As seen in the April 30, 2011 Edition of the New Home and Condo Guide. 

Q: I often hear about the investment benefits of buying pre-construction homes and condos. However, I’m weary of buying something before it has actually been built. How can I be sure I’m investing in a sound product without seeing it first?

A:  Many builders today offer pre-construction sales, granting you an opportunity to buy when the prices are most attractive. Great gains can be made, as properties are typically offered at a considerable discount. Still, you need to be confident that the developer will deliver.

Fortunately, there are many fine builders in the Southwestern Ontario market. With some earnest effort, you will have no trouble finding the builder that suits you best. Before you enter into a contract with anyone, ask a lot of questions to make sure it is the kind of company you want to be in partnership with.

Home building is a demanding business. Aside from the dedication it takes to keep up with all that is going on in the industry, it requires solid business acumen and a track record of satisfied clients. Good builders are proud of their accomplishments, whether they have been in business for three or 30 years. They will gladly tell you about their background, experience, expertise and what sets them apart from the others. They will be honest with you about what they can do for you, when and for how much.

Another good sign is whether they are members of the various Home Builder Associations. Membership in these organizations is a strong indicator of a builder’s commitment to the industry, to the success of their own company and ultimately to customers. Members are bound to a Code of Ethics that insist on fair and honest dealing with consumers.

At the end of the day, don’t just take the builder’s word it. Don’t be afraid to contact past customers to find out how satisfied they are with all aspects of their home purchase. Find out if their property was completed on time, what the builder was like to work with, and about the company’s after-sales service.

Remember that when you buy a home, you are in essence buying the builder. You need to pay as much attention to choosing the right builder as you do on location, price and square footage. Asking the right questions and applying due diligence will give you all the insight and confidence needed to make a wise and informed purchase.