Real Estate

New Constructions Homes GTA Advice

  • Last Updated:
  • May 28th, 2019 12:40 pm
[OP]
Newbie
May 25, 2019
8 posts

New Constructions Homes GTA Advice

Long term lurker here, finally saved up enough money to possibly buy a detached single home in the GTA. Looking for some guidance into good places to buy and live.

I have been driving around and looking at various sales office/presentation centers of new constructions - New Seaton (Pickering), Fusion Homes (Guelph), Stouffville Milton/Waterdown.

My budget is between 900k-1.1M. My office is located in York Mills area as well as Woodstock Ontario (I do have to be in this office atleast once a week), so near a highway would be the best commute.

Any advice would be appreciated!
18 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2017
1330 posts
1174 upvotes
Why not buy resale instead of brand new? There are lots of additional expenses related to brand new: e.g. ac unit, backyard fencing, etc.
Member
May 7, 2015
337 posts
433 upvotes
Toronto, ON
iamfromdongbei wrote: Long term lurker here, finally saved up enough money to possibly buy a detached single home in the GTA. Looking for some guidance into good places to buy and live.

I have been driving around and looking at various sales office/presentation centers of new constructions - New Seaton (Pickering), Fusion Homes (Guelph), Stouffville Milton/Waterdown.

My budget is between 900k-1.1M. My office is located in York Mills area as well as Woodstock Ontario (I do have to be in this office atleast once a week), so near a highway would be the best commute.

Any advice would be appreciated!
Why not buy in Woodstock then fraction of what it costs in the GTA and no traffic
[OP]
Newbie
May 25, 2019
8 posts
I am going to be spending probably 3-4 day of the work week + weekend in Toronto, so rather not do the commute from Woodstock for the just a day of work.
[OP]
Newbie
May 25, 2019
8 posts
I am open to resale as well, but I rather not buy an older house, maybe something that's just a few years old in a new subdivision.
Deal Addict
Oct 25, 2008
2299 posts
338 upvotes
North York
For 0.9M - 1.1M budget, I probably look for an existing (but newer homes) that have the upgrade you want.

In the detached market, I see little reason actually to go with pre-construction home unless the developer is offering sizeable builders credit. These houses tend to be priced slightly above existing ones (Remember, builders will place a premium for a new home versus existing ones).
Banned
Jun 1, 2017
513 posts
469 upvotes
You'd better buy resale house since it faster. For a pre-construction, it takes long time to close.
Deal Guru
Feb 29, 2008
13857 posts
10105 upvotes
neilsmith43 wrote: You'd better buy resale house since it faster. For a pre-construction, it takes long time to close.
This. Be prepared to wait 3-4 years
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 4, 2006
3589 posts
684 upvotes
There are new(ish) homes all over stouffville that were built after 2012 and still look great. But why look at the east end of the GTA (pickering/Stouffville) if you need to drive west at least once a week? You're adding 20-30 minutes in the best of traffic let-alone an accident or bad weather.

EDIT: I get it. The idea of new is attractive because you can theoretically pick whatever you want. Have you purchased pre-construction low rise before? Make an informed decision:
1. What is the true base cost of the house (i.e. non discretionary expenses in the immediate or short term)? Increases to development charges (can you get this capped in your agreement? some builders are cool, others are not). Air conditioning if not included. Fencing. Tarion fees. Driveway fee. Window coverings. Maybe security alarm if that's non-discretionary for you. This is the minimum "all-in" price you should compare to resale. The additional fees can be thousands of dollars more.
2. What are the "upgrades" that are included? What is available on the resale market? There may be granite undermount in the kitchen (but not always) and if you're lucky, there's a stone undermount in the master bath too. Is it hardwood throughout (if you care)? What transparency can you get on the cost of builder upgrades? (i.e. hardwood stairs, matching the staining to the floor, undermount cabinet lighting, tall cabinets, deep cabinet over fridge) This stuff can add up to thousands of dollars because the base price doesn't have nice stuff. This is all builder dependent.
Sr. Member
Dec 28, 2010
677 posts
275 upvotes
Toronto
iamfromdongbei wrote: Long term lurker here, finally saved up enough money to possibly buy a detached single home in the GTA. Looking for some guidance into good places to buy and live.
I have been driving around and looking at various sales office/presentation centers of new constructions - New Seaton (Pickering), Fusion Homes (Guelph), Stouffville Milton/Waterdown.

