How to Buy a New Home
Buying a home during a virtual sales release
What is the most important step in being able to participate in a virtual sales release?
Be sure that you are registered in advance for the community emails and are receiving them. You may need to check your junk items folder and whitelist the Minto Communities’ emails.
All relevant information will be sent by email including:
- The announcement of the lot release with date, time and process.
- The announcement of pricing available online
- Any reminders of the event
- Messages of lots being sold out, or still available after the release
- Announcements of future lot releases
The Sales Team will also be in touch with you directly by email or phone call if a lot is available for you to purchase.
How does a virtual sales release work?
A sales release is announced by email to everyone registered on a community email list, several days in advance of the event. The process for each sales release will be outlined in the email, for example:
Lots are available to purchase on a first-come, first-served basis by way of email confirmation only on the day of the lot release, and once the sales centre is open. Please provide your cell phone number in your email inquiry. No walk-ins will be accepted at the time for these virtual releases.
Contact the sales office by email on the day of the lot release with the lot you're interested in, and the sales team will provide you with more information. Emails received before the office is open will not be accepted.
Where do I find pricing for the upcoming release?
Pricing will be available on the Floorplans pages of the community website, usually 1-2 days in advance of the sales release. Each home and elevation that will be available in the release is noted with the ‘starting from’ price. Any home designs noted as “sold out” or “temporarily sold out” are not available.
How do I know what lots are available?
Visit the Site Plan page of the community website 1-2 days in advance of the release and download the current site plan – green dots will indicate available lots.
When the release begins, what do I need to provide in my email?
- The email address that we receive from you must match the one that would be used on the Agreement of Purchase & Sale.
- One email per family will be accepted. Anyone sending more than one email per family will be disqualified.
- In your email, please prioritize each lot that you are interested in purchasing from what’s being released for sale.
- At this time, do not send electronic versions of your government issued I.D., deposit cheques, or your mortgage pre-approval, etc., but we recommend having everything ready in case a lot is available for you and a Sales Representative contacts you.
After I send my email, what happens?
Our Sales Team are receiving an unprecedented amount of emails related to the sales releases due to market conditions and high volume. It will take some time for the team to go through the responses in order, and process requests for lots.
- If one of your preferred lots is available to purchase, a Sales Representative will contact you.
- The Sales Rep will outline the timeline to respond and confirm (i.e. 1 hour), but the sooner you can respond the better, so the process can continue for the next people in the virtual queue.
- The Sales Rep will outline what is needed in your response, such as:
- A scan of the front and back of the Driver’s License of all persons who will be on title
- An email address and phone number as contact for all persons who will be on title (the Agreement will be sent to these email addresses for e-signature)
- Employer and occupation of all persons who will be on title
- Confirmation if this home will be your primary residence or an investment
- Confirmation of house type, elevation and number of bedrooms for our lot XXX based on the attached availability
- Once you have provided everything that the Sales Team needs to confirm your lot, they will schedule a time for you to visit the Sales Centre to provide cheques, a hard copy of your mortgage pre-approval and your I.D.
If I don’t hear back from the Sales Team on the day of the release, what can I do next?
- If you were not successful at obtaining a lot, continue to check our website throughout the week for the latest information on lot availability.
- Stay registered on our email lists for future announcements of upcoming releases. We do not keep a waitlist from one release to the next. Each sales release event is its own event.
What are some additional tips to help the process go smoothly?
- Familiarize yourself with the lots and floorplans available so you are ready to make a decision on the day of the release, and have few alternate lots and floorplans in mind.
- Your mortgage pre-approval should include all names that will be on the Agreement.
- Allow our Sales Team the time to work through the process, which may take the entire day. Additional phone calls, emails and visits to the Sales Centre during the day can provide challenges to our team and may result in a disqualification in obtaining a lot.
- Note that the Sales Centre will be limiting walk-ins during the day of the release and be delayed in answering phone calls as we work through the virtual release.
How to pay for a house
What do I need to purchase a home?
To ensure everything is in order and goes smoothly before signing to purchase your new home, please have the following ready for the Sales Team:
1. Proof of Canadian residency/citizenship: Either a permanent residency card, citizenship card, passport, birth certificate, or Indian Status card.
