9 key points to consider before buying a new house

Buying a new house is no simple task. For many of you, it will be the biggest deal of your life. A high quality construction is therefore essential. Among the many things to check, we have established 9 key points.

1. Is the contractor certified at the Garantie de construction résidentielle (GCR)?

The GCR coverage is a significant advantage for a buyer. Generally, a certified GCR contractor is financially solvent. GCR enjoy of an inspection team that does site visits. However, it is not all new buildings that are covered by GCR. The guarantee is applied to single-family detached dwellings, semi-detached or row houses; to multi-family buildings with two to five non-condominium dwellings (duplex, triplex, etc.) and to condo buildings of four or less superimposed units.

2. Conduct an investigation on the contractor

When we buy a car it is not something we take lightly, we should do the same thing for a property. “Scrutinizing” the contractor is a good idea. E.g.: ensure that the satisfaction of the neighbors who bought a property from the same builder, ensure that the contractor entered into arbitration on the website of Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) and ensure that the contractor has his licence from RBQ 1.1.1 or 1.1.2. Also ensure:

  • How long has he been in business, how many successful projects he has on his road map? (we can see it on the quality of the construction and on the after sale service and we can also get in touch with co-owners , suggests Me Allard.);
  • Does he often change his firm name or is he being prosecuted? To determine it you can visit http://jugements.qc.ca;
  • Has he ever been the subject of complaints to Office de la protection du consommateur? You can verify it at http://opc.gouv.qc.ca;
  • Is the builder registered with la Régie du bâtiment du Québec? You can consult the Licence holder’s repertory at https://www.rbq.gouv.qc.ca;
  • Do all the documents he provides to you are clear? Is it easy to get information?
  • Is the staff from the sales office open-minded and able of providing specific answers to the questions being asked?

3. Audit the soundproofing

If you are a homeworker or if you need specific rooms to be soundproofed, make sure to express it to the contractor because this element rarely forms part in the base estimate. However, if your investment relates to a condominium, a semi-detached house or a multi-family building, the soundproofing should be an integral part of your project.

4. Take into account the insulation

The future buyer must be sure that the property is built to adhere to high insulation standards. In this way, he won’t hit the roof when he’ll receive heating bills. To preserve the air quality in a house that is airtight, the buyer should ensure that the heat recovery ventilator (HRV now mandatory) is of good quality and maintains a high quality of interior air.

5. Proper doors and windows

We have to make sure there are proper insulating and soundproofing doors and that windows were installed by following the standards of best practices in the industry (e.g. from inside instead of the outside), that the framing had good insulation and caulking and the interior of the double glazing has a low-emissivity film (LowE Argon) which will reduce heat loss.

6. What is the building code in force?

Municipalities are free to enforce construction norms that they want on their territory. It is agreed that the use of the most recent code should guarantee a best construction quality.

7. Ensure the good quality of materials used

Certain contractors use less expensive glitzy materials instead of sustainable materials. We must be vigilant and verify their quality and sustainability. For example, a quartz kitchen counter will be more sustainable than a melanin or a laminate kitchen counter, hardwood floorings will be more sustainable than floating floorings.

8. Hire an inspector

For the building time, the buyer can hire an inspector, preferably a member of a professional corporation (architect, engineer or professional technologist) because they have insurance. He will verify the different steps of the construction and he will ask the builder to fix a certain thing or to install a more performing insulant in the walls, etc. The builder may not appreciate but the buyer has the right to ask.

9. Choice of lot and sector

It’s important to make sure that the lot and the sector match with your lifestyle. The issue of the acreage will be important according to needs (e.g. outdoor life, future extension project, need of intimacy, etc.). Other factors that you could take into account: lot conditions, type of subsoil, orientation, zoning certificate, neighborhood, services, etc.

A few months ago, I visited many builders with the objective of buying my first home, it was exciting and stressful at the same time. I live now in a wonderful new house signed by MCL that makes all my friends jealous. I would like to thank the MCL team for taking the time to respond to all of my questions and for their excellent service. I strongly recommend them!

  • Myriame Germain-Poirier

Source : https://www.guidehabitation.ca

7 economic benefits of buying a new home


You don’t feel like doing all the handyman jobs to get your dream home? Is the idea of buying a “turn-key” new property thrilling you? By choosing with flair your future house you take advantage of a myriad economic benefits.

1. No need for renovation

When you buy a property on plan, you can also customize several finishings. Would you like hardwood, a type of molding or a fireplace? At the time of choosing some features for your dream house, it’s important to get information about the related cost to each of your requests. To feel satisfied of your choice, it is also advised to certify the house’s square footage and the predicted height of the ceilings with the developer once the pipes, electrical cables and floors installation is done.

By choosing materials and other features depending on your preferences, you avoid paying for expensive renovations.

2. Guarantee Plan

The purchaser of a new property of which the contractor is certified by Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) can take advantage of Plan de garantie des bâtiments résidentiels neufs (it is a guarantee Plan for new residential buildings). It covers, for example, the buyer carrying costs or his assets storage costs in case of behind schedule. Further, if the buyer notices in the first five years a construction flaw, generally the contractor must proceed to the work required.

If the contractor refuses to cooperate, the file will then be managed by Garantie de construction résidentielle (GRC). In order to promote a positive buying experience, before signing an agreement, it is recommended to make sure that the contractor and the developer have a good reputation.

3. Energy conservation

New properties generally have a good energy efficiency because of the enforcement of existing standards and the use of new materials for the construction. This will reflect in smaller electricity bills. A few energy conservation programs give access to financial assistance. The Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles website gives details about it.

4. Home ownership

As a result of a few home ownership programs, several first time home buyers can achieve their dream of becoming an owner without paying an incredible amount of money for a down payment. For example, Accès Condos (established by Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal – SHDM) allows the purchaser to benefit of a 10% purchase credit for the new property value used for investment, on condition that the buyer provides a down payment of 1000$. It’s important to note that this 10% and another 10% of added value must be paid to SHDM when the condo is resold.

Meanwhile, for Accès Propriété (founded by Construgep in cooperation with SCHL) the purchaser’s down payment amounts to 5000$. This private program provides 5% of the building value as an investment when the condo is resold or refinanced, the individual is required to reimburse this amount and a 5% of added value.

5. Tax rebate

A good new for the newly built house purchasers: The Quebec government offers to reimburse a part of the taxes, which is 50% of the QST (for a minimum of 9 804$ by owner-occupant) and 36% of the GST (up to 6 300$). A financial assistance from a municipal level could also interest several buyers. For example, some cities and municipalities reimburse the property transfer taxes for a new house ownership. Some conditions may apply. The amounts vary according to the house’s square footage, the number of occupants and the acquisition price.

Contact your city to learn more about the existing programs.

6. Say hello to savings

It’s time for homebuyer market. With many new properties unsold, developers use creative strategies to attract new buyers. You could, for example, get the air conditioning or an interior parking for free.

The offers can vary from a developer to another and sometimes, it is not announced. By reaching out directly developers, you could discover their strong value propositions and save thousands of dollars.

7. Tax rebate

A little secret: if a newly built house is vacant, the contractor who has sometimes substantial charges to pay could be motivated to sell off quickly. It is also in favour of the buyer when the contractor reach the level of 40$ to 50% of pre-sold units, because the normal quota required for obtaining the funding of the banks in order to finish the realty project. By being well prepared, you could have a discount up to 15%  on a new house.

Please contact us for more information.