Buying a Home

You’ve decided to buy a place of your own.  It may be a fully detached or semi-detached house, a duplex or triplex, a high-rise or townhouse condominium, a co-operative, or even a cottage.  It may be new or previously-owned.  It will be your home ! For most people, a home is the single biggest purchase they will ever make.  You want to get it right, and for that, you should turn to experts to assist you. 


Mortgage Lenders

If you are like most people, you will need to borrow at least a portion of the purchase price.  You should consult a loans officer at your local bank or trust company, or a qualified mortgage broker, to help you determine what you can afford to borrow, and still afford to live. 

They can also advise you about such things as low-down payment options (eg. CMHC insured mortgages), using your RSP’s as part of the downpayment, and insuring your mortgage in the event of an income loss due to death, disability or other cause. 


Real Estate Agents

An experienced real estate agent can be of great assistance to you, helping you find a home in your price range and desired location.  The agent will also be able to assist in negotiations with the seller when you find the home that’s right for you. 


Home Inspectors

An experienced home inspector will check your proposed purchase over from top to bottom, and advise you about potential problems that can cause you trouble and expense, such as leaks in the roof or foundation, whether the furnace needs replacing, the condition of the electrical wiring, and the estimated costs for putting things right. 


A Real Estate Lawyer

It is very important for you to consult with a lawyer who knows about home-buying and selling, and about mortgages, and to do so before you sign on the dotted line. 

It is your lawyer who will ultimately bring everything together for you, and who can also:

  • advise you about the legal impact of different mortgage provisions and financing options, including “open” and “closed” mortgages, amortization periods and payment frequencies, etc.;
  • review your Offer to Purchase with you before you submit it, to insure that you understand the legal implications if the Offer is accepted, and insure that the provisions of the Offer protect you;
  • itemize for you the “hidden costs” on all purchases (government charges for title searches, title insurance, clearance letters, registration costs and Land Transfer Tax), and those additional costs regularly associated with new home deals (ONHWP enrollment fees, utility meter hook-up charges, tree planting and driveway paving deposits, etc.).

After acceptance your lawyer will check to ensure that, among other things, there are no mortgages, liens or other problems on title, that the taxes and utilities have been paid (and the common expenses or maintenance fees for condominiums and co-ops), and that the survey of the property (which shows where the buildings are on the land), discloses no encroachments or breaches of municipal by-laws that could cause you trouble.      

Your lawyer will also prepare the purchaser’s paperwork that is required to close the transaction, including mortgage documents, and follow up to insure that the vendor’s lawyer has properly prepared the vendor’s paperwork.

Shortly before the closing day, your lawyer will meet with you so that you can review the search of title and the finances, and sign the closing paperwork and mortgage, (if any).

On the day of closing, your lawyer will update the various searches, arrange for title to the home to be registered in your name with the government, and have the keys released to you so that you can begin moving in !

Following closing, your lawyer will report to you concerning the different elements involved in the transaction, and provide you with copies of the many documents signed by you and by the seller, along with the title deed (called a “Transfer”).

With the assistance of an experienced Real Estate Lawyer, and the other professionals referred to above, your transaction can be completed properly and efficiently.

I have been helping people who are buying, selling and mortgaging homes for over twenty three years, and would be pleased to answer any questions you may have, and to help you with your home transaction and other legal matters.