Our Ottawa real estate season tends to “bloom” in the spring with the greatest portion of resale transactions being done from March 1st to September 30th. We do not have access to stats on new construction sales but we suspect they may follow a somewhat similar pattern.
A strong argument can be made that fall and winter may be the best time to purchase a new construction home from a builder. Here are some of the factors that work in favour of buyers purchasing during these somewhat quieter months of the year.
Less frantic buying environment:
When it is peak selling season (or a major launch) builder sales centres are packed and this puts extra pressure on buyers to “make a deal now” before someone else reserves that special lot. This can result in an almost timeshare or boiler room atmosphere which is not conducive to well-reasoned and researched decision making. Buyers may be swayed more by a “fear of loss” motivation and thus make some hasty decisions. This is fine if one has done one’s homework but it can also produce impulsive and immature buying decisions.
This environment and the genuine risk of losing out on an opportunity should be slightly less during quieter selling months.
Closing date a critical factor
Most new home deals being signed in the fall or early winter, will call for deliveries in the summer or early fall of the following year. Buyers will really want to consider all aspects of how this availability date impacts their individual situation, as there are both pros and cons and builders have limited ability to adjust scheduled deliveries to meet buyer criteria in a significant way.
Sale of existing home timeline is also critical
Those with an existing home to sell will want to be able to sell their property during the peak selling season, if at all possible. Understanding the timelines is important: ie. When should I list my house to meet the builder closing date? How long will it take to sell? How long will it take to close? How much am I going to get from the sale of my home? A Realtor can help with all of these items and more concerning a new construction home purchase.
Design Centres may also be less busy and stressed
A critical stage of the home buying process is getting the design centre options researched, decided and planned. This timeline can be daunting for those who have not done it before and if a builder design centre is super busy or understaffed this can impact the process and the quality of the buyer decisions and ultimately, the finished product. Since you only have a short window to get these choices right, it may be advantageous to do this phase in a quieter time of the business year for the builder.
First time buyers RHOSP “double dip”
First time buyers using their registered home ownership savings from their RRSP, may be able to make a savings deposit for the current fiscal year and qualify for that year’s tax deduction, as well as being able to utilize those funds for a purchase the following year. There are some rules around this, as funds must be present in the RRSP account for at least 90 days, before they can be withdrawn for home buying purchases. Check with your mortgage professional to check on each specific situation.
Saving and planning time
Having several months to plan a move, allows time for additional saving, facilitates scheduling and also allows time for the purchase of new furniture, appliances or household items.
Don’t forget your Realtor!
Many new construction buyers forget to get their Realtor involved early in their new construction home buying cycle. A Realtor can be a really good “Coach” in helping plan and execute a new home purchase. Those buying new construction for the first time and those with an existing home to sell can very much benefit from Realtor experience and counsel. So…”don’t go to the builder sales centre without them”
New construction is one of our core areas of involvement and we are always happy to discuss and advise for those who are already not already working with another Realtor. We feel we have a bit of “inside track”, too-as we have been listing new construction homes for a major Ottawa builder for7 years now. So give us a call at 613-435-4692, if you have some questions about how the process can work for you.
Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage
11th year in business as a lower commission brokerage