2. Photo ID: One form of government-issued photo ID such as a driver's licence. Provincial health cards are not accepted.
3. Deposit Payment(s): A bank draft or certified cheque as your first deposit. Plus, post-dated personal cheques for all remaining deposits.
4. Lawyer Information: Your lawyer's information is required before proceeding with the agreement of purchase and sale.
5. Mortgage approval: A copy of your mortgage approval, which must be valid through the duration of the closing period.
How do I pay for the required deposits Minto Communities needs to secure the house?
For mutual tracking purposes, we accept personal cheques from your bank account. Depending on which home design/product type you purchase, Minto Communities needs between 3 and 6 cheques at the time of sale, post-dated at intervals to meet the payment structure required. The first deposit must be paid using a bank draft or certified cheque.
Do I have to be at the Sales Centre to sign the contract or can it be done online or via email?
We require you to be physically present at the Sales Center to sign the contract. This is to align us with the regulations set out by FINTRAC and ensure we are selling the new home to the person signing the agreement. We take homeowner privacy and security very seriously and this is part of the way we ensure your identity is safeguarded.
Can I accelerate my deposit payments by bringing in one cheque?
Some home buyers chose to submit one deposit cheque, which we allow provided it is dated to the first deposit date as per your sales agreement.
About your agreement
What is my conditional period and what is it for?
Minto Communities provides a 5 calendar day conditional period (or 10 calendar days for condos) after you sign your Agreement of Purchase and Sale. You can use this time to ensure you are confident you can meet your agreement obligations, the most significant being financing, which for many households means securing a mortgage pre-approval. During this period, you also have the opportunity to seek independent legal advice and have a lawyer review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale to ensure you fully understand the document and know what the home builder is committing to you. If you would like to cancel your deal, the conditional period is the right and only time to do so by providing a written letter from either a financial institution or lawyer indicating your decision to terminate the agreement. Once the conditional period is over, the agreement automatically becomes a legal, firm and binding contract on both the builder and the purchaser.
Do I need a lawyer to review my agreement of purchase and sale?
While it is not required to have a lawyer review your agreement on your behalf, it is highly recommended. Your sales agreement is a legal contract and we want to make sure that you have an opportunity to ask any questions to independent legal experts before the end of the conditional period so you have full confidence in your purchase. Many homeowners choose to use the same lawyer who will later facilitate your closing and ensure you receive your keys on your date of possession.
Is the closing date guaranteed?
At Minto Communities, moving a closing date is the last resort, but we will make a change if circumstances arise that would compromise build quality. From time to time, situations occur that require a delay such as persistent or abnormal weather, delayed deliveries, significant permit delays, trade shortages, sudden supplier shut down, etc. Closing/occupancy dates can be changed by the builder subject to the protocols and conditions outlined in your Agreement of Purchase and Sale, specifically, the section titled “Statement of Critical Dates”. It explains how and when notice of a chance to your closing date could happen, the procedure and the responsibilities of the builder and buyer in these circumstances. Through your process, your Construction Team or Customer Experience Coordinator can answer any questions about your specific home’s progress.
Can the buyer/homeowner request a closing or occupancy date change?
Changing a closing/occupancy date involves the rescheduling of dozens of trade crews, deliveries and manufacturing deadlines as well as changes to administrative and legal documents. Changing one home’s schedule also has cascading effects on other homes. Due to these factors, we do not allow homeowner initiated changes to closing or occupancy dates. When Minto Communities has to make a change, there is an absolute flurry of activity and re-planning that goes on and most often multiple homes that are behind rescheduled at once.
Is there any cost to Minto if my closing date is delayed?
As outlined in you agreement under the Statement of Critical Dates, if Minto Communities is unable to provide you with 90 calendar days notice that your closing date will change, there are circumstances where Minto would be obligated to provide a fee per day of delay to the homebuyer, as set out by the warranty and the province. See tarion.com or your Statement of Critical Dates for more specific information.
Will I get grass or a paved driveway?
All of Minto’s single family and townhomes include a paved driveway and sodded lawn. We often install these two items after move-in to allow the ground adequate time to settle to help with the longevity of your driveway and yard. Installation is also extremely weather dependent. Minto Communities will provide you notice of these activities if they are being done after you receive your keys.
