Consumer Protection: Looking For A New Home
There’s an app for that
Are you looking to buy a newly constructed home somewhere in Ontario? There’s a new app for that. Specifically, there’s a new app to help support any new homebuyer in the province looking for their perfect home.
The app, which is free, is called MyHome Planner and was created by Tarion. We are the province’s consumer protection organization for new homebuyers and owners and administer the warranty that comes with almost every new home and condominium. We also register builders in Ontario.
We created this app to help you make more informed decisions when buying a new home. It shows you where builders have proposed to build across Ontario and provides some valuable warranty information before you even get the keys to your new home.
With MyHome Planner, prospective new homebuyers can research builders by accessing the Ontario Builder Directory, right from the app. This directory lists all registered builders in the province. If a builder is not listed in this directory they are building illegally.
The directory also provides helpful information about where builders have built new homes, how many and whether there is a history of warranty claims. It will also tell you if a builder has been recognized by their customers for service excellence.
And as you are “shopping” for a new home or condo, the app has a helpful feature that allows you to share any new home opportunity with friends and family by texting or emailing them directly from the app.
MyHome Planner will also help you organize the many deadlines and appointments that come along with buying a new home. Users can enter important dates into the app – such as the date for your Pre-Delivery Inspection, decor centre appointments or the first closing date – and MyHome Planner will send reminders.
The app also has a series of helpful tips and information at each stage of your homebuying journey.
For example, new purchasers touring a builder’s decor centre should always keep in mind that natural products, such as granite counters or hardwood flooring, may not match the samples you see when they are actually installed in the new home. There may be variations in colour or grain that are not obvious from the sample.
All of this helps eliminate unexpected or even disappointing surprises when you finally walk through the front door of your new home.
Before any new homebuyer actually takes possession of their new home, they will be given a Pre-Delivery Inspection by the builder. This is an important first chance to walk through the home and take note of any missing, damaged or incomplete items and find out how the major systems of the home work. The new app provides tips and guidance for this important first step to new home ownership.
Finally, the MyHome Planner will help you better understand the warranty that comes with your new home and how to get it registered with Tarion. Links to Tarion’s website will help you become familiar with your warranty rights and responsibilities. After you take possession, the app lets you connect with MyHome, Tarion’s online portal for managing your new home warranty quickly and easily.
The MyHome Planner app is available for Android devices in the Google Play Store and Apple devices in the App Store. So, if you are looking for a new home or condo, I would encourage you to download the app today. It will make your new home buying experience easier and help you become a better-informed buyer.
Howard Bogach is president and CEO of the Tarion Warranty Corporation. His column appears five times a year in HOMES Magazine. For more information about how Tarion helps new home buyers, visit tarion.com or find them on Facebook at facebook.com/tarionwarrantycorp