All posts by zinati kay

Home Buying Checklist

One of the most complicated adventures in life is buying a new home. It’s also one of the most rewarding experiences! If you’ve purchased a home before, you’re likely an expert on all the ins and outs. But if this process is new and confusing for you, our home buyers’ checklist includes important steps to take throughout the process. When buying a condo or home, here’s what you should consider.

Home Buying Checklist

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Financial Checklist

Save for the Down Payment

It can seem overwhelming and near impossible to save for the down payment of a house, but if you break the process down into smaller steps, you can accomplish this goal. First find out how much you need for the down payment. Then make a plan that will help you save up the money you need. This could include opening a savings account or investing your money to help grow your savings. A financial advisor from your bank can get you set up with good tips and the right savings accounts to build interest, so you can get the most out of your money.

Ensure You Have a Good Credit Score

It will be very difficult to get approved for a mortgage with bad credit. As part of your home buying checklist, take steps to increase your credit score. This means paying off any debts you may have and ensuring future bills are paid in full, on time each month. A higher credit score could help you get a lower interest rate on your mortgage.

Calculate How Much You Can Afford to Spend

It makes no sense to put a down payment on a home you cannot afford. If the monthly payments are out of your budget, it won’t matter how much you have saved up. There is a general rule that your monthly mortgage payments should not exceed 36% of your annual income. This rule measures your debt relative to your income, and lenders will use this model to evaluate whether or not you can afford a home.

Mortgage Checklist

Your Monthly Installments

There are many easy-to-use tools online that will help you calculate your monthly mortgage installments. Knowing this number will help you budget your expenses throughout the year. With these online tools, you simply input the price of the home you are interested in, and the down payment, and it will generate your monthly payment.

Choose the Best Mortgage

Once you know how much you can afford, you can then choose the best mortgage for you. You can choose a loan from a traditional lender like a bank or a private loan from an alternative lender. Shop around to see which lender can offer you the best interest rate. Next, decide whether a variable rate mortgage or fixed rate mortgage is best for your needs, as well as determine the length of the mortgage term, and the amortization period you want. All these factors will determine how much money you end up paying over the course of your mortgage.

Home Buying Checklist

Choose a Good Real Estate Agent

Finding a qualified realtor will help you navigate the challenging process of purchasing the right home. These experts handle all the details for you such as booking house showings, comparing the recent prices of similar homes in the neighbourhood, and helping you put in an offer on a home. They understand the ins and outs of the forms and procedures needed to purchase a home, such as the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, and can offer you valuable insight, so you don’t miss a beat.

Consider the Location and Neighbourhood

Location, location, location! The location of the home you choose will not only impact the cost of the house, but it will also make a difference in your daily commute. If you choose to live in a rural area, you may find that homes are more affordable. However, that may also mean commuting to work for an hour or more. Living downtown is usually more expensive, but you may not need a vehicle to get around, which could end up saving you money in the long run. If you have a family, choosing a neighbourhood with local schools, playgrounds, conservation parks, and other families may be your goal. As you compile a list of potential locations, list the pros and cons of each to find the one that is best for you.

Put in an Offer

Once you’ve found the house you want, ask your real estate agent to put in an offer. You can choose to make a conditional offer pending a home inspecting. If the seller accepts what you have offered, the house will be temporarily removed from the market under contract until it is either sold or the offer is retracted.

Get a Home Inspection

Before buying a home, it is a good idea to have it inspected. Home inspections are thorough to assess the condition of the house. You can hire a licensed home inspector to make sure there are no issues and that any repairs are completed before you make a final decision with the seller.

Final Negotiations

After getting the results of the home inspection and checking your finances, it’s time make a final offer. If you believe any price adjustments should be made, this is the time to address those points. If there are any repairs, these need to be handled before the agreement is closed.

Hire an Experienced Lawyer to Close Your Deal

One of the last steps before closing the deal is to hire an experienced real estate lawyer. The lawyer takes care of everything needed to legally transfer the title of the home, ensures the seller gets their funds from you and your mortgage lender, and handles all the paperwork that needs to be signed during the closing.

At Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers, we can help you understand the terms of your mortgage and purchasing agreement, so nothing is left in the dark. With over 50 years of closing experience, we provide fixed closing costs to our clients when they buy, sell, mortgage, or title transfer their property. We have closed over 19,000 real estate transactions and have thousands of satisfied clients to prove it. If you want a professional to help you make wise decisions about your home purchase, contact us at (416) 321-8267 or e-mail us at info@zinatikay.com for more information about our services.

Common Title Search Issues and How to Resolve Them

When making any large purchase, it is always wise to do your research first. The same applies to purchasing a home and conducting a title search. What is a property title search? A property title search occurs before anyone makes a real estate purchase. These searches ensure that the person selling the home has the legal rights to do so, and that there are no other issues that could prevent the buyer from taking ownership. What possible issues could occur before possessing the property? Here’s what you need to know about the most common title search issues.

Title Search Issues

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Common Title Search Issues

Illegal Documents

The chain of title on your property may seem legitimate at first sight, but there is a possibility that a previous deed was made by a minor, a person of unsound mind, an undocumented immigrant, or someone who has reported that they are single but are married. Situations like these can affect the enforceability of previous deeds, affecting prior and, in some cases, present ownership.

Errors in Documents

It is human nature to make mistakes, but when it affects important aspects of your life such as home ownership rights, these mistakes can be devastating. Errors made with documents can affect the deed or survey of your property and lead to financial strain as you attempt to resolve them.

Forgeries

Sometimes fabricated or forged documents that deal with property ownership are filed within public records. This obscures the true ownership of the property. When these forgeries are found, your rights to your home may be on the line.

Boundary Disputes

Before purchasing your home, it is likely that you may have seen several surveys of your property. However, there may be other surveys that exist that show different boundaries. There is a chance that a neighbour or other party can claim ownership to a portion of your property.

Missing Heirs

When someone dies, the ownership of their home usually falls to their heirs or whoever is named within their will. However, upon the time of death, these heirs may be missing or unknown. In other cases, relatives may contest the will for their own property rights. In each of these scenarios, which can happen years after you have already bought the property, your rights to the property can be affected.

Unknown Liens

People who lived on your property before you may not have been very meticulous about their bookkeeping or paying bills. Even though the previous debt does not belong to you, banks and other financial companies can place liens on your property for these unpaid debts even after you have closed on the sale. Title search for liens can bring these issues to light so you can prevent taking on a debt that isn’t yours.

Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers Can Help You with Title Search Issues

When you hire our team to help you purchase a home, you will have peace of mind knowing that the job will be handled professionally and appropriately. We will thoroughly check the records, documents, and forms to ensure there are no hidden issues. At Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers, we hire a title searcher to conduct our searches and provide us with a report on Title before you close. Unlike other law firms who do their title searches online, by hiring a professional to do our searches, you benefit from an extra set of eyes reviewing your title. The best part? This is included in our closing cost at no extra charge! For extra protection, we will also arrange Title Insurance that will cover many matters that cannot be revealed by title searches alone.

We have over 50 years of closing experience and we provides fixed closing costs to our clients when they buy, sell, mortgage, or title transfer their property. We have closed over 19,000 real estate transactions, and helped our clients navigate the often-confusing terms and conditions of their forms. If you want a professional to help you make wise decisions about your home, contact us at (416) 321-8267 for more information about our services.

CRA Pursuing Tax on Assignments – Proceed with Caution!

Income Tax on Assignment Sales:

The recent 2019 Federal Budget announced that CRA will be devoting significant resources to pursue and investigate real estate transactions as the Department of Finance feels that this is a significant area of non-compliance.  What that means is that if you are involved in a pre-construction assignment sale, there is a high likelihood that you will be subject to CRA scrutiny, so it is important that taxpayers understand the rules for both income tax and HST relating to assignment sales.

