By: Lanny McInnes

Two weeks from now, the newest trends in home-building design and the latest fashions in home decorating will be on display as Manitoba’s best home builders showcase 138 new show homes during the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association’s 2018 Fall Parade of Homes.

For those looking at buying a new home, the parade is a fantastic way to see the best in today’s new housing market.

Having a good idea of what you like (and in some cases — don’t like) will help you prepare for the all of the decisions that come with building a new home. The MHBA’s Parade of Homes is an opportunity like no other in Canada to visit show homes and identity which building options you love, which ones you rule out, and which options you must absolutely have. You want your new home to be a perfect reflection of your own style and tastes. There is no better way of determining which finishing options, floor-plan layout and overall home design you want for your new home than by visiting the parade show homes throughout September. This will give you a great start when you begin the process of selecting your design and finishing options with your builder.

Once you’ve decided on the type of new home you will build, you will need to decide on what features and finishes you will want in your home. These decisions will include interior choices such as the colour and style of your cabinets, your choice of countertops and types of flooring, as well as exterior finishes such as stucco, brick or paint selections. Some builders will have hundreds of choices or options available to you, so having a good idea of what your preferences are for these items will certainly help streamline this process with your builder.

One critically important step when meeting with your builder is learning from them what features and finishes come as standard for your new home. If a certain home has standard finishes that suit your tastes and needs, then the number of decisions you’ll need to make will be greatly reduced. If you do plan on making upgrades on your finishing options, a good rule of thumb is to budget between three to five per cent of the purchase price of your home for your upgrades.

Your new home builder will help walk you through this process and help you make your final decisions on features and finishes. Usually, this process involves meeting with your builder to discuss all of the options available for the home you’ve picked to build. No matter the size of home you are building, you should allow yourself plenty of time for meeting with your builder to review and choose your options. This process will usually take longer than you expect, so making two appointments with your builder can help ensure you’ve got the time you need to make a final decision you are comfortable with. This way, you can review many options during your first meeting and then finalize your choices during your second meeting. This helps avoid having to rush decisions, which can lead to your changing your mind on an option or finish later on. Changes almost always cause a delay or come with an additional cost, especially if construction on your new home has already started.

Visiting our builder’s Parade of Homes show homes from Sept. 8 to Sept. 30 is a great way to see the best Manitoba home builders have to offer, and then determine what options are perfect for you as you plan to build your new home.