The process of purchasing a new home is somewhat different than purchasing a resale home. There are more parties involved in the sale and a much more involved relationship between the Seller (or Builder) and the Buyer. Often when buying a new home, Buyers like to be involved in all stages of the construction. This guide will outline the opportunities you will have to be involved from the condition period through to possession.
One thing that many Buyers do not realize is that much of the progress of the finishing work happens in the final few days prior to possession. There is a tremendous transformation from construction zone to a polished, move-in ready home in a surprisingly short time. We like to reassure New Home Buyers not to be alarmed, should they drive by and the home seems far from ready, as this is likely to change in time for your final walkthrough.
The New Home Timeline
- We encourage all New Home Buyers to have a professional property inspection performed approximately 10-15 days prior to the closing date.
We will use this report to create a deficiency list which we will then send to the Builder. Simone Rousseau and Associates are happy to refer you to the property inspectors we regularly work with here.
- We will arrange an initial walkthrough when the home is nearly complete and all the appliances have been connected or installed, generally 4-7 days prior to the possession date.While the home is mostly completed at this stage, there may still be some missing items or construction debris left to clean up.
The initial walkthrough will be an opportunity for the Buyer, the Buyer’s Realtor and the Builder to outline any outstanding deficiencies to be addressed while taking a detailed look at the home for any cosmetic defects such as paint tough-ups, floor scratches or stains, and other details of the home.
During the walkthrough, we will create a list of items to be fixed that we will add to the inspection report, if applicable. The Builder will address most, if not all of these items by the final walkthrough.
- At the final walkthrough, the home will be clean and essentially ready for possession. This is an opportunity for the Buyer to go through the home with the Builder once again to assess any outstanding deficiencies.
If some minor deficiencies remain, they will not affect the Completion Date and the Buyers will still be able to move in as planned. The Builder will continue to address the deficiencies in a timely manner after possession.
Any major items that have not been finished by the final walkthrough will be noted on the Completion Certificate and will be finished as soon as possible. After the final walkthrough, it is probable that the builder’s crew may still be working to correct any outstanding deficiencies before you move in.
- Once the home is complete and the City Inspectors have signed off, The City of Calgary will issue an occupancy permit to the Builder, indicating that all building permits are closed and the home is ready for occupancy. This permit will be delivered to the Buyer’s lawyer prior to possession.
Once the Buyer’s lawyer releases the funds for the new home, the keys will be released and you are welcome to move in!
New Home Warranty
At the final walkthrough, the builder will have a Completion Certificate available for the Buyers to sign. This certificate will contain a list of remaining deficiencies the Home Builder agrees to fix after possession.
In Alberta, there are currently seven warranty providers that builders may partner with for your coverage. Additional information can be found on the Alberta Home Warranty website.
After taking possession, a New Home Owner may notice some typical issues in the home as it starts to settle over the first year. This is completely normal, but should still be brought to your builder’s attention. We recommend New Home Owners maintain a log book in a central location to record any defects or issues which arise during the first year of ownership. Documenting and photographing issues is important, should there be a warranty claim. Make sure to record as many details as possible, including the date and location of the deficiency.
If there are emergency deficiency items including water leaks, electrical issues or any safety issues, the builder must be contacted as soon as possible. For longer-term or non-emergency issues, contact the builder six months from the time of possession and just prior to the one year possession anniversary.