Many taxpayers assume that the sale of real estate results in a capital gain, but what they don’t realize is that it is not the nature of the property, but the intent of the buyer at the time of purchase that determines if the property is capital or inventory.  If it is determined that the intention of the taxpayer at the time of purchase was to resell the property for a profit, then the proceeds would be considered business income which has a 100% inclusion rate as opposed to a 50% inclusion rate for capital gains.  CRA has been attacking assignment sales on the basis that they are short-term transactions that are often undertaken by individuals looking to make a quick profit on the “flip”.  Taxpayers who have a history of flipping properties in a short time frame will have a difficult time justifying that their investment is capital property and will likely be reassessed quickly by CRA. If you plan to treat your assignment sale as a capital gain, you should ensure that the facts support your claim that you intended to hold on to the property long-term either as a personal use property or as an income producing property.  There have been recent tax court cases where the judge dismissed the taxpayers claim that the real estate was capital property because the facts did not support their claim and they were assessed taxes on the sale as business income.

Some taxpayers also make the mistake of assuming that because they originally purchased a pre-construction unit with the intention of living in it as a principal residence, that it qualifies for the principal residence exemption (PRE) and therefore is not taxable.  This is not the case in an assignment sale because the rights to the property have been sold prior to closing, so the property was never inhabited as a principal residence and therefore cannot qualify for the PRE. There have been several cases of CRA applying gross negligence penalties to unreported real estate transactions. So with the increased attention that assignment sales will be receiving, it is important to be getting proper tax advice on how to report these types of sales.

H.S.T. on Assignment Sales:

If the income tax implications of assignment sales were not enough to think about, you also have to think of HST on an assignment sale. Like income tax, much depends on the intent of the buyer at the time the contract was entered into. CRA’s position is that if a person buys a property for the primary purpose of selling the house or interest in the house then that person will be considered a Builder under the Income Tax Act. Yes, you read that right, the CRA will consider you a Builder under the Income Tax Act even if you have  never built a home, if it concludes that you purchased a property for the primary purpose of selling it or an interest in it. Once you are considered a builder you must charge HST on the transaction. Believe it or not, the official position of CRA is that you must charge any applicable HST on the profit being made and the deposits. So, for example, if you had put down $50,000 in deposits on a property and made a further profit of $50,000 as an assignment fee, CRA’s position is that 13% HST is payable on $100,000 [this has been challenged successfully with HST being found to only apply to the assignment fee/profit, but CRA’s position remains that it is payable on the total of the profit plus deposits]. Under most contracts HST is included in the purchase price to the assignee/final buyer so this would have to be paid by the seller/assignor.

The link below sets it all out:

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/publications/gi-120/assignment-a-purchase-sale-agreement-a-new-house-condominium-unit.html

Get the right advice and use the right clauses:

The bottom line of all of this is that before you purchase the condo, you should think carefully about the possible tax implications, and make sure that you properly document the history and reasons for your purchase and use the appropriate clauses to minimize your tax implications. Consideration of tax implications is always part of our Assignment review. Please feel free to contact us and we can direct you in this regard.

Our firm focuses on Real Estate.   We have been working with agents and brokers for over 20 years and have developed an efficient and responsive Real Estate practice.  We also offer fixed purchase closing costs of $999.00* for all Fees & Disbursements, plus Title Insurance. *Plus H.S.T. For details, or with any questions, please feel free to call John Zinati at 416-321-8766, email at john@zinatikay.com or visit us at www.zinatikay.com.

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Real Estate Lawyer

When it’s time to buy or sell your home, there are certain times when you would benefit from working with a real estate lawyer. Unexpected complications may come up along the way, so having an expert guiding you through the process will serve you well. Before choosing a professional, it’s important to consider what to ask when hiring a real estate attorney. To get you started on the right track, here are some questions to ask when hiring a real estate lawyer.

Zinati kay

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How Long Have You Been Handling Real Estate Cases?

Before hiring a real estate law attorney, you must have confidence in their experience. Simple matters like getting help with a purchase agreement may be manageable with a less experienced attorney, but you will want someone with at least a decade of experience if you are dealing with a real estate development or a more complicated matter. When hiring a real estate lawyer, you should also find out if they graduated from an accredited law school. The more experienced the lawyer, the higher their costs, but there are companies that offer fixed closing costs to help you budget their services without compromising quality. Find out about their success with previous cases and ask questions that help you establish their experience level.

Have You Handled Similar Cases and If So, How Many?

