3 myths every custom home buyer needs to be aware of

A new construction home can be an exciting but also scary undertaking for many of us. When you choose a builder, you’ll want someone who plays by the rules. In Ontario, this means they are licensed and that they enrol your home into the provincial new home warranty program.

New home builders who operate outside of these rules are working illegally, and ultimately putting you at significant risk.

New home buyers are entitled to consumer protection from the new home warranty, but illegal builders may say many things to get out of their responsibilities. Here are a few myths to keep in mind as you shop around for the builder of your dream home:

Myth 1: Applying for the building permit makes you the builder. You may decide to apply for the building permit yourself instead of having your builder do it. If so, it does not mean that your builder is “off the hook” as a result. As the one responsible for the construction of your new home, they are still required to be licensed and provide the warranty.

Myth 2: Paying tradespeople directly voids your warranty. Paying tradespeople yourself instead of relying on your builder to compensate them is a good practice to follow. It ensures that construction stays on track and prevents potential situations that could end up costing you more. Contrary to what some builders might say, it does not void your home warranty coverage.

Myth 3: Calling it a seasonal home makes it different. Just as a rose is still a rose by any other name, so is a new home a new home regardless of what you call it. Your builder may lead you to believe that if you say you’re building a seasonal home or cottage, you’ll end up saving money because you won’t need to enrol it into the warranty program. The rule of thumb is that if a new home is built to specific building code standards that make it capable of year-round living, it needs to have a warranty.

For more information about buying a new home or if you’re ever in doubt contact the organization that oversees new home warranties at tarion.com

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