Buying a new home should include the expertise of a REALTOR®

By Todd Lewys

So, you’re in the market for a new home.

Problem is, you’re not sure how to get the process of finding the right home started.

Lanny McInnes, President and CEO of the Manitoba Home Builders Association (MHBA) has a suggestion.

“I would begin by doing your homework online — it’s a great starting point,” he says. “By doing that, you can get a general idea of what’s out there in terms of the latest designs, layouts, and different options.”

From there, McInnes suggests those looking for a new home go through several show homes to get a first-hand look at what builders are offering.

“Right now, the 2018 Spring Parade of Homes is on (from March 3 to 25) with 138 show homes available for viewing both inside and outside the city. Viewing those designs, layouts and options up-close will help you work toward making a decision on what type of home will work best for you.”

He adds that the Spring Parade affords another advantage to prospective new home buyers.

“It also helps you learn about the different communities in and out of Winnipeg. By going around to the various communities, you can get a feel for what area is best for you,” he says. “At the same time, you may run into people who reside there. You can talk with them about what the community is like and   determine which builders build in that area.”

Another reason for looking at different communities is that it can open your eyes to options you may not have previously considered.

“You may look at a certain community and realize that buying there might stretch your budget too much,” says McInnes. “By looking further out, you might find a more affordable housing option that fits your budget.”

Speaking of budget, it’s critical that new home buyers be realistic in knowing what they can and can’t afford in a home.

“Determine what your budget is early on. It will be dictated by factors such as the stress test and interest rates. Impact fees might also factor in as well,” he notes. “Knowing your budget helps you determine how much you can spend on options (such as granite countertops or high-end cabinets) and gives builders a better idea on what options are the right fit for your budget.”

If there’s one key to finding the home that’s right for you, it’s taking the time to speak with show home sales representatives — knowledgeable Realtors who know their home and the new home market inside and out.

“Make a point of sitting down and chatting with show home sales representatives. They’ll take you through every aspect of a home — its features, options and what makes it special. They have the knowledge required to help you make the right home buying decision.”

The great thing is that options abound, both in terms of communities and housing styles.

“With all the different communities and such a wide array of housing options (condos, townhomes,  semi-attached homes and single detached homes), there’s something for everyone from first-time buyers to empty nesters,” McInnes adds. “It might take some time and effort, but doing that due diligence — along with speaking in-depth with a show home sales representative (Realtor) — will enable you to find the option (house and neighbourhood) that fits your lifestyle and budget.”

Clear advice, as buying a new home is the single biggest investment that people make in their lifetime.

By doing all your homework — and relying on the advice of a savvy Realtor — chances are that investment will be a sound one.