10 Questions to Ask an Area Manager
Once you’ve begun your home buying journey, one of the most important stages is to visit a variety of showhomes to find the perfect model in the perfect neighbourhood. This is also a great opportunity to speak to an Area Manager and ask them any questions you have about the model you’re touring or any specific steps in the home buying process.
While touring a showhome gives you a feel for the builder, the layout of the model, and a good idea of the finishing options you have, there’s nothing like talking with a real person to get the answers you’re looking for.
But what sort of questions should you be asking to make sure you get the best information possible?
Let’s take a look at some of the questions you should be asking an Area Manager in your search for the right new home for your needs.
Where Can I Build This Home?
If you’re out touring showhomes to check out the home models you like in person, you’ve probably given some thought to the new community you want to live in.
More established builders such as Sterling Homes will build a variety of different home models in neighbourhoods all over the city, so if you already have a location in mind you should check to see if your ideal home is available there.
What’s The Average Timeframe For A New Home Build?
As a general rule, a new home build is likely to take around nine to twelve months. However, the time frame depends on a variety of factors such as the style of home, weather, tradespeople, and other external factors beyond a builder’s control.
Something else to take into consideration is if you plan on building from the ground up or go with a quick possession home. These two options have very different timelines. Talking with your area manager will give you the answers to these questions.
If you’re going into a brand-new neighbourhood, the builder may not have broken ground yet, which can also add time to your build. Your area manager should lay this all out for you, but if you don’t ask you’ll never know!
Which Home Model Is The Most Popular And Why?
The area manager will have some insight into the most popular home models. They should be able to tell you what previous clients have enjoyed about the floor plan, and what aspects will fit in with your needs.
But don’t feel as though you have to choose a ‘popular’ option! As long as you have a clear idea of what you want in your new home and communicate that to the area manager, they’ll be able to find floor plan options to suit your family’s needs.
Can You Provide References From Former Customers?
One of the best ways to know how your experience with a home builder is likely to go is to listen to testimonials and reviews from previous customers. A quality home builder should have no issues with providing you with past references and referrals from satisfied customers.
Do I Have To Use The Builder’s Preferred Lender?
This is one of the most important questions you can ask your area manager. Without a good lender, you won’t be able to get your new home! While you don’t have to work with your builder’s preferred lender, you can save time and money by doing so.
The builder will have an established relationship with the lender already, and you’ll benefit from that without all the extra work. The lender has experience with the brand-new home buying process because it’s a different situation from buying a resale property. The convenience of working with an experienced lender means less wait time, a great interest rate, and flexibility in available programs.
How Will You Keep Me Updated On My Home’s Progress?
So you’ve chosen to build a brand-new home from scratch? Wonderful! But you want to make sure you’re kept up to date on the construction of your new home. While each builder has a different process, your area manager should give you the details on that. The walkthroughs and key points in the build (i.e: framing, drywall, electrical, etc.) need to be clearly laid out.
Sterling Homes offers you an online homeowner portal, so you can log in and see the most accurate information on the progress of your dream home build.
What’s Considered Standard? What Upgrades Are Available?
You want to make sure you know exactly what will come as standard in the home as well as what’s considered an upgrade. Some show homes are usually fitted with a few extras so it’s always good to ask so you know what you can expect. This way, there are no surprises when you’re moving in, what your home needs are, and what you’re willing to pay for.
When Do I Need to Finalize My Design Choices?
We can’t stress this enough – get specific dates and get it in writing! Once your builder has started the build process, you’ll make your design choices. We’re talking flooring, cabinetry, paint, finishes – all of it. It’s all dependent on when your build starts and which model you’ve chosen.
But Sterling makes it so easy for you!
A trip to our DesignQ centre and you’re all set. Once your appointment is made, you’ll come for a visit and pick all of your finishes. Done! The only thing you’ll need to worry about is whether you want blue or green for the bonus room.
What Does the Warranty Include? Do You Offer Any Post-Sales Service?
When you buy a brand-new home in Alberta, you’ll automatically be covered by a new home warranty program, which will protect most elements of your home for up to ten years. However, certain parts of the warranty will be valid for a shorter period of time – for example, the building envelope such as the roof and exterior walls are covered for five years.
Sterling works with the Alberta New Home Warranty Program for all of our builds. It’s worth checking with your builder to see if they offer any additional extended coverage or any other post-sales service.
How Energy Efficient Is The Home?
Making sure your home is as energy-efficient as possible is important, especially in Edmonton where the harsh winters can require a lot of heating for your home. Not only could an inefficient heating system leave you cold and uncomfortable, but you could also be wasting money.
Heating and cooling problems are less of an issue with brand-new homes, but it’s still worth checking to see what additional energy-saving measures are available from your builder. You’ll be glad you did once your electric bills start to arrive!
When looking at a prospective builder, the Area Manager should be the first person you speak to. They know how the builder works and will give a clear idea of the building process and be with you every step of the way.
Originally published Aug 25, 2017, updated Dec 9, 2021
Photo Credits: depositphotos.com
About the Author:
At Sterling Homes, our mission is to provide the opportunity for affordable homeownership without compromise. Over the last 70 years, Sterling Edmonton has quickly become one of Edmonton’s most popular builders. We bring more than seven decades worth of exceptional customer service, superior design and unparalleled craftsmanship to the greater Edmonton area. As a member of the Qualico Group, Sterling Homes focuses on greater Edmonton’s finest family communities, while being able to offer some of the region’s most family friendly prices thanks to volume purchasing power for materials, trades and land. This has not only made Sterling one of Edmonton’s bestselling, move-up builders, but also one of the industry’s most respected home providers. It is through our uncompromising commitment to our customers that we proudly deliver the Sterling Advantage – that’s why each and every home we build includes a 10-year home warranty, a completion guarantee and new home warranty excellence rating. Our Advantage is our pledge that, when you build your dream home with Sterling, we will deliver a timely, well-built home you’re sure to enjoy for years to come.
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