FAQ

New Houses & Lots

Buying A New Home can be confusing.
We're here to help you navigate the process.

Here are some common questions that we get asked:

How do I know if the home was built by a reputable builder?

Unless a home is built by an Owner-Builder, all new homes built in B.C. must be built by a builder licensed by the B.C. Housing Authority and must register with the B.C. Public Registry of New Home Builders. The publicly searchable online registry provides the license number, license type, and company owners’ names for the builder, and whether the license is current and in good standing.

In order to become licensed, builders must have the necessary knowledge and skills to manage a licensed residential construction company. It states an applicant must: 

Provide proof of 24 months of experience managing or supervising residential construction, gained within the past five years.  

Demonstrate competency in seven core competency areas:

  1. Relevant enactments
  2. Construction management and supervision
  3. Construction technology
  4. Customer service and home warranty insurance
  5. Financial planning, management and administration
  6. Legal issues
  7. Business planning, management and administration.

What does “Owner-Builder” mean?

Owner-Builders are individuals who are not registered, licensed builders and who build a home themselves. They are exempt from having to become licensed and arrange for third-party home warranty insurance on their home. But as an Owner-Builder, they must build or directly manage the construction of the new home themselves and are personally liable for any construction defects in the new home for 10 years, regardless of whether the house is subsequently sold again within that 10-year period. Owner-Builders are also not allowed to sell the home for 1 year after the final occupancy permit is granted.

Can I customize the home?

Depending on what stage of construction the home is at when you purchase it, there are sometimes opportunities to customize parts of the home to better suit your needs/wants. Once the home has passed the finishings stage, though, the builder will be much less likely to make changes to it.

Does the home come with A warranty?

Yes! All new homes built in B.C. by licensed builders are required by law to come with a 2/5/10 new home warranty, provided by a third-party insurer. Owner-Builders are also required by law to provide a 2/5/10 warranty directly to the purchaser.

What does a 2/5/10 warranty include?

Home warranty insurance on new homes includes a minimum of 2 years on labour and materials (some limits apply), 5 years on the building envelope (including water penetration) and 10 years on the structure.

What is a deficiency walkthrough?

A deficiency walk-through occurs when the purchaser (and their realtor!) perform a walk-through of the home prior to completion with the developer and/or general contractor to identify any cosmetic defects that need to be addressed and corrected by the developer. Deficiency walk-throughs typically only occur when the buyer has purchased the home prior to the finishings stage.

How much of a deposit do I need?

The amount of deposit you will need will depend on who you are buying the home from. Homes sold individually typically require a 5% deposit following the removal of all subject-to conditions from the accepted offer. Homes sold as part of a larger planned development sometimes require up to a 10% deposit. In both cases, the deposit will form part of the purchase price at closing.

Does GST apply?

Yes, 5% GST applies to all brand new homes purchased in British Columbia.

Do I pay real estate commission when buying a new home?

No! Since the seller pays the real estate commission, you’ll have Matt’s professional guidance and protection throughout the process at no cost to you.

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