What can modern features – including smart home technologies – do to help homeowners save money?

Many modern features can help homeowners save money and, more importantly, save time. Just some of the building materials for new homes will help save hundreds on energy bills in a year. Materials like multi-paned windows, house wrap and spray foam insulation will help keep the home fresh at the height of the summer and warm in the depths of winter.

Surrey-based builder Essence Properties incorporates all of these features in its homes. In addition, Essence’s Surrey and Langley townhomes feature HardiePlank exteriors, which homeowners love because they require little maintenance. HardiePlank also creates a stylish facade while being durable enough to withstand B.C.’s weather.

Many new smart home technologies allow homeowners to take control of their costs while saving time and increasing efficiency. For example, Nest thermostats sense the ambient temperature and will adjust your heating to meet optimal demands. Another bonus is that Nest thermostats will also turn down your heating when you’re not at home so that you’re not wasting valuable dollars heating your property while you’re at work or on vacation. The latest version is also compatible with Amazon Echo for a genuinely hands-free approach to home heating.


Which construction materials will help ensure the longevity of a new-construction home?

HardiePlank, which has the look of wood with the durability of concrete, is 100% fire resistant, is paintable and provides an incredible return on investment when the homeowner decides to sell. On top of this, the manufacturer offers a warranty of up to 50 years for the product. Another key to longevity is a wood-framed home. There’s a reason wood has been used in home construction for centuries. There are not too many other construction materials that will stand the test of time while being lightweight and affordable. A silent floor joist system provides superior strength-to-weight ratio to also ensure longevity. Other construction features like firestops and sprinkler systems will also ensure that your home is standing even in the worst possible emergencies. For elements in high-traffic areas, such as doors, composite materials like fibreglass or vinyl will withstand almost everything that life will throw at them.


Why is a developer’s warranty important?

Not many people are aware of this, but there’s a branch of the government called the Homeowner Protection Office, whose mandate is to strengthen consumer rights when purchasing a new home in British Columbia. The office’s responsibilities include licensing residential builders and monitoring home warranties. As of July 1999, any home built has to come with home insurance that is administered by a third party, but some exceptions do apply.

This insurance doesn’t cover you in the short term, but a 2-5-10 home building insurance policy will cover some issues for up to 10 years. One thing to remember with strata properties is that there are two policies: one for common property and one for your home. Often these policies will have different commencement dates, so it is essential to take note of their expiry dates.


What amenities and nearby attractions should be necessary to homebuyers?

Amenities like a home’s proximity to major highways, grocery stores and hospitals are of paramount importance to many homebuyers. Of course, access to top-tier schools with specialty programs is a necessity for many parents as well.

With more and more people living healthy lifestyles, the need to be near a gym or aquatic centre has increased and can be a deal-breaker for some homebuyers. The need to be transit-accessible, which has historically been an issue in the Fraser Valley, has also increased, but TransLink has listened to people’s needs, and we are now seeing plenty of regular transit options connecting cities like Burnaby and Vancouver with Langley and even Chilliwack.

Potential homebuyers should also consider the green space that’s around the community they are purchasing in. With such spectacular mountain backdrops, and being just a stone’s throw away from nature, it just wouldn’t make sense not to go out and enjoy it.


What makes Essence Properties stand out?

Essence specializes in building properties in the Fraser Valley and has built successful relationships along the way. The company is reaching out to other communities in B.C. to continue to build even better communities. Those connections and relationships allow Essence to be able to create communities, like its latest townhome and condo community, Parc Central in Langley.

On top of that, Essence has strict practices when it comes to the construction of its properties, aiming to exceed the building code whenever possible. The company uses durable materials, like HardiePlank siding, which ensures longevity and better resale value, and a silent floor joist system providing superior strength-to-weight ratio. Its double 5/8-inch-thick drywall on the party wall exceeds code expectations to provide privacy between you and your neighbour. In addition, Essence homes have recessed pot lights and custom-designed closet organizers in all master bedroom closets. All of these features come standard with an Essence Properties home.

Essence Properties doesn’t build homes they wouldn’t live in themselves. The company doesn’t build near power lines and highways; however, it focuses on how the community is around the area and which amenities are nearby for easy access.