What terminology you should know as a New Home Buyer?

What terminology you should know as a New Home Buyer?

As a first-time or potential new home buyer, there is some industry terminology that you should become familiar with. When preparing to search for your first home, there is a strong chance that you may come across this terminology. Being familiar with these terms will allow you to make an informed decision to help purchase a home that is right for you. While you may have heard some of these terms before, it is important that you fully understand how they are used and feel comfortable with their meanings.

Single-detached home

A single-detached home is a free-standing home for one family that is not attached to a house on either side. The owner fully accepts responsibility for the land and the building that they own.

Single semi-detached home

This is a home for one family that is attached to another home on one side. Two single family dwellings share a driveway, but each are responsible for their home, their half of the dwelling and their share of the outside property.


Also called a row house, a townhouse is one unit of several similar single-family homes, side-by-side, joined by common walls. You are required to pay monthly condo fees to the condo corporation. These common element fees cover the cost of lighting, snow removal, lawn care, and maintenance of the common areas.

Freehold town home/house

A freehold townhouse, sometimes referred to as a row house, is simply a house attached on both sides, but all the same rules apply as with a traditional detached house. There are no management fees, no condo board and no common areas. You are free to make any adjustments to the exterior and interior as you please.

Stacked townhouse

Stacked townhouses or stacked townhomes are two or three two-story townhomes are stacked one on top of the other, each with a separate entrance. The buildings are usually attached in groups of four or more, with each unit having direct access from the outside. By stacking one unit upon another, residents have the advantage of a house-like layout with two floors but structured as a condominium, complete with a condo board and shared services. Maintenance fees are generally a fraction of regular town homes and condos; however, you will not have a lobby or elevator access in most cases.

Strata (or condominium)

With a condominium, you own the unit you live in (e.g. a high-rise, mid-rise, low-rise, or a townhouse) and share ownership rights for the common areas of the building along with the developmentā€™s other owners. Whether your home is a condo/townhome or a high-rise condo, you will be paying a monthly maintenance fee. This fee generally covers the building heating and air conditioning, gas and electricity, elevators, cleaning, security and maintenance. The more amenities, the higher the maintenance fees tend to be.


A bungalow is a single-family dwelling with all living area on the main floor. They can be detached or attached to other homes, and sometimes they come with a developed or finished basement.

Site Plan

A site plan is an architectural plan, landscape architecture document, and a detailed engineering drawing of proposed lots in an area with one home builder or a group of separate home builders.

Site Amenities

Site amenities may include proposed parks, retail, green space, schools or shopping centre, etc. They are the additional features of a neighbourhood or community, separate from the properties themselves, that make it liveable.

Building Amenities

For low rise and high-rise condominiums specifically, building amenities refer to what features are within the structure for common use by residents. Such things as a swimming pool, gym, party room, lounge, roof top terrace, parking areas, garage, lobby and concierge. All vary by builder

Walkability Score

A walk score helps you determine how “walkable” a home or condo is. The walkability score or walk score is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address. 0-49 means you will be reliant on a car. 50-100 means some errands can be done on foot to 100 meaning most or all can be done on foot. The higher the number the more you can do on foot.

New Home Warranty

A new home warranty from Tarion is a warranty that offers deposit insurance and delayed closing compensation. There are a number of Tarion warranty coverages including one, two, and seven-year plans. The additional coverage may offer protection in case of mechanical and structural defects in the home, depending on the warranty terms.

Closing Date

The closing date is the expected date on which the builder expects to finish the home. Builders provide A first tentative closing date. If the home is not completed by this date, the builder is allowed two extensions of 120 days each, the second tentative closing date and the firm closing date, without having to pay delayed closing compensation. The firm closing date is the first tentative closing date plus 240 days.

Closing Costs

Closing costs are the fees, expenses and costs that need to be paid at the time of home purchase in addition to the purchase price. The costs vary across different cities and provinces. It is important to budget for these costs when buying a property to ensure that you are fully prepared.

Since 1965, Regal Crest has sold over 15,000 towns, semis and singles in communities across the GTA. We are currently offering a selection of new homes in Richmond Hill, Brampton, Aurora/Newmarket, Holland Landing, and Vaughan. For a list of all our new home communities, please visit Regal Crest Homes and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

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