortgage is your biggest Debt" over a big chunk of your life time. Always look to pay it down as quickly as possible. Put extra money down when you can.

Interest rates can climb high or low from decade to decade, year to year, so get it done asap. Then later on in life you'll be on easy street.

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01-04-2014, 07:10 PM
  #40
Two Line Pass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nac Mac Feegle View Post
Only caveats:
1 - houses over 20 years old will need insulation upgrades, especially in the attic and basement (old insulation packs down over time in the attic especially)
2 - the older the home, the closer you need to look at electrical. One thing that has improved over time are wiring and electrical standards. Plus, the modern home owner needs a heavier personal electric grid than what was used 30+ years ago.
1 - It's pretty cheap to blow insulation into an attic. It's a weekend DIY job.
2 - Most of the panels for the houses on the market are at least 100 amp as most people have added air conditioning, etc over the years. As for aluminum wiring, it might cost a couple thousand at the most to have an electrician pigtail all outlets if it has never been done.

In the grand scheme of things it costs very little to bring an old home up to today's standards. But if you buy a new home with a postage stamp yard you can never expand it to the 65' x 100' yards that many older homes have

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01-04-2014, 07:40 PM
  #41
BonkTastic
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In the grand scheme of things it costs very little to bring an old home up to today's standards. But if you buy a new home with a postage stamp yard you can never expand it to the 65' x 100' yards that many older homes have
Bang on.

Property value is often based on land value... Getting an older 3-bedroom home in an established neighborhood on a 60x100 foot property is going to retain it's value FAR better than a newer 3-bedroom home built 3 feet from the house on each side of it sitting on a 30x55 foot lot.

And if they're in the same area, the older house is probably even cheaper. You're usually getting FAR more for less when buyin old over new, but that's just my opinion, which it must be said might be slightly biased because I'm handy and enjoy home reno projects.

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