Everything Everyone Everywhere Should Know Before Building or Buying a House

by - Tuesday, April 23, 2019

When deciding to buy a house, a person really only has two choices – build a new house or buy an existing house. Both options present a different array of pros and cons, and different concerns every homeowner should consider before deciding on their choice. Three Best Rated® has decided to sit down with an award-winning home building company, an award-winning real estate agent and an award-winning real estate lawyer in order to understand what the customer should know before building or buying a house.

Building a house is a very exciting time for everyone involved. The homeowner is able to have the house designed exactly how they want it to look, with all the features and amenities they want. However, building a home can be very expensive. If the homeowner is on a small budget, they should steer away from building a home. For those who can afford it, they still need to watch out to avoid wasting money. “When clients are making price comparisons between builders/contractors, they need to make sure they are truly comparing apples to apples,” says James Herron of Little Redstone Inc. “Most square foot pricing quoted by builders/contractors does not contain permit/city fees, tree protection fees, architectural design fees, interior design fees, landscape design fees, basement finishing costs or project drawing changes fees.” All these fees add up to a much higher cost per square foot than the homeowner originally planned for. The homeowner needs to be sure they account for these extra costs when budgeting out their new home.

When having the home designed, the homeowner needs to take the finished product into consideration and how the amenities will function in unison. For example, how their HVAC system impacts the overall climate control and humidity levels of the house and the impact to the wood and plaster finishes over time. “A radiant heating system alongside a forced air system should be installed,” James says. “Radiant heating is the best way to heat a house while the forced air system will supply air conditioning and the humidity levels needed to properly maintain the finishes installed. A house that is too dry will guarantee that all the wood finishes will crack and warp.” This will lead to costly, repeating repairs until the problem is addressed and fixed. The homeowner can avoid future headaches by ensuring everything in their new home will work together perfectly.

Finally, the homeowner should vet their potential builders vigorously. The homeowner will want to ensure the company is used to the size and scope of the home and is reputable. For example, Little Redstone's portfolio includes multi-home luxury estates, major renovations, as well as new builds and additions; in addition, they specialize in building custom luxury homes. Their portfolio and specializations give the potential homeowner an idea of what the company has experience in. If possible, the homeowner should talk to other people who have hired the company to see what their experience was, the problems they ran into and how the company addressed those issues. The homeowner, in general, needs to make sure the company fits in with their goals and needs for their new house.

For those of us who either don't want to build a house or simply can't afford it, there's plenty of great houses in the market just waiting to be found. This is where a great realtor comes in. Ryan Urban, a realtor for the Urban group, has some great tips when looking for a house.

First and foremost, the homeowner should know their budget and finances before they even look at a house. “Understanding your financing approval and mortgage options is vitally important,” Ryan says. Nothing is worse than looking at THE house and realizing it won't fit into the budget. Along this same vein, the homeowner needs to ensure they are buying the property the “right” way. “Your agent should have the right skills to make sure you're buying a solid property, at the best price and terms,” Ryan explains. “You'd think this is common sense, but we often come across sellers who have bought a property with another agent, and they paid too much and did not think this through.” This also means that the homeowner should be careful about which real estate agent they use. “You need to have a great team of professionals around you,” Ryan says. “Your agent has to know the market. The market is always changing and is impacted by things such as supply and demand, interest rates, government regulations, school ratings and much more.” A good real estate agent that has a great team behind them will be knowledgeable and up to date on these factors and will be able to get the homeowner the perfect house for the right price.

As Ryan mentioned earlier, the homeowner needs to have a great team of professionals backing them up. They will need lawyers, mortgage brokers, contractors and, of course, a great real estate agent. All these professionals work in unison to ensure the homeowner gets a house they are happy with for many years to come. “[When you buy a house], you need to have ... a good home inspection, financing, conditional sale of property, [verify] zoning, [access the] property survey – to name a few,” Ryan says. “Each situation is unique, and your agent should know how to protect your best interest.” Every step of the way, the homeowner will need help from a professional. They should make sure they read reviews, research the companies and ask questions before they decide on what professional to use. They should “shop around” before deciding on a professional to ensure they pick the one that is the best fit for them.

