Do you have any qualms about buying pre-construction?

It’s not uncommon for potential homebuyers to feel intimidated by the idea of purchasing a pre-construction home or condo. The mention of a pre-construction agreement with its terms like "Interim Occupancy Period" can be enough to make buyers question whether the process is worth it.

Working with a REALTOR® from the McGarr Realty team will help put your concerns to rest. Our knowledgeable Niagara real estate team will work with you every step of the way so you can feel confident in your purchase and that you’ve made the right choice for your future. 

Did you know that nearly one of every three homes purchased in Canada is directly through a builder? Over the past decade, we’ve seen a construction boom of new homes in St. Catharines and the Niagara region, and there are many reasons why this choice is so popular for homebuyers. Whether it’s a freestanding home or a high-rise condo unit, pre-construction builds offer the options of customization, modern finishes, and energy efficiency that buyers want.

When you work with McGarr Realty, we will be there to answer all your questions about the pre-construction process. We want you to be as informed as you can about your pre-construction agreement, including your rights and the builder’s responsibilities. For many of our clients, this will be the biggest purchase they make in their lifetime. You should feel assured that you understand the full scope of the project and we will do all we can to help make the terms clear to you.

If you’re wondering about all those terms and conditions in a pre-construction agreement, we will walk you through it. Why don't we take a look at a few of them now?

Two of the commonly confused terms are "Occupancy Date" and "Interim Occupancy Period". A pre-construction agreement will outline the occupancy date, which is a tentative date that is proposed by the builder. This is the expected date that the project will be completed. Since there can be delays in construction, particularly for condo projects with several units, the agreement will outline what your rights are if the occupancy date changes. In some instances, if there is a significant delay in the occupancy date, you may be able to seek compensation or walk away from the project.

An Interim Occupancy Period is when you’re able to move into your home even though the project is not fully done. This is common with condo construction in which case some units are finished before others. If you’re able to move into your unit early, you will not be the official owner until the entire project is completed. Until the condo project is registered with the municipality, you will be responsible for a monthly payment to the builder. This amount is designed to cover the interest owing on the amount owing on your unit, as well as any maintenance costs and municipal taxes.

One more term that may help to ease your worry is knowing that with any condominium pre-construction agreement, there is a “Cooling Off Period”. In Ontario, this means you have 10 days to review your decision to purchase the unit from the builder. In this time, you can have the agreement reviewed by your real estate lawyer. You'll also have the flexibility to cancel the agreement without any penalties.

Our McGarr Realty team would love to work with you to make the experience of a pre-construction purchase a positive one! Browse our listings page or reach out to us to see new homes for sale in St. Catharines and Niagara right now.



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