Step 2 - Establishing your home selection criteria

Now that you know your budget and financial resources, it's time to establish your selection criteria and determine your priorities.

Where you choose to live can considerably affect your budget planning, habits and quality of life.

Questions to ask yourself

  • How long would it take you to get to work? How would you get to work?
  • What are the local services (daycares, schools, hospital, stores, parks, etc.)?
  • How much are the neighbouring homes worth?
  • Is the area safe and quiet?

Take the time to choose the home that best meets your tastes and needs.

Different types of homes

  • Fully detached home (cottage, bungalow)
  • Semi-detached home
  • Duplex (2 units)
  • Townhouse
  • Condominium
  • Undivided co-ownership
  • Factory-built or modular home

Questions to ask yourself

  • Do you need a lot of privacy? Could you see yourself sharing your space with neighbours or renters?
  • Are energy efficiency and environmental quality (insulation, heating, air quality, ventilation, lighting, type of materials, etc.) important to you?
  • How much time will you have to spend on the upkeep of your home?
  • Do you need large rooms?
  • Do you want a large property?

New home

  • Ability to improve or select the following: exterior siding, flooring, plumbing and electrical accessories
  • Built according to recent standards (building, electricity, energy efficiency)
  • Contractor's or builder's guarantee
  • GST and QST applies—partial provincial rebates may be available under certain conditions

Always ask for references from the contractor. Find out if they offer new home guarantees and ask to visit a few homes they have built. If you are having a home built, it can also be very useful to hire an architect.

Existing home

  • Established neighbourhood
  • Landscaped and fenced yard
  • Certain features may have been added (in-ground pool, finished basement, etc.)
  • Potential to be considered a new home (if major renovations have been done), in which case the GST applies

Building your own home is a huge undertaking that requires careful planning.

Before starting the work

  • Spell out all your needs in terms of your preferences, lifestyle and financial resources.
  • Set aside enough cash to cover 10% of the construction costs (not including the down payment and tax).
  • Get plans and specifications that meet building regulations drawn up by specialists.
  • Get a building permit from your municipality.
  • Get an insurance policy that covers accidents and other risks.
  • Draw up a detailed estimate of direct and indirect costs.
  • Obtain financing from your caisse.
  • Make a critical path schedule from the plans and specifications.
  • Plan the main construction inspection steps.
  • Get written contracts with deadlines from material suppliers and subcontractors.

See the DIY Homebuilders' Guide - Quebec.

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