Choosing a real estate lawyer that has experience in your particular case will be more effective than someone who doesn’t. They will be able to foresee potential problems and deal with them quickly before they get worse. A great way to find out the experience of your real estate lawyer is to ask for a referral from a friend or neighbour who has worked with the lawyer and has had a successful outcome or positive experience. You can also ask your potential real estate lawyer for a brief overview of what they can do on your behalf. An experienced real estate lawyer will provide you with a general outline of what actions are involved in the process.

Who Else Will Work on My Project?

During your consultation, find out if your real estate lawyer will be working alone or with an assistant. Some firms hand off the initial groundwork to a knowledgeable but unlicensed law clerk. Although they are often capable of handling many aspects of your case, you may be more comfortable consulting with an experience lawyer and knowing that they are handling everything from beginning to end. Meeting the individuals who will work on your case will also help you build rapport and get peace of mind that they are giving your case the proper attention.

What Are Your Fees?

To avoid any headaches later on, find out what your real estate lawyer charges up front. Ask for a quote and make sure all the items are listed. Some lawyers bill on an hourly basis, while others charge a flat fee. Paying per hour could cost anywhere from $150 to $450 per hour, plus a retainer to secure their services. These additional costs seem unnecessary for some homeowners, especially if they want more simple or basic services. One of the advantages of working with our team is that we include all the fees and disbursements in our quotes, and we ask for nothing upfront. You will simply pay a fixed closing cost of $999.

Have You Worked in this Location Before?

If you’re looking for the right real estate lawyer, chances are you want someone who knows the area you’re seeking or selling a home in. They should have an understanding of the market in your neighbouhood, city, and province to ensure you are getting appropriate rates.

Is Your License in Good Standing?

One of the most important aspects of finding the right real estate lawyer is to ensure that they are licensed to do business with you. Real estate law is a specific field, so your attorney should know the exact laws of the area you live in.

What Makes You Stand Out from Your Competitors?

One of the reasons why clients choose a specific real estate law firm is because of the extra benefits they provide. Find out what special offers or services your real estate lawyer can provide you that makes them stand out. For example, our lawyers ask for nothing up front. We don’t require any down payments or contracts up front. We simply look at your Agreement of Purchase and Sale and start working.

Why Choose Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers?

When you hire a real estate attorney, there are certain criteria they must meet. You need someone who you feel comfortable with, who will help you get the job done, and who has extensive experience in the industry. Asking the right questions will ensure you find the best fit for your goals. If you are looking for a reliable, trustworthy, educated, and experienced real estate lawyer to help you buy or sell your home, Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers can help.

We are a full-service residential real estate law firm, with over 50 years of closing experience, that provides fixed closing costs to our clients when they buy, sell, mortgage, or title transfer their property. We have closed over 19,000 real estate transactions and helped our clients navigate the often-confusing terms and conditions of their forms. We provide professional service and reasonable real estate lawyer fees and have thousands of satisfied clients to prove it.

When you choose us, you will benefit from services that include assistance with selling and buying property, mortgage refinancing, title insurance, assignments, condo/home review, and title searching. If you want a professional to help you make wise decisions about your home, contact us at (416) 321-8267 for more information about our services.

Assignment Alert! Builders Cancelling Incentives as a Condition of Assignment!

We complete many Assignment transactions and have recently come across a significant issue with more and more builders and affecting clients buying or selling a unit by way of Assignment.

After the transaction between the New Buyer (Assignee) and Seller (Assignor) is firm, and formal application for consent to the Assignment is made to the Builder, the Builder is insisting on removing certain incentives that the original Buyer/Assignor may have received under the terms of the original Builder Agreement. Such incentives can be quite substantial and range from caps to development charge levies, to common expense credits, to other incentives given at the time of the original purchase. The New Buyer/Assignee is then effectively asked to pay more for the property on final closing than was anticipated under the terms of the Assignment Agreement. This is resulting in disputes between Assignors and Assignees as to who is responsible for such extra costs. It is a difficult problem to resolve because the Assignor and Assignee have a firm agreement, subject only to the Builder’s consent, and that Agreement does not contemplate who will pay for these extra costs.

Some recent examples of this are:

  • On a Large Project on Adelaide St., East – the Builder deleted the Development Charge cap, common expense credit and free leaseback provision. As part of the builder consent document, they only replaced the Development Charge cap, at a significantly higher amount; and
  • On a project at Yonge and Eglinton– the Builder deleted the Development Charge cap (which was $0) and did not replace it. This means the New Buyer/ Assignee would be fully responsible for increases in development charge rates from July 1, 2015, which may amount to thousands of dollars.

