Newbie Notes: would we buy a newly built home again?

There is something surreal about watching your home come to life as it is built from the ground up. Buying a brand-new home is a unique experience – you enter the sales office and explore different floorplans, colour palettes, and begin to dream of the possibilities that come with living in your new community.

If there is one immediate gripe with a new construction compared to a resale home, it’s the waiting game. Builders and developers do their best to get the home to you in time for first closing, but that’s often not the case; various factors like labour or material shortages are often out of their control.

Patience is admittedly not my strongest characteristic, and waiting was the hardest part. Of course, on the other side of the coin, there were benefits to this. As first-time homebuyers, we had nothing to fill our home with – from the basic essentials like cutlery, right down to the we’ve-never-had-to-think-about-this-before items like a lawnmower. The year and a half gave us the opportunity to not only save our money, but also buy things at our leisure and often at a discounted price.

Now that it’s been a year, we often get asked if we would do it again. Well, that all depends on when you would have asked us.

After we closed on our home in November of 2018, during the first couple of weeks, I had frequent tightening sensations in my chest. I was beyond stressed. We were still missing a bathroom counter upstairs, we had a gaping hole where our toilet’s plumbing met the wall, pickets were missing from the handrail on the stairs, and frankly, nothing quite looked like how we imagined. Thanks to the flippancy and lack of firm repair dates from our builder, I swore to anyone who would listen that I would never do this again.

Now, almost 12 months later, these issues seem so subjective and downright silly to worry about. When you’ve invested into your home and found the craftsmanship to be less than stellar, it can bring on a whole host of emotions, anxiety included. You’re plagued with thoughts of when will they fix it? Will they fix it? What if they don’t? And worse: what if the repairs are worse than before?

We learned quickly that communicating calmly with our site supervisor yielded the best results.

Before we knew it, the missing counters were installed, the fist-sized hole in the bathroom was patched and painted over, and the missing pickets were installed. They’ve completed the rest of the deficiencies and laid down our sod, and well, it’s made our house look like a home.

So, the question remains: Would we do it all over again? Maybe. If we were to buy new again, I think we’d be better emotionally equipped to manage our expectations and be mentally prepared for how long it may take for the deficiencies in the house to match the vision we had of our completed new home.

Buying new requires a certain level of patience – but nothing beats that new house smell.

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