Whatever path the homeowner chooses, it's always a great idea to have a real estate lawyer on their side. Real estate lawyers help their clients navigate the ever-changing laws of real estate, whether it's purchasing, selling or simply mortgage financing. Jonathan Griffiths, founder and real estate lawyer of Griffiths Professional Corporation, has some tips on how a real estate lawyer can help.

When a homeowner is having a house built, there's a variety of contracts that have to be signed. “It is essential that the construction contracts be very carefully reviewed by a lawyer to cover the eventualities which will occur during the construction process,” says Jonathan. “This includes the mechanism and timing of payments and provision for construction liens.” For the average person, contracts can be tricky to navigate. However, real estate lawyers have the training and experience necessary to work through this type of contract with ease. Some people are afraid of the costs of a lawyer and do not contact one until it is too late and it ends up costing more than it would have originally. “Changes after the contract has been finalized can be extremely expensive to the client,” Jonathan says. Additionally, a lawyer can help the client specify exactly what is included in the contract to prevent any changes that would have to be made.

When a homeowner is buying an already-built home, real estate lawyers can help the whole process move smoothly. “Typically real estate lawyers charge fixed fees and are available to the client throughout the process, beginning with reviewing the agreement of purchase and sale and answering any questions and concerns the client may have as the transaction progresses,” Jonathan says. It is good to see the lawyer as an extra safety net to make sure the client doesn't make a costly mistake when buying a home. “Purchasing a home can be a very stressful procedure for a client, particularly a first-time buyer, and the ongoing help and advice of a good and empathetic real estate lawyer throughout the process can go a long way towards alleviating the stress,” Jonathan says.

About Little Redstone Inc.
Little Redstone Inc. was established by James Herron 10 years ago. It has since grown to a full-service design and build firm that specializes in custom luxury homes, additions and renovations. The studio has a dedicated in-house team and reliable trade partners with a wealth of experience to serve their clients. Little Redstone uses cutting-edge technology to better serve their clients. They use Building Information Management (BIM) software to create 3D models of the house and interior design software to help clients make design decisions. They continually search for new and better ways to serve their customers to help them turn their home into their dream home. Little Redstone Inc. has been recognized for their excellence and was named one of the top three home builders in Toronto, Ontario, for 2019 by Three Best Rated®.

2040 Yonge Street, Suite 207
Toronto, ON M4S 1Z9
Phone: 416-646-2040
Email: sayhello@littleredstone.ca
Website: https://www.littleredstone.ca/

About Urban Group
Ryan Urban and his business associates started Urban Group by personally investing in and developing proprieties when they were in their early 20s. They always had a passion for real estate and use their past experience to give their clients an edge. Ryan is a graduate of the Ivey Business School, B.A. Economics, and contributes analysis to Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine - Canada's leading real estate investing publication. The Urban Group has industry-leading results, and their high level of services makes the process easy for their clients. They are one of Canada's fastest-growing real estate teams, with the majority of their clients being repeat and referral clients. They are one of the top performing real estate teams at Royal LePage, Canada's largest and most reputable real estate company. They genuinely love helping their clients find the perfect home and they always strive to keep their clients informed so they can make the best decision. Three Best Rated® has recognized them for their excellence and named them one of the top three real estate agents in Burlington, Ontario, for 2019.

2072 Lakeshore Road
Burlington, ON L7R 1E3
Phone: 905-634-7755
Email: info@urbangroup.com
Website: https://urbangroup.com/

About Jonathan Griffiths
Jonathan Griffiths founded Griffiths Professional Corporation in 1981. Before doing so, he started in the real estate business when he was 19 and sold real estate while in university and law school. He started teaching real property law at the Ontario Real Estate Associate when he was 25 and was often the youngest in the room. When he started Griffiths Professional Corporation, he wanted to put his clients first and look after them in any way possible and has done so for 38 years. With three offices and a large number of staff members, they're able to pay proper attention to each client and deal with matters quickly. Jonathan truly loves real estate law and will always try to answer his phone wherever he can. His son Malcolm joined the law firm to ensure the longevity and durability of the firm for their clients. Jonathan Griffiths has been recognized for his excellence and was named one of the top three real estate lawyers in Toronto, Ontario, for 2019 by Three Best Rated®.

18 Wynford Drive, Suite 710
Toronto, ON M3C 3S2
Phone: 416-441-1253
Email: info@griffithslaw.com
Website: http://griffithslaw.com/index.php

Written by Eileen Shone, Three Best Rated®

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