If you are acting for a New Buyer/Assignee we would suggest the following clause to protect your client:

It is understood and agreed that the Assignee is taking an Assignment of the original Agreement of Purchase and Sale with the Builder/Vendor as it currently exists and as reviewed by the Assignee and his solicitor, including all incentives, adjustment caps, upgrades, etc.. In the event that the Builder/Vendor removes any such incentives as a condition of granting consent to the Assignment, or in any way requires an amendment to the original agreement such that the Assignee will incur expenses in addition to those set out in the original agreement with the Builder/Vendor as reviewed by the Assignee, the Assignor agrees that the costs and value of same will be deducted from the balance due to the Assignor on Final Closing.

If you are acting for the Assignor we would suggest the following clause to protect your client:

The Assignee agrees and understands that as a condition of granting consent to this Assignment the Builder may withdraw or remove incentives provided under the terms of the original Agreement with the Builder. In the event that the Builder removes any incentives as a condition of granting consent to the Assignment, the Assignee nevertheless agrees to proceed with the Assignment and accept any related costs or increase to the price to be paid to the Builder on final closing.

Another option is to make the Assignment Agreement between the New Buyer/Assignee and Seller/Assignor conditional on there being no changes made to the original Agreement with the Builder. In that regard, we suggest the following addition to the standard condition on Builder’s consent clause:

This Assignment Agreement is conditional on obtaining consent from the Builder to the Assignment without any amendments or changes to the existing Agreement of Purchase and Sale with the Builder/Vendor.

If you are in the middle of an Assignment deal right now, we suggest that you amend your clauses immediately!

If you are working on the purchase of a Preconstruction Condominium with a client who is being told that the purchase includes a right to Assign the property to a New Buyer, we recommend that during the initial signing of the Builder’s Agreement, within the 10-day cooling off period, that the following clause be inserted to protect your client:

The Vendor agrees that in the event of an Assignment of this Agreement the Assignee will not be required to accept any changes to this Agreement. In particular, any amendments, incentives, adjustment caps, or upgrade credits, etc. in this Agreement will apply and be transferred to the Assignee.

Home-Selling Mistakes You Must Avoid

Whether this is your first, or second time selling your home, you may be surprised at how time-consuming and challenging the process is. You must prepare your home, choose an asking price, and work with a real estate agent and lawyer to get everything in order for the sale. People will be allowed to schedule time to visit your home and look around, listing the pros and cons in their mind. Without any experience, it’s easy to make a lot of mistakes, but with guidance and the help of a professional, you may be able to make a great sale without losing your mind. Here are some of the most common home-selling mistakes to avoid.

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What happens if a buyer cannot, or will not, close?

It is no secret that the passing of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan and the introduction of the 15% Foreign Buyer’s tax has, for now, affected some sales and property values. Because it was introduced so quickly, some buyers are attempting to get out of a contract or reduce the purchase price on the basis that the price paid for the home is “too high”. Buyers may not want to pay the “higher” price, may be unable sell their own house at an expected price, or cannot Finance because the purchased property does not appraise for the contract purchase price. This represents a difficult challenge for all parties involved and it is important to understand the law in these situations. This issue of Title Tips will outline the law and provide some tips on what to do in these circumstances.

First-The Law

On a firm agreement of purchase and sale, buyers are not entitled to a reduction of the purchase price because they could not sell their home, because the market changes or because they could not get the financing they expected. While this may seem obvious, it is surprising how many buyers believe that these reasons allow them a lower purchase price. A firm agreement of purchase and sale is a binding contract which each side is expected to fulfill on its terms, the most essential of which is perhaps the purchase price.

