Presale Houses: Things to Remember

Posted by Bayan Knight on Monday, October 17th, 2016 at 9:30am.

Are you starting to look for a home? Apartment buildings and condos are popping up everywhere (especially in the Brentwood and Metrotown areas), and in a lot of cases, the developers are offering presale opportunities to home-seekers looking for a good deal. Like everything, there are risks of buying a presale unit. But do the benefits outweigh the cost? Here are some things to consider when deciding:

Ability to select and customize

Are you looking for a one-bedroom studio with a great view, or a three-bedroom family-pad with an extra parking spot? Everyone wants a home of their dreams, and the flexibility of presale units are one of their major advantages. Because the options are wide open, you are able to choose between many units with different sizes, views, and amenities.

In addition, because the room is not fully completed, you will often have a say in the details such as colour scheme, wallpaper pattern, and even type of flooring. If you jump on board early enough, you may even be able to request specific appliances, plumbing configurations, or the number of rooms.

Delay of mortgage

If you are looking to buy your first home, presale opportunities may be an attractable option. Because you do not have immediate use of the house, mortgage payments are often delayed (or at least discounted) until the building is completed. This buys you some time to rearrange your finances and prepare for the payments. You can always talk to your realtor to get a financial breakdown of a presale unit.


Before you choose to purchase a presale home, make sure that you know what the real costs are. Remember, 5% GST is added onto the purchase price. Depending on the price of the unit, this may be a deal breaker. Also, presales often require a 5-10% deposit upfront, with incremental deposits throughout the construction period, all of which go towards your down payment.

This extra cost may be worth it to you, however. Presale homes in BC typically come with a warranty for anywhere from 2-10 years (compliant with the Homeowners Protection Office), which may save money in the long run.

Unexpected changes

If construction has not started, or is in its early stages, developers may set up a showroom which demonstrates their future product. These may include things such as a 3D or computer-generated models, or even a full-scale replica of the unit. Ensure that you use these opportunities to get a feel for what the finished product will be like. Keep in mind, however, that the showrooms may not reflect the unit accurately. For example, some may have higher ceiling that make the space seem bigger.

There always seems to be a multitude of presale opportunities on offer lately, and the pros and cons listed above are only a few general ones that you may encounter when considering one. At Mazeon, however, we know that your situation is unique, and we are committed to offering personalized advice when looking for a home. 

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