Making changes to my contract
Can I remove a purchaser from the contract?
It is important to be comfortable with the people on title since names can only be removed within your conditional period. Once the contract is firm, our commitment is to everyone on title and you may no longer remove anyone from the agreement. If circumstances arise where those included on the home title needs to be changed, once the home is closed, your lawyer can facilitate this process for you.
Can I add a purchaser to the contract?
Yes, you may add a person to the agreement, however, the maximum number of homeowners on title is four. Please note that any changes after the deal goes firm are subject to administrative charges and no changes can be made within 90-days of the occupancy/closing date.
Can I cancel the contract after my conditional period?
Once your deal becomes ‘firm’ at the end of your conditional period, Minto Communities is responsible to build you that home and carry out the contract. At that point, no you may not cancel the deal. This is why we provide a conditional period so you can be sure you’ve made the choice that’s right for you.
Pricing and Costs
Does the purchase price include all taxes?
Your purchase price includes applicable sales taxes if it is your primary residence and you are a Canadian citizen. If it is your intention is to purchase the property for investment, or you are considered a foreign buyer, the purchase would be subject to the full HST amount in addition to the purchase price. All homeowners will be subject to a land transfer tax at their closing. Your lawyer or accountant is the best person to advise you of these particulars and any other circumstances.
Do I have to buy upgrades? Should I buy upgrades?
Investing in additional features in your home is completely optional. One of the things we pride ourselves on at Minto Communities is the diversity of options we offer. Your Minto home has a large variety of options that are included in your home’s purchase price such as cabinet colour, flooring colours, tile colours, etc. Purchasing additional options are completely at your discretion.
Can I opt-out of the Hot Water Rental Agreement?
Like most new homes in Ontario, your Minto home and sales agreement includes a rental hot water rental tank. We’ve chosen this option to address the expectation most homeowners have about a new home being low maintenance. As hot water tank technologies (especially tankless systems) become more complex and energy-efficient, a maintenance program is a sought solution and allows the installation of more energy-efficient and high-end tanks with minimal expense to our homeowners. After you close on your home, you may buy-out your rental if you prefer. Your Sales Representative can let you know which provider is supplying your rental agreement and guide you to more information.
Is there a cost for the Tarion warranty?
Homeowners are responsible to pay the Tarion enrolment fee, which is based on the purchase price of your home. This fee will be included in your Statement of Adjustments that you receive when you close and take legal title to your property. Detailed information including a table of costs can be found at tarion.com.
What are closing costs?
Closing costs vary per household and are dependent on a number of factors. They include any legal fees, the Tarion enrolment fee, land transfer tax, registrations fees, and other items. The best person to advise you with accuracy is your lawyer, who will be able to consider your individual circumstances.
What is an Interim Occupancy Fee?
For those who have purchased a condominium, such as a terrace home or a suite in a tower, there it is the monthly fee that homebuyers will pay until the condominium is fully registered as per the provincial Condominium Act. This fee includes condo fees, property taxes and the interest owing on the remaining balance of the purchase price. Once the condo is registered, the homeowner will only pay condo fees.
Making changes to my floorplan and home
Can I remove or add walls inside my home?
In addition to having a wide selection of home designs with a variety of floor plans, Minto Communities provides a menu of options or ‘Flex Plans’ that you can choose from in lieu of custom changes. Our Flex Plans have been reviewed by our Design Consultants and Product Design team to ensure they meet building code and will function as intended once you are living in your new home. Many of our home designs have alternate kitchen or bathroom flex plans as well as personalization options such as flooring, cabinetry, kitchen island orientation, wall tile and many more.
Can I add extra brick or stone to my home?
While we do not offer the option of adding brick or stone in an ad-hoc fashion, many of our elevations already include these materials. In cases of our single family homes, you often will have the option of which exterior elevation you choose (subject to architectural control guidelines), which determines the placement and quantity of exterior materials such as brick, stone, and siding.
Can I enlarge a window?
Many factors go into window placement and sizing, and our Product Design Team has carefully thought out considerations of light and furniture placement, useable wall space, location of electrical switches, lining up window heights from the exterior, etc. For this reason, we do not offer the option of window enlargement. The amount of glazing (window surface) on the exterior of a home is also governed closely in the building code and in many cases, we have already maximized the amount of glass we are permitted.
