If you’ve never purchased a new construction home before, you might be wondering why everyone is talking about Grand Opening Events. In short, a Grand Opening Event is the very first time a collection of homes or new community will be available to the public for purchase. Typically, at these events potential homeowners will reserve their favourite lot or unit, then come back another day to make a conditional offer.

Attending and reserving at one of these events has immense benefits for potential homeowners…

  • Since you’ll be one of the first purchasers, you’ll have access to the best selection of lots or units – this could include a greenspace lot or one with a walk-out basement!
  • For communities that are anticipated to sell out quickly, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase a home before they’re gone
  • Depending on the community and the builder, you may have access to exclusive Grand Opening pricing or incentives that won’t be available later

If you want to capitalize on the benefits of these events when purchasing your home, it’s critical that you come prepared. As a Realtor, I have helped countless hopeful homeowners prepare to purchase their dream new construction home using this timeline. If you think you might attend a Grand Opening Event this year, I recommend following my guide below to make the best of it!

3 Weeks Before 

Get your Pre-Approval

At Activa, we’re big believers in finding a budget for your new home that suits your lifestyle. Don’t forget that there are other expenses that you’ll need to account for throughout the construction and moving process, like purchasing upgrades, closing costs, HST, moving costs, and purchasing furniture or appliances for your new space.

When you’re talking to your lender or mortgage broker, make sure you find a number that you’re comfortable with and be sure to start the process of pre-approval early. Although you may be approved for a mortgage in less than a week, I have seen homeowners miss out on the perfect home because they weren’t prepared early enough, so I recommend working on getting pre-approved about three weeks before the event.

Get Familiar with the Builder

You may have learned about a new community after seeing a homebuilder’s advertisements on Facebook, reading about them in The Record, or hearing about these new homes from your Realtor. These sources might tell you about the type of homes being sold, like how much they cost or how large they are – but be sure to pay attention to what they’re telling you about the builder. Do you know much about the people who may be constructing your new home?

To understand if this builder will be right for you, here are some of the questions I always recommend my clients ask:

  • What’s included as standard with this home? Can I tour their Design Studio in advance to see if their selections suit my style?
  • What’s the customer experience like? Will I have a designated customer experience coordinator to help me through the construction process?
  • What do their finished homes look like? Is there a model home I can tour in advance?

PS: If you’re considering attending one of Activa’s Grand Opening Events, you can find the answer to these questions by booking an appointment at our Design Studio, visiting one of our many model homes across Waterloo Region, or by checking out more of our content on ActivaLearn!  

By starting to research the builder about three weeks in advance, you’ll have plenty of time to decide whether they’re the right builder for you (and whether you should make a reservation on a lot or unit) before the Grand Opening Event.

2 Weeks Before 

Talk to a Sales Agent Beforehand 

Once you’ve secured your pre-approval and had a chance to get to know the builder, I always recommend that interested clients take the time to connect with one of the Sales Agents who will be selling in that community before the big event.


Simply put, Grand Opening Events can get really busy. If you have some questions about the homes, getting in contact with an Agent beforehand can give you an opportunity to get all the 1-on-1 help you need to choose the right floorplan, the right lot or unit, and more – before the bustle of the event! Not to mention, having access to this information early will also give you some more time to choose which floorplans and lots you’d like to include in your day-of Game Plan.

If the new release you’re interested is being built by Activa, email registrants will have an opportunity to connect with Sales Agents before the Grand Opening for just this kind of thing – so make sure if you’re interested in purchasing that you get on our email list!

Week of the Grand Opening

Develop your Game Plan 

After you’ve talked to a Sales Agent and reviewed the features, floorplans, and pricing for each of the homes being released at the Grand Opening Event, it’s time to develop your Game Plan.

But what is a Grand Opening Game Plan, exactly?

Since Grand Opening Events get busy, I always recommend potential purchasers come to the event knowing exactly which lots and floorplans they’re interested in so that they can act quickly and reserve their favourite lot.

A Grand Opening Game Plan takes things one step further. In some cases, the lot you came in hoping to reserve will already have been chosen by someone else, so I always like to recommend that potential buyers come prepared knowing their top 3-5 lots. This way you have some options if your favourite lot is unavailable!

Need helping putting together your game plan? Don’t fret – here’s a handy document that’ll help you get organized!

Day of the Grand Opening  

Don’t Forget the Essentials  

If you’ve done all of the above and you’re ready to take the plunge and reserve a lot, don’t forget that you’ll need to bring these important items along with you to complete the process:

  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Proof that you have pre-approved financing from an authorized lender or financial institution
  • $5000 deposit cheque
  • If represented by a Realtor, a “Confirmation of Cooperation and Representation” form

Some of these items, like getting pre-approved financing, may take some time – so if you have your eye on an upcoming community, make sure you start the process to get financing as soon as possible so that you’re ready for the Grand Opening!

Interested in Reserving a New Home This Year? 

Well, the good news is, you’re in luck!

Not only do we have plenty of new releases coming to Activa this spring, but by following this timeline you’ll have all the tools you need to master any Grand Opening Event!

And, if you’re thinking you might like to consider purchasing a home in Activa’s limited release of single detached homes in Huron Village, why don’t you get in touch? As an Activa Sales Representative in Huron Village, I can answer any of the questions you have about this new community and help you get started on your journey into a new home!