When a buyer cannot or does not complete an agreement without cause the buyer will be responsible for making the seller “whole”. This means that the seller is entitled to be put in the same position as the seller would have been had the buyer completed the transaction as scheduled. The buyer is liable to the seller for the difference between the original contract price and the price that the seller ultimately sells the home for, or, if the seller does not sell the home, the market value of the home at the time of the breach of the agreement by the buyer, plus any related costs incurred by the seller, such as legal, carrying, moving or accommodation costs etc.. The seller’s damages must be reasonable and foreseeable and the seller has an obligation to mitigate the amount of damages suffered, but the buyer is responsible for paying the seller these damages. A recent B.C. case, where the law is largely the same as it is in Ontario, confirms this.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/buyer-who-walked-away-from-real-estate-deal-ordered-to-pay-360k-1.4232844

Second-What Happens to the Deposit?

Contrary to what some buyers believe, buyers are not entitled to a return of their deposit, nor is their liability limited to the amount of the deposit. In general, as long as the deposit is not out of all proportion to the damages suffered, and the forfeiture of the deposit is not unconscionable, the seller is entitled to the deposit. This would be even if there were no damages suffered by the seller. If damages are suffered the seller is entitled to all of the damages as noted above and the deposit would be applied as part of those damages. Unfortunately for the seller, the seller will not automatically be entitled to payment from the Broker holding the deposit. The Broker can only payout the deposit on the mutual direction of the seller and the buyer, or by court order. This means a buyer who fails to complete a transaction has some leverage because the buyer can refuse to direct the release of the deposit by the Broker and force the seller through the expense and time of going to Court for an order compelling payment of the deposit. However, the seller does not have to wait for a Mutual Release to re-list the property and in fact may be obliged to do so in order to mitigate, or lower, the damages.

Third-Tips to Get the Deal Closed

While it is true that some buyers cannot close because of difficulties with financing, many buyers simply want a reduction of the purchase price or do not want to pay added expenses associated with financing a home that has perhaps dropped in value. This means that many buyers can be encouraged to complete the transaction. Here are our Tips to make sure that the buyer does everything possible to complete the transaction.

  1.  Make sure the buyer understands the liability for the deficiency on resale. This can be as simple as sending the agent the Article above or having the lawyer for the seller write a letter to the lawyer for the buyer. The buyer should be made aware as soon as possible that the seller will not simply reduce the purchase price.
  2. Where a property is over $1 million the buyer would have had to have at least a 20% down payment to complete the purchase. The buyer should be made aware that the seller knows that the buyer can be expected to have at least 20% of the purchase price to satisfy the seller’s claim or judgment for damages. If the property is less than $1 million you should get details of the buyer’s financing as a condition of considering any extension or abatement. Then, you can apply the same logic above to the buyer’s request for reduction of the purchase price.
  3. If the buyer owns a property, the lawyer for the seller should immediately conduct a title search of the property owned by the buyer and determine the face value of any mortgage on title. This will allow the lawyer for the seller to put the lawyer for the buyer on notice that the seller is aware that the buyer has equity in a property which will be subject to the seller’s claim for damages. The lawyer should also search to see if the buyer owns any other properties for the same reasons.
  4. Consider allowing the buyer more time to close. This will generally require that the buyer pay a further non-refundable deposit and pay the seller’s associated expenses.
  5. Consider ways in which the seller might be able to assist the buyer in completing the transaction such as providing the buyer with a Vendor Take Back Mortgage for the buyer’s claimed shortage. This will often be less difficult than suing a defaulting buyer and gives the seller security on title for the loan. In the event that the market price comes back the buyer can later refinance the property and payout the seller.
  6. Consider whether there may be other means to help the buyer with financing. We recently had a transaction where the father of the seller agreed to give the buyer a second mortgage on the property for one year in order to facilitate closing.
  7. The buyer should be encouraged to consider getting help from family or friends rather than face a lawsuit for damages.
  8. After the matters above have been made clear, and the buyer still does not or cannot close, the seller should consider whether it is still better to reduce the price somewhat and close the deal rather than face the prospect of relisting and having to take legal action at a later time.Once the buyer is fully aware of the potential liability, the buyer will be in the most motivated position to complete the transaction. It is our experience that when we push back on requests for a reduction in the purchase price most buyers are finding a way to close. In general, we would recommend that it be made clear that the buyer will be held responsible for all damages if the buyer does not close. If, after that, the buyer cannot or will not close the seller may wish to consider whether it may be worthwhile to reduce the price and close rather than re-list and have to proceed with legal action. Every circumstance is different and should be considered clearly and carefully with the buyer’s agent and lawyer.

