With nearly one-third of homes sold in Canada every year being brand new, it’s easy to see the appeal. New homes come with home warranty and are made with higher-quality building materials and are more energy efficient. A new home also allows greater customization with lower maintenance costs and fewer surprises down the road.
To ensure a successful home search, it’s important to ask yourself how long you’re willing to wait for your new home to be ready. Depending on your answer to that question, you can look at a home in the stage of the construction process that matches up. You can choose several timelines for new homes such as buying during pre-construction, the interior finishing stage, or choosing a quick possession home (also called a spec home).
The best builders offer homes at various construction stages to accommodate your timing and let you choose how much influence you’ll have over the interior design options.
Pre-construction can begin once you have chosen a floor plan for your home and the Purchase and Sale Agreement is signed. During the pre-construction phase, the plans for your home are developed and finalized before they are submitted for permit review.
Because plans for the house must be finalized and approved by the city before construction can begin, floor plans and some other elements of the home design cannot be changed easily at a later stage in construction.
Buying during pre-construction gives you the greatest control over how your home will ultimately look and you will be able to customize everything from the floor plan to the interior finishes. You will also have more time to save up for the home and moving expenses. The trade-off? You have a longer wait until move-in day.
Interior Finishing Stage
A good deal of work is completed during the interior finishing stage. After the roof and exterior walls have been insulated and a city inspection has passed, drywall and the HVAC system are installed. Interior and exterior finishes are also installed in the later portion of this stage, including plumbing fixtures, trim, interior doors, paint, flooring, and cabinetry.
This is when a home starts to take shape beyond the walls and you begin to see how all the finishings work together.
On the exterior of your home, siding will be applied along with any deck or porch. Grading is set before the walkways and driveway are installed, weather dependant.
Buying during the interior finishing stage usually does not give you the option to change any of the interior finishing such as flooring, paint and fixtures. The builder would have likely already selected the interior colours with a designer so these items would have been ordered already. This stage is a good choice if you are still renting and need to give a bit of notice, or would like a bit of time to get things like furniture ordered and ready for possession day.
If you want to move in right away, a quick possession or spec home is another option. Spec homes are homes a builder constructs based on popular floor plans and options that are likely to be purchased by someone who wants a home soon. These homes are designed based on speculation of what buyers want in a home, which means you will not have a lot of control over the layout or finishes.
Spec homes are usually available in each community in limited numbers. Depending on the stage of construction, you may be able to move in in just 30-60 days instead of waiting six months for a home in pre-construction.
Which Option Is Right for You?
Once you sign your purchase agreement and construction begins, you will be kept up-to-date on the progress of your new home and can visit the site during scheduled appointments. You will also receive a revised occupancy date once the actual date can be established closer to completion to help you plan your move.
Choosing the stage of construction in which you buy ultimately comes down to three factors:
- How soon do you want to move in?
- How much say do you want to have in your home’s appearance?
- Are you set on a specific community?
If timing is your greatest concern, you can contact your builder for a list of immediate possession or spec homes in some of Edmonton’s most popular neighbourhoods. They will be more than happy to help you find the home that’s right for you in a community you’ll love. If you want to do more customization then talk to your builder about your options and they’ll help you find the perfect home to build.