Kelowna is one of the fastest growing areas in Canada per capita, and with this comes many homes options. With this comes the opportunities of:
- Buying a lot from a builder who has a proposed building to be built
- Buying a finished spec home—either in process or already completed by a builder
- Buying a lot and engaging a builder—be they a preferred builder of the development, or your own
- Buying a home that was built by a “owner-builder”
- Buying in a new development
It is important to gain guidance and input into this process from a trusted real estate advisor, as there are many variables, questions to ask, legalities, contracts, choices, guidelines, and resource people to connect to. Shawn can help navigate this process!
Building a new home is a very involved process that can easily take 8 months to a year or more. A few factors affecting your timeline are the availability of lots and readiness of the subdivision, and the complexity of design and structure. There’s also the approvals required for the design by both developer and municipality, busyness of the builder and trades, and of course the weather that can affect building process. The more that can be planned and decided up front, the quicker and smoother the project will move. Building involves a myriad of decisions, and requires flexibility of both time and cash. The plus side of building is that you get the home of your dreams!
These are the following basic stages of building:
- Decide whether building is for you.
- Discuss basic buying costs, building costs, taxes, and rebates on building
- Connect you with a financing institution or mortgage broker
- Help you clarify wants and needs—it’s easy to have a wish list that exceeds the budget. Cost overruns are to be expected, but it is good to have a financial limit in mind.
- Help you find a lot; Shawn can help you find and purchase a lot. This can be a resale lot in an older subdivision, a newly subdivided lot, or a lot in a new development. Most new developments work with realtors on a referral basis, meaning no extra cost to you. As a Realtor, we get paid by the developer if we introduce you to the lot and development. This is important, since a realtor has agency with you, and is working for you and your interests. The developer’s sales teams are working solely for the developer. Many developers have their own contracts, and input from a realtor can help you on many levels. Select the right lot in light of resale/layout/future development impact, and work through building schemes and guidelines so you know if you can build the home you where and how you want it. It’s important to understand building restrictions, any landscaping requirements or limitations including setbacks and restricted areas, building timing requirements, and making sure you have the proper conditions and terms in place to protect your buying process.
- Help you do your proper due diligence; we examine building schemes and requirements including timelines to build, building restrictions, and building areas and envelopes. We also look at future developments that may impact your lot, height and size restrictions per site, required engineering, extra costs and more!
- Help with choosing a design that will work for your needs and wants.
- Help you connect with, and choose, a registered BC Builder. Most Builders also work on a referral basis when a realtor brings a buyer to them. As there are many different builders, with many different levels of expertise and sophistication, weeding through them to find the best builder and right “fit” for you is a big decision. This should be taken seriously—you will be working intimately with your builder for the better part of a year, so you want to get along.
- Help work through a building quote and contract. There are basically two models of quotes:
- Cost Plus: This is where a builder bills the buyer for the cost of each item, plus a management fee for overseeing the job. This may seem like the best and most flexible way for payment, however the costs can add up quickly, and with lack of definition and pre-pricing specifics, it is surprising how quickly things can add up. In addition, you may have difficulty inspecting work done without definitive stages, and it is difficult to estimate and verify true costs.
- Complete Price: With the traditional building contract, the most common form of contract, the builder provides the buyer with a completed contract price, including a detailed specification sheet and finishing schedule (spec sheet). While the price may appear slightly higher initially, there is much less left to speculation, unknowns and change.
Building is a complicated and time consuming processes, but also a rewarding one. Shawn and the SW Properties Team are here for you in the process to completing your dream home!