Many of us have done the pre-delivery inspection for a new home or condo construction and many have not. Your new construction home is covered by a warranty administered by Tarion, you want to be sure to take full advantage of this protection, Step One: the PDI.
I thought I’d revisit this since I’m about to do mine, tomorrow. I’m in downsize mode having just sold a lovely spacious four bedroom home outside the city and, finally, returning to my downtown roots. I’m about to inspect what I purchased, from a model suite, in the core several months ago.
First off, delivery date: We did not buy pre-construction, we’re at Canary District, the Pan Am site, the buildings were up but the upgrades, finishings, amenities were not in place. Our possession date is coming up—a few weeks ago this was bumped by up to 10 weeks due to a trades strike but then we got back on track for end of July—if you’re buying truly pre-construction that delivery date is often flexible, very, meaning not in your favour so don’t be surprised if you go late.
Unlike closing on your house keep in mind if you’re buying a new condo your possession date is your interim occupancy date, you don’t obtain title to your unit until it’s registered (the registration can be weeks or months, in my case I had to supply five months of postdated cheques for the builder though five months is rather long for this process, one hopes!), your interim occupancy payments will be like rent, you’ll pay a combination of your mortgage interest, approximate condo fees and taxes, this goes to the builder. This amount you’re paying does not accrue to your mortgage, you don’t have a mortgage as you don’t actually own the condo yet.
Wall by wall, room by room you inspect everything: walls and trim for paint coverage, any nicks or scratches or scuffs, are lights working, any screws missing from the light fixtures (or anywhere for that matter), are appliances working and connected properly, where’s your water shut off for both laundry and your water supply, where’s your panel, do your windows open, how does your HVAC work, if the inside of your entry door is damaged they’ll take care of, if it’s the outside, it’s not yours, the builder will do those last minute repairs in common areas (ditto your balcony, whatever is outside the balcony door is not covered in your PDI).
Kitchen cabinet doors and drawers, are they aligned and do they close properly; my fridge is an integrated unit (it matches the look and depth of my kitchen cabinets, great option for a condo making the kitchen appear clean and visually larger, my dishwasher is integrated as well) and the door was not sealing properly. Check your flooring too, my hardwood was fine but there was a scuff on the bathroom ceramic floor, done. The inspector will turn on taps, run laundry (my washing machine wasn’t connected), be sure to check grout and your tub surround, my tile surround grout was a bit messy in one corner, it’s on the list.
Make sure you understand how your ventilation works, my inspector noted given the construction happening they’d put a clean filter in before we take possession. Do keep in mind you have a one year Tarion warranty (it’s recommended before that year is up to take an inspector through your home looking for any deficiencies) and to maintain that warranty don’t do major work in that first year. I love my new downtown Toronto neighbourhood, love my building, my amenities (not done yet) but I was disappointed to see a popcorn ceiling and will have that changed, it’s one of my bugaboos in a home, it’s entirely superficial I know but I don’t like it. I will however not get into having ceilings sanded, potential floor damage etc before that warranty and inspection in a year.
That first viewing is very exciting, a couple of hours inspecting your new home! Feel free to ask as many questions as you want. I was flagging every paint flaw and scrape, why not, I’ll add colour at some point, every home needs a personality, but when first moving in (and no doubt downsizing further) I’ll be busy—I just need fresh near perfect white walls, and that downtown skyline view I’ve been missing 🙂