Newsletter – Title Tips

With over 25 years of Real Estate experience and over ten thousand deals closed, we have come across most of the issues that come up in closing a Real Estate deal. To help our clients we publish a newsletter “Title Tips” to answer questions and keep closings smooth. Below are the most common questions and issues we find.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is not intended and should not be relied on as legal advice. Feel free to call John Zinati to discuss your particular situation today.

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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When An Owner Passes Away – Probate Precautions

Probate refers to what happens to a person’s assets, or their Estate, which includes Real Estate, after that person passes away. In probate, the Court confirms that another individual has the right to deal with the deceased’s Estate. Generally speaking, though there are exceptions, a transfer of Title to a property may not take place until this has occurred. When an owner has passed away, you should therefore consider whether probate must take place before the property is listed, sold or finally closed.

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Time Really Is of the Essence

Agreement allowed to be cancelled because deposit paid late.

As you may be aware, the Standard OREA Agreement of Purchase and Sale for a resale House or Condominium reads: “Time shall in all respects be of the essence hereof provided that the time for closing or completing any matter provided for herein may be extended or abridged by an agreement in writing…”

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Investing in New Condos and HST

The Condo market still seems to be going strong and many people are buying condominiums or new homes for the purposes of investment; either to “flip”, or resell the unit, or to rent it out. What they don’t realize, however, is that most condominium and new home agreements contain a provision requiring that the purchaser be buying the property for his/her own use.

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Grow Houses and Mold

Grow Houses are houses used to grow large amounts of Marijuana. These seem to be more common and are regularly being listed for sale. Before you list, or take a purchaser to a former Grow House, you should be aware of some concerns and issues.

Grow Houses use a lot of electricity and Police monitor usage to detect Grow Houses. So, in order to avoid detection, grow house electricity connections are often tampered with and illegally connected to the electricity grid. This means that the connection could be faulty and that the home’s electrical system overburdened, causing safety, health and repair cost concerns. Wires, panels, etc. may have to be replaced. Also, plumbing and sewage systems may be altered necessitating substantial repairs.

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Do You Need a Survey to Close Your Deal?

Tile Insurance, which is now commonly used, covers purchasers for losses which result from not obtaining  a survey or not having an up to date survey. This means that  in most cases a purchaser does not need a survey to close the transaction. Title Insurance can be obtained instead. The Title Insurance policy will usually cost about $270.00, which the vendor can be asked, or offer, to pay if a survey is unavailable (we include this in our closing cost package). So, a vendor should not agree to provide a survey unless he/she is sure he/she has one and, if so, should not agree to provide a  more legible/current/complete/signed  survey than is available. The purchaser can usually close with Title Insurance protection.

Who Is the Seller?

The person(s) registered on title should be shown as the Sellers in the Agreement and all should sign the offer. A non-titled spouse should also sign the Offer and closing documents for a transfer of a Matrimonial Home except in limited circumstances. If this is not possible and one of the registered owners or spouses is selling by Power of Attorney the Power of Attorney must include a power to sell the property (most do, but if in doubt check or have the vendor’s lawyer check). An original or Notarized copy should be provided to the vendor’s lawyer before closing. Where an agreement is being signed under Power of Attorney, the agreement should clearly so indicate. We suggest the following wording:

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Who Is the Buyer?

Anybody can enter into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale unless he/she is under 18 or mentally incompetent. A Corporation also has all the powers of a natural person can enter into an agreement, as can a partnership. However, unless the acquisition of land is in the ordinary course of the business of the partnership one partner cannot enter into the agreement on behalf of the partnership. All partners must sign. Where an agreement is being signed under Power of Attorney, the agreement should clearly so indicate. We suggest the following wording:

“Mr. Smith, as attorney for Mrs. Smith” or “Mrs. Smith, by her attorney, Mr. Smith” – where Mr. Smith is the attorney for Mrs. Smith.

Who Is on Title?

A frequently raised issue is about who must be and who may be on title to a property. Where a mortgage is being registered, all the Borrowers on the mortgage must go on title as owners. It is therefore not possible for an individual to be a Borrower on the mortgage, to help with financing for example, without that individual also going on title. He/she must go on title. However, if the individual helping for financing purposes is only a Guarantor, not a Borrower, he/she may, but does not have, to go on title.

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How to Flip a Condo

With estimates of over 150 new condominium projects under construction in the GTA, many bought by investors, and many homes and subdivisions being developed, there’s a lot of interest in flipping (assigning) builder agreements. While quite worthwhile to both buyer and seller, this involves a little more work and can get a little tricky. To assist in the process we’ve posted a detailed Assignment Guide on our website, but these are the basics you need to know:

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Condo Care and Concerns

As more and more people are choosing condos as their entry into the market, we thought we would remind you of some of the essentials of condo buying.

Status Certificate: Make your deal conditional on Status Certificate review even if you know the building and have closed deals in it before. This is because the particular unit being purchased may have liens, notices of violation, common expense arrears or outstanding notices from the Condo Corp. Also, Special Assessments, increases in common expenses or lawsuits may arise at any time. Order it fast and try to allow 3 days for review if possible.

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