Can I add an extra window?
As above, we think that natural light is essential to living better, and so many of our homes already maximize the amount of glass we are permitted on the surface of the house in accordance with the building code. A select number of single family home models have the option of an additional basement window, which you select at our Sales Centre (select designs only). Otherwise extra windows are not available options.
Can I request that my new home come with no carpet on the floor so I can install my own hardwood?
As part of our obligations to you and to obtain occupancy permits, we need to install the included carpet in the house to fulfill the requirements in your agreement of purchase and sale. Once you own the home, you may remove it to install your own hardwood or other surface.
Can I make a change to my house elevation or switch lots once my conditional period is over?
When your sales agreement becomes firm, no further changes can be made to the selections you have already authorized. Almost as soon as the conditional period is over, the information you have provided is used to start scheduling Trades, producing drawings, ordering materials, assign resources, adjust the grading of your lot and community based on what you have selected, and many other behind the scenes activities. Furthermore, your sales agreement is a legally binding contract that outlines Minto’s commitment on what we will build for you, and we are dedicated to seeing that through.
Why do you sell new homes so far in advance?
Through our years of homebuilding experience we have learned that planning every detail of new homes and communities is critical and to the benefit of our homeowners. When we have all the homes on a street/neighbourhood selected (or per floor for high-rise buildings), it lets us build homes near each other at roughly the same time, meaning construction near each home is minimized, which is to the benefit of the new residents. Early sale also helps us better coordinate the more than 80 skilled Trades that go into each home, the hundreds of deliveries, and give you time to make your Design Centre selections with the best information at hand.
What should I know about buying a new home that isn’t always obvious?
In addition to being able to personalize your home to have it reflect your lifestyle and tastes, a new home has plenty of advantages including the latest technology, higher energy efficiency, the security of warranty protection, and many other ‘known’ factors as outlined in your Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Especially if this is your first time buying new, ensure you know what to expect:
- Utility structure locations - Utilities such as gas, hydro, water, sewers, and telecommunications are essential to any new home and require utility structures or boxes to be located in the community. Utility structures, (hydro transformers, street lights, fire hydrants, etc.) are located jointly by the City of Ottawa and the Engineer designing the community in accordance with the regulations, set-backs and distance restrictions governing each utility and are placed in a way to be as unobtrusive as possible while still best serving the community. These locations aren’t usually known at the time of sale, but we can share their locations once known.
- Details and brands are left to the builder’s expertise - As per your contract, it at the builder's discretion as to which trades are chosen to build a home, the methods that they use to build and the materials that are being used. Minto utilizes skilled and reputable trades, who are always looking for ways to improve the methods used to build as well as materials used. We would like to build your home effectively, efficiently and keep it at a cost that is fair to the homeowner without compromising quality.
- Your closing date could change – While we do everything in our power to maintain your closing date, the Construction industry is subject to disruption due to weather, Trade shortages, strikes, tariffs, specialized equipment break downs, and other factors. All builders in Ontario are required to provide a closing date at the time of sale and outline the notification time and procedure for making changes to your occupancy/closing date in your Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Delay of build is always a last resort decision and while delays can be disruptive, it is not a decision that a builder takes lightly and at Minto Communities, we can assure you that if you receive a delay, it is the best decision for your home in order to not compromise quality and to minimize work that may occur post move-in.
- New doesn’t mean perfect - In a new home build, there are over 80 Trades that go through your home and 60,000 pieces that go into the build. A home is a handmade project and it is expected that there will be some items that need correction noted during the build or after you receive your keys. At Minto Communities, we fully stand behind what we build, and in addition to the warranty obligations, are committed to making right anything that isn’t as per our commitment to you.
- The Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a firm agreement - The Agreement of Purchase and Sale outlines the responsibilities and deliverables of both the homeowner and us as the builder. This is a firm and binding contract and that means it cannot be cancelled or changed after each step has been finalized. It’s important to understand and review the commitments you are making before signing with your Sales Representative, and if you choose, further review it with a lawyer prior to your conditional period expiring. This minimizes confusion later on during your home-owning journey.