Written on
October 19, 2016

10 Ways to Save Money Building Your Dream Toronto Custom Home

Home ownership among Canadians has never been higher.

In fact, the latest National Household Survey showed that 69% of households in Canada owned their dwelling

But there's a big difference between owning a home and owning your dream home. 

Many people balk at the idea of building a custom home (particularly in popular real estate hot spots like Toronto) because they believe that it is way outside of their budget.

But there are so many great reasons to build your own home

In doing so, you get the opportunity to design and live in a house that fits your own unique style. You can choose your own layout and features, and make it fit your lifestyle. It's an experience that is worth every penny.

It also doesn't have to empty your bank account. By following a few simple money-saving tactics, anyone can build their own Toronto custom home.

1. Start planning right away

As soon as you decide that a Toronto custom home is in your future, you'll want to start planning ahead.

If you already have a home, start thinking about ways that you can begin getting it ready for the market that will help you to get top-dollar for it. 

If you need to paint a room, consider a neutral color. If your yard needs some work, start putting down grass seed or working on your landscaping during the spring and summer months, when there will be more sales on landscaping supplies. Waiting to do these things at the last minute means missing out on seasonal deals. 

Another great benefit to starting your planning early is the chance to really take a good look at your budget.

Look for ways to cut back on spending and increase your savings months or even years before you actually plan to start building your dream home, and you'll have much more time to save up.

2. Decide exactly what you want in your Toronto custom home

The biggest mistake that you can make when building your Toronto custom home is to be constantly changing your mind about your plans while it's being built. To avoid this, it's important to determine exactly what you want by shopping around.

Go to open houses, particularly in newly-built developments, to see what layouts and features you like. Look online or in home design magazines and books for trends that fit your personal style. 

Allow yourself plenty of time to come up with your list of wants and needs before you start the actual planning process.

3. Consider selling your own home

Selling your own home means lots of hard work, but it can also help save you loads on realtor fees.

Before you choose to do so, make sure to do your homework, and learn what it really takes to sell a house. You'll need to learn how to price your home, how to market your house to potential buyers, and more.

4. Save money during your move

Moving can be expensive.

To save loads of money while making the move to your new house, make the decision to move on your own rather than hiring professionals. Enlist the help of friends and family, particularly those with large vehicles who can help you avoid renting moving trucks as well.

You can also save money by collecting boxes ahead of time from your job, friends, or even local stores, rather than buying them.

5. Do your research before you commit to a Toronto custom home builder

While choosing the builder with the cheapest bid may seem like a cost-saving move, if the Toronto custom home builder isn't reliable, you'll end up spending more over time.

Start by asking your potential builder the right questions, like what kind of experience they have, whether they are part of a home warranty program, and if they will give you references from past clients.

You can also look online for reviews about that builder or their company.

6. Begin shopping around early

When it comes to building a Toronto custom home from scratch, you're going to need a lot of supplies. From light fixtures to an air conditioner, and everything in between, the costs add up quickly.

By keeping your eyes open for things that you need before you need them, you'll be able to take advantage of sales and deals at hardware stores and wholesale suppliers.

7. Understand the home-building process

Understanding how the custom home building process works is important.

If you're going to be selling your current house, you need to know how long the build is going to take so that you can try to sell your old house before moving into your new one.

Having to continue paying on your mortgage for your old house after you move means cash down the drain.

8. Learn to communicate clearly with your builder

Learning to communicate effectively with your builder will help you avoid a potentially expensive misunderstanding.

Let your buyer know what parts of the design are most important to you before they break ground. Establish times during different parts of the build when you'll be able to stop by to see the progress.

Also, if a concern arises, make sure to talk to your builder sooner rather than later, to save you both time and money.

9. Check for tax credits

The Canada Revenue Agency offers a number of rebates for new home builders that can save you tons of money.

These include direct rebates, tax credits, and even a home buyer's plan that allows you to borrow funds from their Registered Retirement Savings Plans.

10. Be flexible

If you obsess over every little detail of the Toronto custom home building process, you'll not only cause yourself lots of stress, but you also end up spending more money.

If a particular feature doesn't look quite how you imagined it, consider allowing yourself some time to adjust to it, rather than immediately paying to change it. You may find that you like it the original way after all.

You can also be flexible by waiting to buy all of your furnishings and decorations. Only buying the essentials right away, and shopping around for good deals on the rest, is a great way to not only spread out your costs and save money.

Article written by:
David Le Prevost