When it comes to real estate, people often say that bigger is better. But what they fail to mention is that newer is also better. If you are in the market for a new home, you should consider all your buying options, including newly constructed homes.
Newly constructed homes are becoming increasingly popular amongst new homebuyers. In July alone, new home construction was up about 16% from the previous month1.
The reason why several buyers are turning to new construction is because it offers multiple benefits that existing homes just cannot provide. Here are three untold benefits to buying a new constructed home that you may not have considered.
1. More Choices, Personalization, and Value
Sometimes buying an existing home might not be the best option if you want a home to truly call your own. That’s because you are buying a property that has already been designed and curated to fit someone else’s taste and aesthetic.
Buying a newly constructed home gives you the freedom and opportunity to make more decisions that have an impact on where and how you live. For example, you can choose your builder, what design you want, and even what neighborhood you want to build in.
Today, homes are built to meet higher quality and standards. Similarly, developments are being designed to foster interaction and togetherness. Often you will see areas designed to incorporate parks, bike paths, and other recreational areas for social gatherings.
But the buck doesn’t stop there. The Canadian Home Builders Association also notes that buying a new construction gives you more choices to personalize and customize your home to make it your own2.
2. GST/HST New Housing Rebates
An added benefit to a newly constructed home is that you can qualify for a tax rebate. Individuals can recover some of the goods and services tax (GST) or the federal part of the harmonized sales tax (HST). Additionally, other provincial new housing rebates may also be available for the provincial part of the HST. This can be used in combination with the rebate for the federal portion, although it may not be available in all areas3.
The rebate applies to buyers who will occupy the subject property as primary residence3. Buyers who will co-own the house with another entity who is not an individual (i.e., corporation, partnership, etc.) cannot qualify for the rebate3.
In general, the house must be a single-unit home (detached or semi-detached), including condos, townhomes, and co-ops, or a duplex3. Mobile or modular homes may also qualify. The property must also be a qualified owner-built home or purchased from a builder. Mobile or modular homes may also qualify3.
Homes that are also going to be used for commercial purposes, such as a bed and breakfast or short-term rental, are also eligible for this incentive provided 50% or more of the property is being used as your primary place of residence3.
If you are a real estate investor, similar rebates are also available although different guidelines apply4. Residential landlords that purchase a new or substantially renovated residential rental property from a builder or construct an addition to a multi-unit rental property can claim a rebate for some of the HST when certain situations apply4.
3. Warranty Protection
It's important that if you do purchase a newly constructed home that the build is completed in a workman-like manner and free of material defects. This is why it’s important to work with a reputable builder.
However, if issues do arise, many homes are covered under warranty. In fact, by law, all new homes in Ontario must be provided with a warranty by a builder5. The warranty is administered by the non-for-profit consumer protection organization called Tarion.
The province’s new home warranty program offers multi-layered protection that covers multiple issues. Throughout the first year the warranty covers defects in materials, as well as protection against unauthorized substitutions and building code violations5.
Overlapping the first year, you also get a two-year warranty that protects against certain foundational issues, windows, plumbing, electrical, and other defects related to major systems within the home5.
Lastly, you can rest assured knowing you are fully protected with an additional final layer of coverage that covers major structural defects defined by the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act for up to seven years5.
While there are guidelines and exceptions in place, filing a claim is simple. You can also feel safe knowing you have some recourse buying a newly constructed home, as opposed to an existing dwelling where who knows what hidden issues might be lurking underneath the surface.
1 CBC News. (2020, August 11). New home construction surged in July. Retrieved August 12, 2021, from https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/cmhc-housing-starts-july-1.5681883
2 Canadian Home Builders Association. (n.d.). A New Home - or an Existing One? Retrieved August 12, 2021, from https://www.chba.ca/CHBA/BuyingNew/NewExistingHome.aspx
3 Canada Revenue Agency. (2021, March 12). GST/HST New Housing Rebate. Retrieved August 12, 2021, from https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/publications/rc4028/gst-hst-new-housing-rebate.html
4 Canada Revenue Agency. (2020, October 30). GST/HST New Residential Rental Property Rebate. Retrieved August 12, 2021, from https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/publications/rc4231/gst-hst-new-residential-rental-property-rebate.html
5 Tarion. (n.d.). An Outline of Your Warranty. Retrieved August 12, 2021, from https://www.tarion.com/homeowners/your-warranty-coverage/warranty-outline