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Home Building ABC’s

Agreement of Purchase and Sale:

This legal document resembles an itemized sales receipt and outlines every aspect of your purchase, including the terms to which the customer and the builder have agreed. An Agreement of Purchase and Sale contains a number of different schedules that explain a certain area of the agreement. For example, Schedule C in our Agreement of Purchase and Sale outlines how the agreed price of the home was arrived at. To see how the overall homebuilding process takes place go to our homepage and click on the “Buying Process” tab near the top of the page.

Amendments to Agreement:

An amendment to an agreement means the customer and the homebuilder agree to change a part of the original Agreement of Purchase and Sale.

Amortization Period:

This is the number of years it will take to repay your mortgage. For example, if you borrow $100,000 you may choose an amortization period of 25 years. This means you will have 25 years to pay back the $100,000 you borrowed.

Arranging Financing:

Financing is arranged when you approach your bank or a mortgage company and determine the amount your banker or mortgage specialist will lend you to build a new home.

Artist’s Concept:

These are the drawings you see on the front of our brochures. An artist has drawn these images to help give customers an idea of what their completed house will look like.

Building Envelope:

This is the area on your lot within which your house must fit. Because the area is particular to each lot, not all homes fit on all lots.

Building Location Survey:

This is a document your lawyer will give to you at the time of closing. The survey documents the exact location of your new home on the lot. Doug Tarry Homes Ltd pays the fee associated with obtaining a building location survey.

Building Time:

Under normal conditions, Doug Tarry Homes Ltd can build a home in 120 to 150 days.

Closing Costs:

These are costs that will be incurred by you at the time your new home is complete. An example is land transfer tax, which is 1% of the purchase price of the new home less $275 (for purchases under $350,000). Doug Tarry Homes Ltd recommends that you budget $2,500 for closing costs.

Closing Date:

This is the date by which Doug Tarry Homes Ltd will have your new home completed. Depending on the volume of sales, Doug Tarry Homes Ltd can complete your new home between 90 and 120 days.

Conditions to an Agreement of Purchase and Sale (also known as a conditional offer)

A customer agrees to purchase a new home from Doug Tarry Homes Ltd if certain conditions are met. For example, an Agreement of Purchase and Sale can be conditional upon the customer securing proper financing for the new home.

Conventional Walkout Lot:

The lot is graded so you are able to walk directly out of your lower level and into your back yard. It makes a two-storey home feel like a three-storey home.


The person or group that purchased the entire parcel of land where the subdivision is located. The developer pays for servicing this parcel of land and, in turn, sells lots to homebuilders. Doug Tarry Homes Ltd is both a developer and a new homebuilder.


An easement is a right of access to a property. A drainage easement, for instance, gives the city or the county the ability to create a drainage ditch or a culvert on the edge of your property. A utility easement allows the electric utility company the right to access your property for upkeep of phone and electrical wires. Most easements run along rear and side yards.

Firm Offer:

A firm offer occurs when the customer and the builder enter into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale and there are no conditions listed in the agreement. To see how the overall homebuilding process takes place go to our homepage and click on the “Buying Process” tab near the top of the page.


The linear footage at the front of your property line. Common lot frontages in the city are 40, 45, 50, and 60 feet.

GST Rebate:

The federal government charges only 1.32% GST on a new home instead of the full 5% GST.


The company that is responsible for hiring all of the necessary trades people to complete a new home.

Interest Rates:

This is the amount of money, stated as a percentage, that you will be charged on your mortgage. For example, a 6.25% mortgage rate means you will have to pay the bank 6.25% of the amount you borrow from it.


The lot refers to the entire property or parcel where the home will be built, including city utility easements. The lot size is typically expressed in terms of square feet, linear feet, or acreage.

Lot Reservation:

To reserve a lot for a short period of time (usually a few weeks), the customer can provide Doug Tarry Homes Ltd with a deposit. In exchange, Doug Tarry Homes Ltd will hold the lot for the customer and will notify the customer if another party expresses an interest in it.


This is a loan, provided by a bank or mortgage company, that helps you build a home. Like all loans, you pay it off by making payments over a period of time. Your payments go toward paying off the principal (the amount of money you borrowed) and the interest (the cost of borrowing the money).

Municipal Requirements and Building and Zoning By-laws:

These are laws and restrictions, passed by the city, to which every homebuilder must adhere. They differ from “restrictive covenants” in that by-laws are passed by the city, while restrictive covenants are established by the developer of the subdivision.

Outstanding Items:

After your pre- delivery inspection, there will be a list of items that Doug Tarry Homes Ltd will complete over the next few days. These items are called “outstanding items” and will be completed before closing.


Developments are typically created in phases, or large portions of an entire community. Phase one opens first followed by the second and third phases. The number of phases in each community depends upon how large the community is and what time frame the developer uses to create the community.

Pre-approved Mortgage:

This helps you in your search for a new home by giving you a clear idea of what you can afford. This includes the amount of money you can realistically borrow to buy a home and the amount of your payments.

Presentation Centre and Spec Home:

A presentation centre is a model home that is built for public viewing. A spec home is a home that is built before a buyer of the home is found. One advantage of a spec home is the fact the customer does not have to wait 120 days for a home to be built.

Property Tax:

Property tax is calculated on the assessed value of your land. As of May 2004, the tax rate in St. Thomas is approximately 1.6% of the assessed value of your home.

Raised Ranch:

When you enter a raised ranch, you step into a foyer landing area and then go up a half flight of stairs or down a half flight of stairs. The main floor of this style of home is raised about four feet higher than a bungalow, and the lowest level is not set as far down into the ground as the basement of a bungalow or a two-storey home.

Removal of Conditions:

A removal of conditions occurs when the time arrives to make a conditional Agreement of Purchase and Sale firm. Conditions may include the customer’s ability to secure financing or sell an existing home.

Restrictive Covenants:

A list of items to which all homeowners must adhere when they move into a subdivision. The height of fences, for example, and the placement of gazebos and swimming pools, may have restrictions. Not all subdivisions have restrictive covenants. If your subdivision does, a copy of the restrictive covenants will be attached to your Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Your builder’s sales representative will explain these covenants at the time of sale.

Split-level Walkout Lot:

This type of lot allows a homeowner to walk out from the lower level of a home onto ground level. The grade is less steep than a conventional walkout lot.

Standard Specifications:

This term refers to all of the regular items that comprise a new home. Doug Tarry Home’s standard specifications exceed those of many other builders.

Walk Through:

A walk through is an inspection of your new home prior to completion. During the walk through, a Doug Tarry Homes Ltd service co- ordinator will answer your questions, make note of deficiencies, and explain warranty information to you.

Working Drawing Review:

At this meeting, the customer and the sales representative review the blueprints for the home.