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Steep learning curve for first-time buyers

A reader succumbs to one of the most frequent issues for first-time home buyers who are purchasing from a builder.

We are approaching the final closing of our new home that we purchased from a builder (a new construction) and have been informed by our lawyer that there are adjustments on the purchase price that have raised the amount due by several thousand dollars. We are first-time home buyers and this is a lot of money for us. What should we do?

You have succumbed to one of the most frequent issues for first-time home buyers who are purchasing from a builder. I can see it: Three years ago you were all excited about buying your first home from the builder and signed on the dotted line, thinking you have lots of time to save for the eventual down payment and the moving costs and not thinking about what you had just signed.


What many people are not aware of is that there is a cooling off period (usually ten days — known as the rescission period) during which you should take your Agreement of Purchase and Sale to your chosen lawyer for review. You have the ability to back out of the contract within that time frame but thereafter, you are locked in.


There are a number of matters that need to be covered so that you are fully educated and know what you are getting yourself into. I will address each of these individually over the next few week,s but they comprise some of the following: Adjustments (hidden costs), grading (landscaping), finishes, landscaping, services, easements, mirror images in your floor design, garage doors, back decks and basement walkouts.


Needless to say, the learning curve on new build Agreements of Purchase and Sale is huge. I am not saying they are bad things, what I am suggesting is that you should consult a professional before you leap.