What Role Do Law Clerks Play in Real Estate Deals?

If you are thinking of buying, selling, mortgaging, or title transferring a home, it is important to choose the right real estate law firm to work with. A real estate lawyer is a big help when navigating this often-confusing process, but so are the law clerks working in the office. You may have heard the term “law clerk” before, but what exactly does a law clerk do in Ontario and what is the difference between a law clerk and a lawyer? You may be surprised to learn that they play a very important role in each and every real estate transaction. Keep reading to find out how.

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Things You Should Know before Transferring Land Ownership

Situations may arise when you want or need to transfer the ownership of your home. This transfer is known as title transfer and it ensures that your property now belongs to someone else. A title transfer can be partial or complete. That is, you can transfer a portion of your property or all of it. Whether you are a retiring parent transferring the title of your family home to your child or if you are selling to a buyer, here’s what you should know before transferring land ownership.
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Cannabis is legal now, but how do you deal with Grow Houses and Mold?

Grow Houses are houses used to grow large amounts of marijuana. With marijuana only recently becoming legal it is safe to assume that there are still some Grow Houses out there, or at least some former Grow Houses. Also, it is not clear whether legalizing marijuana will eliminate Grow Houses or what this could mean for their continued existence. Before you look at buying or selling a former Grow House, you should be aware of some concerns and issues.
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Everything You Should Know about Title Search

Whether you’re selling or purchasing real estate, you’ll quickly learn several new terms that you may not have been be familiar with before, especially if this is your first time. Most people tend to assume that titles and property deeds are the same thing, but they are actually two separate legal concepts. Title is the legal way of establishing your ownership over something. Here’s what you need to know about title search in real estate.
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Buying a House in Ontario? Prepare for These Fees

Many people who decide to move into a new home are completely blindsided by the hidden costs of buying a house, beyond the purchase price and legal fees. Taking out a mortgage could possibly be the single biggest purchase in one’s life, and yet many forget to research or budget for it. Before you sign any papers, here are some of the additional fees that come with buying a house that you need to consider.
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12 Common Mistakes Made When Buying a House in Toronto

Buying your first home can be an exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful. During the homebuying process, there are many things you need to consider and doing your due diligence to cover all your bases will help you get through the process successfully. Here are 12 common mistakes homebuyers make when looking for a new house. Avoid these mistakes and you will be on your way to making a great homebuying decision!
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Title Transfer and Search: FAQs

The legal term that describes the transference of one registered owner of a property to another owner is known as a title transfer. In most cases, the person who is the title of a property is the one who actually owns it. It could be you, your parents, or your spouse. If there is a situation in which you need to do a title transfer in Toronto, a real estate lawyer can help you. Here are some important frequently asked questions (FAQs) about title searches in Toronto.
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Which Is Better: Variable Rate Mortgage or Fixed Rate Mortgage?

Many homeowners go through situations in their lives that make it difficult to make their mortgage payments on time. Sometimes mortgages can feel like a trap, leaving homeowners stuck with bills that never seem to end. It may be relieving to know that there are options for managing your mortgage. There are generally two ways mortgages are structured: fixed and variable. Choosing the option that is best for your needs and lifestyle is key to relieving the stress as you pay your mortgage. Here’s what you need to know about each kind, and which option may be the best for you.

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Questions to Ask a Lawyer When Buying a House/Condo

Whether you’re downsizing your home, moving into a new neighbourhood, or buying your first condo or home, there are many pros and cons to consider. Making such a big decision requires a lot of research and sound advice; inviting a real estate lawyer into the process can really help. Knowing the right questions to ask is critical to ensuring you make the best decision. Here are some questions you should ask a lawyer when buying a house or condo.

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Why You Should Hire a Lawyer to Sell Your House/Condo in Ontario

Selling a house or condo in Ontario can be a complicated process. There are seemingly endless responsibilities to consider such as renovations, costs, checking the mortgage, and more. A real estate lawyer in Toronto can help make sure that you are handling everything properly and can work on your behalf to make sure everything runs smoothly. Here’s what you need to know about selling a house or condo, expenses to consider, and why it’s beneficial to hire a lawyer to sell your house or condo in Toronto.

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