Should you buy a brand new home that you can customize, or choose one that's move-in ready? Both have their advantages:
Personalized choices. You may be able to upgrade or choose certain items such as siding, flooring, cabinets, plumbing and electrical fixtures.
Up-to-date with the latest codes/standards. The latest building codes, electrical and energy-efficiency standards will be applied.
Maintenance costs. Lower maintenance costs because everything is new and many items are covered by a warranty.
Builder warranty. A homebuilder's warranty is usually available in all provinces (except Nunavut and the Northwest Territories). This can be important if a major system such as plumbing or heating breaks down. This warranty does not apply if you build the home yourself. Neighbourhood amenities like schools, shopping malls and other services may not be complete for years.
Easy access to services. Probably established in a neighbourhood with schools, shopping malls and other services.
Extras included. Landscaping is usually done and fencing installed. Previously owned homes may have extras like fireplaces, finished basements or swimming pools.
Possible redecorating and renovations. You may need to redecorate, renovate or do major repairs such as replacing the roof, windows and doors.
Make an Offer
When you find the perfect home, buy it.
After touring homes, you will probably instinctively know which one or two homes you would like to buy. Ask to see them again. You will see them with different eyes and notice elements that were overlooked the first go-around.
At this point, your Century21 agent should call the listing agent to find out more about the sellers' motivation and to double-check that an offer hasn't come in, making sure these homes are still available to purchase.
Your Century21 agent will help you through the offer process. Be very specific in your offer about any improvements or repairs you want the seller to make before closing or about any appliances or other items you expect to be included.
Counteroffer. The seller may accept your initial offer, no questions asked, but often he or she will make a counteroffer, accepting some terms but making changes or raising the price. This process goes back and forth until you either agree or the deal collapses.
Contingencies. Acceptance of the sales contract can be made contingent on (that is, dependent on) certain circumstances. As a first-time homebuyer, you should probably stipulate that the house passes any inspections you want performed and that financing is approved.