Building a new home is an exciting adventure, but it requires careful planning, including managing timelines.

Design and permitting can take anywhere from 6 months to over a year, and construction can be close to a year or more, depending on factors such as size and location. So, plan accordingly and start early.

Here are the five most important things to keep in mind:

1. Budget Wisely:

Know what you can afford and stick to it. Consider all costs, from design and permitting to construction materials, down payment funds, and related expenses. The total cost can vary, ranging from $350 per sq. ft. and up. The average cost to build a house can range from $300,000 to $400,000 for 1,000 square feet, but it varies based on materials and design.

2. Choose a Reliable Builder:

If the builder controls the project (selecting and contracting tradespeople, etc.), builders must be licensed in Ontario by the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) and provide a Tarion warranty. You can research your builder in the HCRA directory: You can also seek recommendations from friends and family, or I can provide some options.

3. Plan for the Future:

Keep resale value and practicality in mind when customizing your home. Design features that will appeal to potential buyers and blend well with the neighbourhood.

4. Embrace Energy Efficiency:

Incorporate better insulation, wall systems, and energy-efficient options into your design early on. Energy-efficient appliances, windows, and HVAC systems can save you money and may qualify you for grants and discounts. Research certifications like Energy Star or Net Zero, as finished homes’ performance is tested and verified by an approved third-party advisor. Net zero certification can also earn you a 25% rebate on mortgage insurance.

5. Understand Construction Loans:

To finance an unbuilt home, you may need a “construction mortgage.” You’ll need to provide a budget with both hard and soft costs upfront, along with a reserve for unexpected events. Remember to consider the appraised value of the finished product to qualify for the loan. Understand how much cash on hand is required for supplementary financing for deposits and appliances.

Having a solid plan, a trusted builder, and a strong team is key to a successful homebuilding project. If you decide to build, feel free to contact me, and I’ll guide you through the process from start to finish.

Let’s get the ball rolling on your new home!

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