Any advice would be appreciated!
Care to share more info on your lifestyle, care about walkscore ?, family - kids , schools, any preference if close to water etc. And finally you probably have a minimum of the size of house/ # of rooms/lot size?
With a 1M budget , there are still many good pockets in GTA and some sellers are ready to make deal after sitting in market.
As other mention a resale will be better value. There is a lot of work and investment $ in a new build + the warranty period claims and hassle of working with builder all along, no to mention the delay in closing etc..and sometimes living in a construction zone.
[OP]
Newbie
May 25, 2019
8 posts
poorwingman wrote: There are new(ish) homes all over stouffville that were built after 2012 and still look great. But why look at the east end of the GTA (pickering/Stouffville) if you need to drive west at least once a week? You're adding 20-30 minutes in the best of traffic let-alone an accident or bad weather.

EDIT: I get it. The idea of new is attractive because you can theoretically pick whatever you want. Have you purchased pre-construction low rise before? Make an informed decision:
1. What is the true base cost of the house (i.e. non discretionary expenses in the immediate or short term)? Increases to development charges (can you get this capped in your agreement? some builders are cool, others are not). Air conditioning if not included. Fencing. Tarion fees. Driveway fee. Window coverings. Maybe security alarm if that's non-discretionary for you. This is the minimum "all-in" price you should compare to resale. The additional fees can be thousands of dollars more.
2. What are the "upgrades" that are included? What is available on the resale market? There may be granite undermount in the kitchen (but not always) and if you're lucky, there's a stone undermount in the master bath too. Is it hardwood throughout (if you care)? What transparency can you get on the cost of builder upgrades? (i.e. hardwood stairs, matching the staining to the floor, undermount cabinet lighting, tall cabinets, deep cabinet over fridge) This stuff can add up to thousands of dollars because the base price doesn't have nice stuff. This is all builder dependent.
Thanks for the info! the GF's work is in Markham although she doesn't need to be in the office everyday, atleast 1 once a week type of thing (tele-commuting rest of the week). We are now leaning towards the west end since 407 to markham isn't that bad from somewhere like Milton or Waterdown.

My job is somewhat related to constructions/trades, so with my old house in Woodstock we got abatement on the purchase price, and had my guys do cabinets, countertops, etc. I am hoping if maybe a builder in the GTA would let us do this too? We are definitely not only looking at pre-constructions, but want to limit the age of the house to be less than 4 to be ideal.
[OP]
Newbie
May 25, 2019
8 posts
Karma2000 wrote: Care to share more info on your lifestyle, care about walkscore ?, family - kids , schools, any preference if close to water etc. And finally you probably have a minimum of the size of house/ # of rooms/lot size?
With a 1M budget , there are still many good pockets in GTA and some sellers are ready to make deal after sitting in market.
As other mention a resale will be better value. There is a lot of work and investment $ in a new build + the warranty period claims and hassle of working with builder all along, no to mention the delay in closing etc..and sometimes living in a construction zone.
In hindsight sorry for the lack of info lol, I should have included more. Me (construction field, but in a sales/back-office role, main office is north york york mills area ) and the GF (software engineer, she tele commutes to Markham, but needs to show up to work for meetings normally once a week) both in late 20s, looking to have kids in the immediate future. Definitely want to be close to parks/schools for the kids. In term of lot size, I am willing to sacrifice. Our current house is 60x120ish, but I am willing to go down to 40x100. I am kinda narrowing it down to Guelph, Milton, Georgetown, and Waterdown.

