After waiting upwards of two years for your new condo to be built, the day of the walk-through has finally arrived.
You’d rather admire the view than listen to scintillating advice on how to clean your new quartz countertops, but paying close attention and even showing up for it is “super crucial,” says Jordan Beach, vice-president of sales and service for condo developer Qualex-Landmark.
“It’s one of the most over-looked things — homeowners learning how to operate their home. They might think, it’s only 500 square feet, it’s not rocket science. But, if you know how to properly maintain the home, you’re less likely to have premature wear and tear issues or potentially void your warranty.”
Occupancy of Qualex-Landmark’s 289-unit Park Point in Calgary’s Beltline neighbourhood began in August, however excited buyers got their first walk-through four months prior to possession with a second inspection when the keys were cut.
“The first time we do an orientation to show them how the systems work, how to change the HVAC filter and to check for defects or deficiencies,” Beach says. “People are often too excited to listen this first time, but since this information is vital to protecting their investment, we hammer it home with two inspections.”
He says 30 per cent of buyers are first-time homeowners and many more are downsizers coming from older homes. With a freshly minted condo, most need an orientation on what makes their unit tick, updated building codes and the new devices that have arrived because of them.
Brad Gutek, service manager for multi-family builder Partners Development Group, says they also conduct two walk-throughs. The first is an hour-long orientation two to three days before possession day, with a shorter inspection on the day of.
“With our Arrive townhomes, about 80 per cent of people are first-time buyers, so we go through the house, room by room. I show them how a GFI plug works, how to arrange their furniture so they don’t block off the air supply or cold air return, how the hinges on cupboard doors work, how to change the batteries on smoke and CO2 detectors, how to use the appliances and educate them about their warranties,” he says.
“If there are any dings in the wall or paint touch-ups, we make a note of it so it’s repaired. I generally spend two to three hours going over the home myself even before that first walk-through.”
New homeowners are given an instruction manual and access to an online portal which informs homeowners of every tiny detail, right down to the brand of the light fixtures and model number of their toilet seat.
Whether the unit will be occupied by the owner or a tenant, it’s a legal requirement that the person on title sign off on it.
Parents, family members, friends or other third-parties are generally not invited.
“We want the homeowner’s undivided attention. Too many voices are a distraction,” Beach says firmly. “It’s understandable if you want to bring a home inspector, but you have a whole year of warranty so there’s generally not an issue.”
View the article online by Cindy Stephen for Calgary Herald