OVER THE THRESHOLD TIPS FOR NEWLYWED NEW HOME BUYERS By Sue Webb Smith find that they are highly knowledgeable about many aspects of new home construction. Visit the neighbourhood at different times and days of the week. This will give you a sense of traffic patterns and neighbourhood activity levels. You may have an opportunity to ask homeowners about their experience with the builder; this is very valuable information for you before selecting a builder for this very important purchase. Model homes, if available, are a great way to see the design and quality a particular builder offers. Be sure to ask which features and finishes are included in the purchase price and which are upgrades. Find out all that you can about the building company. Check out their website. Also visit the website of Tarion Warranty Corporation (tarion.com) to ensure that the builder is enrolled and to check on after-sales service. After-sales service is a key factor in determining a builder’s reputation. Take your purchase paperwork to a lawyer who specializes in real estate transactions. It helps to have a qualified specialist review this on your behalf and to advise you about your buying decision. Get pre-qualified for a mortgage — you could be pleasantly surprised at how much you can afford. Take your time deciding on your home purchase. Your new home is going to be your castle for the foreseeable future, and you want to be certain it meets your needs, not only right now but in the years ahead. Have fun! The purchase of a new home is an exciting experience, so savour it. The best way to enjoy the process is to be an educated consumer. WE • • C ouples about to be married or newlyweds who are in the fortunate position of shopping for a new home have a lot of things to consider. Buying a home is a big investment and requires major homework before embarking on the exciting search for the location, community, design, and finishes that work for your lifestyle. Consider the following steps: • Establish a budget. What is the size of your down payment? What is the price range you are able to afford? If you have the answer to these questions in place, you will have the confidence to make the correct buying decision when the time comes. • You will want to live near the people and activities that matter most to you, so decide where this neighbourhood will be. • Think about your timeframe. Is your first home one that you will want to be in for many years to come, or will you move again in a few years when you hope to start a family? • Make a list of all items that are important for you to have in your new home. Then prioritize them. This will help guide you to make a new home choice that provides most of the things you really want. • Ask questions. The sales representatives are there to share information. You should • • • • • Sue Webb Smith is Marketing Director of multi-award-winning Geranium Homes. Wedding Essentials 2013 55