If you’ve decided to purchase a newly built home – congratulations! This decision will mean living in a home that’s tailored to your needs and specifications, where everything is brand new and in proper working order. Of course it takes time to build a home from scratch and there’s a lot involved in the building process. From the day you pay your deposit, through the process of construction, to taking possession of your new home and living in it, there will be many decisions to make and it’s natural to be concerned about protecting your investment along the way. Luckily, most new homes built in Alberta are protected by the Alberta New Home Warranty Program. Be sure to ask your builder if they participate.
What is The Alberta New Home Warranty Program?
The Alberta New Home Warranty Program is not an insurance company, nor is it a government organization. It is a private, not-for-profit company committed to supporting and protecting new homebuyers in Alberta by offering a variety of coverage options. This coverage builds upon the warranty provided by homebuilders, so that homebuyers are financially protected throughout the entire building process. Homebuilders must apply to become a Builder Member of the Program and are evaluated annually to assess their qualification and commitment to quality performance and exceptional customer service.
The Program recognizes that a homebuyer’s relationship with a homebuilder is long-term and contractual. When issues arise between Builder Members and purchasers, the Program wants to make sure that you attempt to resolve any issues with your builder first. Before getting involved in a problem, the Program assesses the homeowner’s request for assistance in order to determine that the builder has been properly informed of the problem.
The Program does have an active resolution process that includes mediation, conciliation and arbitration procedures, but does not deal with contractual issues. The Program also acts as an educational resource for new homebuyers, providing relevant information to aid in decision making throughout the entire building process.
What does The Alberta New Home Warranty Program cover?
Through The Alberta New Home Warranty Program new homebuyers can ask for assistance at any time in the building process, starting when you pay a deposit and lasting through construction and after you take possession. Specific coverage for new single-family homes includes:
- Deposit Protection
When you pay a deposit to a Builder Member, it automatically receives Deposit Protection. In the event of default by a Builder Member of the Program, the return of your deposit(s), up to 20% of the purchase price to a maximum of $100,000, is covered.
- Builder Performance Protection
You’re covered for up to $50,000 (including up to $3,000 in legal fees) towards the completion costs or the discharge of builders’ liens in the unlikely event a Builder Member should fail to complete a home as contracted.
- First Year Workmanship and Materials Protection
If a Builder Member does not meet its warranty obligations, the Program provides for up to $100,000 in costs to repair defects in workmanship and materials during the first year after you take possession. This $100,000 total also includes costs related to the Five Year Structural Integrity Warranty Protection.
- Five Year Structural Integrity Protection
The unused portion of the First Year Materials and Workmanship Warranty coverage amount, up to $100,000, can also be applied to the costs to repair major structural defects affecting the load bearing components of your home in the first five years.
- Ten Year Structural Integrity Protection (Optional)
At the time of possession, you may also choose to purchase extended Structural Integrity Warranty Protection for an additional five years, for a total of ten years of structural protection.
- Additional Living Expenses Protection
While Warranty work is being completed in your home, you may incur incremental excess living costs. The Program will reimburse you for up to $6,000 in pre-approved, verifiable living expenses over the span of your coverage.
The decision to purchase a new home is an exciting one – and you should be able to hold on to that feeling from the day you choose a house or lot, until you move in and beyond. With The Alberta New Home Warranty Program you’ll have peace of mind that no matter what happens along the journey, you’re covered.
For more information about The Alberta New Home Warranty Program, and to access free guidebooks on everything involved in the process of buying a newly built home, please visit www.anhwp.com.