Family have suggested Burlington/Oakville (nice neighbourhood, good schools, etc. were the argument), but they are a bit out of our budget, although if we stretch we might be able to do 1.3-1.4? is that worth it to move to burlington/oakville?
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2004
1495 posts
571 upvotes
iamfromdongbei wrote: In hindsight sorry for the lack of info lol, I should have included more. Me (construction field, but in a sales/back-office role, main office is north york york mills area ) and the GF (software engineer, she tele commutes to Markham, but needs to show up to work for meetings normally once a week) both in late 20s, looking to have kids in the immediate future. Definitely want to be close to parks/schools for the kids. In term of lot size, I am willing to sacrifice. Our current house is 60x120ish, but I am willing to go down to 40x100. I am kinda narrowing it down to Guelph, Milton, Georgetown, and Waterdown.

Family have suggested Burlington/Oakville (nice neighbourhood, good schools, etc. were the argument), but they are a bit out of our budget, although if we stretch we might be able to do 1.3-1.4? is that worth it to move to burlington/oakville?
Not really worth stretching yourself unless you have a comfortable financial buffer. You'll just end up feeling stressed instead of enjoying your home and your new family, it's not worth it. My personal, biased, anecdotal opinion is when looking for kids that are yet to be born to early elementary years, a good neighbourhood with any decent school is fine. You don't have to go for the best/highest rated school because at that age, the difference in the quality of education isn't that material, at least not enough for a 7~8 year old to feel the difference.

Not saying to discount the prerequisite of a good area, but given your ages, commute, life, no need to give it more priority than you need to. Who knows, after 4~5 years, you could decide to move elsewhere because of job or some other reason? Or you could just like the area enough to stay there indefinitely.

Visit the areas you've narrowed down, see how you feel when you're there then go from there. Also evaluate from different perspectives (for ex: commute to GO station or work, other amenities, etc.)
Realtor @ Royal LePage Ignite Realty
Sr. Member
Sep 7, 2018
810 posts
841 upvotes
iamfromdongbei wrote: Thanks for the info! the GF's work is in Markham although she doesn't need to be in the office everyday, atleast 1 once a week type of thing (tele-commuting rest of the week). We are now leaning towards the west end since 407 to markham isn't that bad from somewhere like Milton or Waterdown.

My job is somewhat related to constructions/trades, so with my old house in Woodstock we got abatement on the purchase price, and had my guys do cabinets, countertops, etc. I am hoping if maybe a builder in the GTA would let us do this too? We are definitely not only looking at pre-constructions, but want to limit the age of the house to be less than 4 to be ideal.

You realize you'll spend $600+ a month on 407 doing that commute? Unless work is paying it...

Double if you both need to do the commute
[OP]
Newbie
May 25, 2019
8 posts
Thanks for advice! I will do some more driving in the coming weekends and if the mods are ok I will post/update my experience in this thread, hopefully it helps folks looking for a new house in the GTA.
Deal Guru
Feb 29, 2008
13857 posts
10105 upvotes
OP, I was looking to move to Mississauga and have my wife do the commute on the 407. I calculated the pricing and we quickly changed course. 407 is a lot of money.

edit: if your employer pays then so be it. What do you do though if you switch jobs?
[OP]
Newbie
May 25, 2019
8 posts
that's a valid point, it is a sweet gig (employer super flexible) although pay could be a bit higher, i hate to lose this job lol
Sr. Member
Dec 28, 2010
677 posts
275 upvotes
Toronto
iamfromdongbei wrote: Thanks for advice! I will do some more driving in the coming weekends and if the mods are ok I will post/update my experience in this thread, hopefully it helps folks looking for a new house in the GTA.
Thanks to share more info on your requirements. I would go for Burlington and oakville and you should be able to get something good in 1.2M range or lower, with the size you care about. These areas are still not far from downtown core, and with your spouse in tech, thats where the growth is.
Since you are in construction field, you probably have contacts to do some upgrades or someone to give you realistic estimates. I say that because there are good size lots in Burlington that can be had for in you budget and then spend some on reno's . Since our last couple of moves, we have always found that there is never a 100% wow house, we always ended up doing flooring, kitchen and washroom renos...even a bay window once and landscaping...so far we have enjoyed the process. So don't hesitate to look at the potential of property and what it could be. Some of the new builds are overpriced imo , with the material they use and cookie-cutter design..

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