Here’s why I’d NEVER buy new construction in BC (not even pre-sales…)

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Should you avoid buying new construction or pre-sale properties from developers in British Columbia? After hearing what I have to share, you might just reconsider.

As someone who has seen countless, eager home buyers excited about new construction, I’ve witnessed firsthand how developers can take advantage of these would-be homeowners. Let’s delve into some real-world stories and examples to understand the risks and complexities involved in new construction in BC.


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One of our videos from our YouTube channel; The Germyn Group
Here’s why I’d NEVER buy new construction in BC (not even presales…)

My name is Darin, the team leader with the Germyn Group, with Macdonald Realty, a REALTOR in Surrey, British Columbia.

If this is your first time reading our blogs, we are here to educate you on everything there is to know about living in Surrey or White Rock, British Columbia. If you’re looking to make a move in the next 9 days, 90 days or 9 months, shoot us a text, give us a call, or book an in-person zoom meeting with us so we can learn a little bit more about your situation and let you know what we can do to help you. This way, we can make sure your move to Surrey or White Rock is a smooth one


The Lure of New Construction

When you drive down the street and see advertisements for new developments with enticing phrases like “Prices starting in the $800’s,” you might feel compelled to check them out.

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But what does “starting in the $800’s” even mean? Without firm pricing, developers draw you in with vague promises and flashy marketing. They won’t list prices on their websites, compelling you to come in for more details, only to upsell you once you’re there.


The Sales Tactics

Photo of a salesperson with a dark and eerie tone. the salesperson has a slightly sinister smile wearing a dark suit and standing in a dimly lit room
A dramatized photo of a untrustworthy salesperson

Developers often use sales techniques like anchoring, where they present a range of prices to make you comfortable with the cost. Without transparency about what others have paid, you might think you’re getting a good deal.

But even worse, incentives like air conditioning allowances, decorating credits, or even free furniture can be used to sweeten the deal, however these are often not publicly advertised and vary widely between buyers.


The Fine Print

One of the biggest pitfalls is the fine print in the contracts. These documents, often drafted by teams of lawyers, are designed to protect the developer, not you!

Many new developments, especially condominiums and townhomes, are sold years before completion, and much can change in that time. Job loss, market fluctuations, and rising mortgage rates can all impact your ability to complete the purchase.

Image of a contract on a table about to be signed with a pen hovering over the signature line. the contract is detailed with typical legal text
A dramatized photo of a contract that reads “This is a bad idea”

Contracts often include terms like non-negotiable assignment fees or clauses allowing developers to unilaterally extend completion dates. For example, if a developer hasn’t sold 75% of the units within a set period, they might cancel your contract altogether, causing you to miss out on potential market gains.


Post-Move-In Issues

A frustrated man behind his laptop
Photo courtesy of Aristal Branson from www.pixabay.com

Even after you move in, issues can arise. Imagine discovering your new 800 square foot condo is actually 8% smaller than advertised. Or facing a significant increase in strata fees because the developer under-budgeted the operating costs to attract buyers. These are just some of the risks that aren’t always apparent until it’s too late.


The Alternatives

dall e 2024 06 28 10.52.16 a 16 9 resolution photo showing a path that leads to two homes. on one side of the path there is a beautiful well maintained home with a lush garden

Given these risks, you might wonder if there’s a better option. Buying a newer home on the resale market offers more protections and guarantees.

With resale properties, you avoid many of the uncertainties and can make more informed decisions. You’ll have access to historical pricing, more straightforward contracts, and better representation throughout the process.


Conclusion

Buying new construction in B.C comes with numerous hidden risks and potential pitfalls. From opaque pricing and aggressive sales tactics to complex legal documents and post-move-in surprises, the process can be fraught with challenges.

If you’re considering this route, make sure to seek professional advice and thoroughly understand the contract terms. Alternatively, explore the resale market where you can find more security and transparency.

What if I have any questions about moving to Surrey or White Rock, BC?

Selecting an excellent real estate professional is key to a successful home purchase. The Germyn Group, with our deep understanding of White Rock and its real estate dynamics, is committed to guiding you every step of the way.

We invite you to book a consultation with us. During our meeting, we’ll discuss your needs, preferences, and any questions you might have about the Surrey real estate market.

As you embark on this exciting journey, remember that the right home in Surrey is more than just a property; it’s a foundation for your future. With the Germyn Group by your side, let’s make your dream of homeownership in Surrey a beautiful reality.

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