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Guide to Buying a New Build Home

When you buy a new build house, you become the first owner. And that has a lot of advantages.

  • No one has lived in the home before you.
  • Finishes, appliances and vanities are brand new.
  • Your home uses the latest, most energy efficient building practices.
  • No outdated wiring, plumbing and roofing issues.
  • Plus, you get a provincial new home warranty for most major problems you may encounter.

Comparing New Homes to Resales

Now picture how different that is from purchasing a resale home on any block in Greater Toronto Area. 

  • You get what you see — new homes may be under construction.
  • Landscaping, pools or multi-media rooms are complete – you may have to put off adding extras to your new home until you have the time or money.
  • No GST/HST is owed — some exceptions apply, such as if the home has been substantially renovated.
  • Major expenses like upgrading windows may already be done.

You don’t have to decide now. Using new build home checklists from the Canadian Home Builders Association or other developers can help you figure out what’s best for you.

You can even try buying a new build home off plans by Googling the Internet for popular home builders in neighbourhoods you like. 

Checking Builder References

You check CarFax or cruise the Internet when you buy a new car. Being just as picky can get you the home you want from a reputable home builder. Ask new home builders for at least three references from customers or interview builders to see if you think their ideas are similar to yours. Building a home is a long journey and you want someone who can go the distance.

Writing the Offer to Purchase

You said it: new home purchase agreements are way more complicated than agreements of purchase and sale for resale homes. Before you sign, make an appointment with an Axess Law Greater Toronto flat fee lawyer. 

We answer any questions you may have. We review your agreement to find the finer points you may miss. Our licensed real estate professionals ensure you understand and agree with the contract before you make one of the largest purchases of your life.

If you want changes, we prepare revisions to make the contract legally binding on the contractor or developer and ensure you are not being pressured to sign. Builders who are reluctant to work with buyers to deliver the product they want may not be right for you.

Your New Home Warranty

New homes are covered for major structural deficiencies and unreasonable delays by the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan. 

If your home has foundation problems or needs repairs the builder has failed to make, Tarion may intervene on your behalf or pay for someone else to fix your home. You could be compensated for delays in moving into your home if they exceed 240 days or if the builder is unable or willing to finish the home, your warranty may pay to remedy the problem.

Depending on the problem, your warranty covers your home for 1, 2 or 7 years. Not all defects are covered, so read your warranty carefully before contacting Tarion.

Protecting Your Purchase Deposit

Tarion can also protect your purchase deposit for:

  • up to $60,000 on homes priced at $600,000 or less 
  • 10% of the purchase price up to $100,000 for higher priced homes
  • or $20,000 for condos.

Your contract is not automatically cancelled if delays occur. Like any contract, you are required to honour the terms. But Tarion can advise or assist you if needed. And if the delays exceed 365 days, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to give 30 days notice and walk away.

Budgeting for Extra Charges

Buying a new build home comes with extra charges. While your sales price is adjusted before you take possession, you could pay thousands more than you expected for: 

  • Ontario New Home Warranty enrolment fees, between $300 and $1,745
  • NRST – non-resident speculation tax 
  • HST, included in the purchase price or paid separately – some rebates apply
  • utility hookups for gas or water
  • carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
  • sewer impost and super mailbox levies
  • smart hydro meters
  • PST on appliances
  • legal fees to discharge builders’ mortgages on your home and lot
  • bonding fees or insurance to protect your purchase deposit
  • landscaping, paving and grading
  • and incidentals like fencing.

Not only that, but local development or education levies may increase while your home is being built. Builders pass those higher rates on to you. Your mortgage lender will expect you to pay these extra charges on your own. 

Why You Need a Lawyer

Your real estate lawyer can do document searches, find property surveys and register new homes with local land registry offices. 

We execute your mortgage discharge (Ontario buyers or sellers) and arrange signatures for mortgage insurance and other documents for banks and mortgage lenders. A fire insurance binder is mandatory if you are financing your home. 

We go over any concerns you have, like do you lose your deposit if the finances fall through and what is title insurance.  You receive a final statement of adjustments showing your costs to purchase the home and pay expenses like legal fees.

Flat Fee Legal Services — Savings You Can Appreciate

Axess Law offers affordable real estate lawyer flat fees. Find cheap lawyers (Toronto and area) for just $999.99 and up to buy a home or condo. Selling a home? Our low cost lawyer fees start at $799.99 and up. 

We arrange online real estate lawyer video calls anywhere you are or you can meet with us in person at any Axess Law office. We have free parking, are close to transit and make day or evening appointments — whatever fits your schedule.

Book an Appointment Online or By Phone Today

Dial 1-647-479-0118 for a free quote on buying a new build home or make Axess online appointments. It just takes minutes of your time. Pop in to our convenient Greater Toronto Area law offices to make an appointment today. Our real estate law downtown Toronto offices have day or evening openings to suit your schedule. Toll free calls accepted at 1-877-402-4207.


It was a pleasure working with Patricia from Axess Law. It was my first time purchasing a home, and was very nervous about every step in the process. I called and emailed Patricia several times with the silliest questions. She answered them all promptly, and provided the best customer service I could ask for. I would recommend Axess Law and particularly Patricia to everyone.

c Cindy Tran

In the past I had to make appointments and waited for days to see a lawyer. Now conveniently this office is at my neighborhood supermarket. I was able to walk in and get my documents signed in less than 30 minutes The staff are courteous and professional. I would recommend anyone. Prompt service.

Joy Stewart Joy Stewart

I am writing this review on behalf of my daughter who completed her first Real Estate condo transaction with AxessLaw. Besides just helping my daughter as a client, they helped her understand every single step involved in the process and the whole process was completed without any problems. I would recommend them to anyone looking for hassle free real estate transaction without thinking twice.

icon Irene Tucker


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