The Benefits of Buying New Construction Real Estate on the Waterfront in Kelowna
New construction homes for sale in Kelowna were once like coming across the proverbial needle in a haystack for house hunters looking to buy real estate in Kelowna. However, just since last year we have seen the new housing market explode. CMHC reports that more residences were started in the central Okanagan in 2017 than any year since it began recording housing starts in 1977! All this new construction is partly thanks to the influx of new residents from overpriced cities like Vancouver and Toronto, along with a steady flow of migrants making their way here from the prairies. Developers have also been cashing in on low interest rates to see their projects through to completion. There were 3,577 housing starts in the Kelowna area last year comprising 923 single-detached homes and 2,654 condominiums and apartments. This means that if you’re looking for something brand new to move into, then your chances of finding something that fits are very high.
As always, we like to educate our home buyers and sellers on a variety of subjects as they embark on their due diligence to find their next forever home. We have a few tips that new construction home buyers might find helpful to review before they start pounding the Kelowna pavement in search of their shiny new abode such as differentiating between the type of new construction, reviewing the builder and who you need to hire to ensure that you are making the right decision in your purchase.
What type of new construction in Kelowna is right for you?
There are three types of new construction in the Kelowna real estate market:
-Semi custom homes
-Full custom homes
A spec home is a home that is constructed by a builder or developer using a stock home plan. It’s called a spec home because the builder is essentially speculating on the sale of the property. The builder is not building the home with any specific buyer in mind and is therefore using materials and a layout which they think will appeal to a large generic group of people. Spec homes can also be called, builder homes, or pre-built homes. Spec homes are usually a safe investment and there are a lot of local builders who are very good at knowing what is going to appeal to a wide range of buyers. These builders often prefer working independently of an owner in order to get the home completed and on the market for a quicker sale.
Spec homes are great for buyers who have a hard time imagining what has to go where and what materials will look good together. They are often located in master planned communities in Kelowna like, The Ponds, Kettle Valley, Wilden and the new waterfront communities of Lakestone and McKinley Beach. Spec homes generally have a faster turn around than a semi custom or custom home. Buying a spec home can be compared to buying off the rack in a store.
If the spec home sounds good to you but you still want to have some say in your countertops or cabinets then you might want to consider a semi custom home build. if the buyer gets in early enough when buying a semi custom home from a builder then they will usually extend an allowance where the buyer can choose their colors and materials with some guidance. A semi custom home is usually mostly built from a stock plan or builders plan and part of the home are left unfinished so that the new buyer can put some custom touches on it. Semi custom homes also have a faster turn around then a full custom home and with the upgrades available they tend to feel a little more special than a spec home.
If you love details and design then you will definitely want to look at hiring a custom home builder. A custom home allows you to have complete control over every detail, color and finish. The biggest con to a custom home is time. They take significantly more time to get the floor plan right, select the right builder and plan all of the details and generally home owners are required to be involved at every step of the process. The pros are all in the flexibility of getting it exactly as you want, so that it suits your lifestyle once it is complete.
You found the right place now how do you determine if it was built properly?
Just because you are buying new construction doesn’t mean that you can overlook a home inspection. We always suggest buying from reputable builder, but there are also some nice homes being constructed by smaller builders that are great quality and sometimes can be priced more affordably due to the decreased overhead that a relatively unknown builder can have. Regardless of which builder you choose, check references where you can. Check with their major suppliers, check with the last buyer they had to see how the process went and always hire a home inspector. Just because the home is brand new and is located in a brand new subdivision or community doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with it’s own set of issues. A home inspector will be able to put your mind at ease that you aren’t purchasing a lemon. You will also want to speak with your new neighbours regarding the area you are considering and see how they feel about everything from ongoing construction, problem rentals, to any other anomalies that only someone who has lived in the area would be aware of. This is one step you won’t want to skip.
Ready to make an offer on new construction? Who you should hire next to make sure your i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.
You’ve found the home you want now can you negotiate? There’s a common misconception that the price on a new home is firm when you are buying from a builder. Hiring an experienced real estate agent will allow you the confidence that you are getting the most bang for your home buying buck. A real estate agent can assist you in the purchase of new home construction by helping you to interpret the contract, negotiating a fair price, looking into available rebates and many more benefits. Your real estate agent works for you to ensure your buying needs are the number one priority. While the builder will have some knowledge of the area and the home itself, your agent will be able to offer up lots of other valuable advice and insight regarding the local real estate market.
You will also want to hire a lawyer. Buying a new home means that there will be items like warranties and new construction financing that will make this deal slightly more complicated than buying a previously occupied home. Work with a lawyer who can represent your best interest in this transaction.
If you want to find a new home for your family in the Kelowna area then I would love to show you around the local neighbourhoods and master planned communities of Kelowna. There are great communities popping up all over the city from condos and townhomes along the shores of Okanagan Lake at Gyro Beach to outstanding lakeview communities with community centers, shopping, parks and trails like Wilden in the Glenmore Highlands. There’s something for everyone in the new home market right now and I would love to make your dreams of owning brand new home construction come true.
Contact me today to arrange a personal tour of Kelowna’s new home construction!
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