After two months into the new year, 2021 is continuing to showcase an extraordinarily busy real estate market in Saskatoon.
In February, home sales were up +53% for the month with 352 sales compared to 230 sales in February of last year. That’s 122 more sales during this same time.
Home prices were up 10.4% compared to February 2020. There were 1099 active listings in Saskatoon as of March 1, 2021.
This busy market can make finding a home to purchase more complicated, so this month we wanted to share some insights about what we think is a great home buying option to consider by buying a brand new home through a reputable home builder.
Both Jamie and I have extensive knowledge of residential home construction and renovations. I have over 25 years experience in residential construction as a general contractor and Jamie started his career as a journeyman carpenter.
After working as a carpenter, I eventually decided to transition my skills and knowledge of residential construction into real estate. I have been specializing in new home sales with various home builders over the past 10 years.
Ross and I have represented North Prairie Developments at the Meadows in Rosewood for the past 3 years. We would like to share the top things we think you need to know about buying a home from a new home builder.
1) The benefits of brand new construction
When you buy a new home through a builder, compared to buying a used home, you get the benefit of everything being shiny and new. No one else has ever bathed in your tub or used your toilets and you will be the first person to use your home appliances.
You will likely have to compromise less and you will get more of what you want compared to buying a used home, since you can choose the layout and finishings that suit your needs.
You also get the benefit of having a new home warranty. This means that if you experience any issues with your home it will be covered by your warranty within a certain time period. This will give you peace of mind when you move in knowing that you won’t experience any unexpected costs to repair that you might have if you bought a used home.
2) Prepare for some additional expenses
Typically in a new build, your basement will come undeveloped. If you know you need the extra living space or you’re planning to create an income suite in your basement, you will need to expect to pay more for the builder to develop this space for you, or you could hire a contractor to develop it after you move in.
Also, the level of development will vary in your front and back yard depending on the builder you choose. For example, when you purchase a new home with North Prairie Developments at the Meadows in Rosewood, your home automatically comes with front landscaping and a concrete driveway. With other builders in the city, you may have to pay extra to have those items included in your purchase price, or you may have to pay to have them completed after you take possession.
You should expect to spend some additional money on various projects around your home after you move in depending on what is included with the builder you choose, such as building a deck or fence, backyard landscaping etc…
3) Building your dream home takes time
Home Builders can sometimes have pre-built spec homes that are available to be purchased with an immediate possession. In this type of new build, you won’t get to customize the home to your taste or specifications. Currently, the inventory of pre-built spec homes in Saskatoon is very low, so you are more likely to have to wait and build a custom home.
In Saskatoon, it typically takes around 4-6 months for a custom home to be built. You will get to choose from a variety of floorplans at various sizes and price points. Depending on the builder, you will also likely get to select the finishings that you want to see in your dream home.
Once you have selected the home you want to build you will submit an offer on the home. The deposit required in a new build is generally between 5 - 10% of the purchase price which is a bit higher than the typical deposit required on the purchase of a used home. This deposit will likely need to be paid to the builder once your conditions have been removed. The home will also start to be built once your conditions are removed.
4) Work with someone who specializes in new home sales
If you are looking to sell your existing home and buy a new home build, you should work with someone who knows the in’s and out’s of the home building process.
As Realtors who specialize in new home sales, we can help you to:
- Navigate the planning and building process
- Strategically plan when to list your existing home
- Negotiate a possession date that will work within the time frame of your new home build
This way you can seamlessly transition from one home to the next.
If you are interested in getting any more information on how to get started, please reach out to us and we’d be happy to help!