I’m Buying A Home, What Are My Costs?

Q: What are my closing costs when buying a home?

A:  SURVEY (if required) the approximate cost of an in town survey will range from $800 to $1,000 plus GST.  (However, this is usually provided by the seller)

LEGAL FEES: Legal fees range between $ 750 to $ 900 plus any disbursements such as searches, photocopies, couriers, and mortgage arranging costs. The average fee, all inclusive is approximately $1,000 plus GST.

BANK FEES: Most banks, but not all, charge an administrative fee to register any documents.

HOME INSPECTION: Many purchasers require a home inspection prior to buying their new home. In most cases the purchaser will pay for the inspection, the fee is in the $275 to $350 range, depending on the size of the home.

LAND TRANSFER TAX: This is a fee paid to the Provincial Government and forms part of your closing costs. As a guide, you can anticipate the fee to be about 1% of the purchase price.

Q: What documents or items might I need to sell my home?

A:  To provide the buyer with accurate information, we will need several documents.

SURVEY (freehold only)

The survey of your property, or a copy thereof, will show the legal dimensions of the property, any easements or restrictions, any fences and buildings on the property. If you cannot find a copy consult the vendor’s lawyer who handled the purchase of the property, the lender who gave the mortgage or possibly a neighbour.


TAX BILL

The most recent tax bill is required to provide the most up to date information to the buyer.

UTILITY SUMMARY (not applicable to condo’s)

Buyers often want to know what is the cost to run the home. This can vary from family to family however the information is useful as a guide. Obtaining the cost of heat, hydro, water and cable for the previous few months to get a guide to the costs.

KEYS TO THE PROPERTY

Once your lawyer has attended at the Registry Office and done the necessary paperwork and transferred the funds, then and only then, will the lawyer receive the keys to your new home.  When you go to the lawyer’s office, before the closing, to sign the closing documents arrange for a time and place to pick up the keys from the lawyer.

CONDOMINIUM (if applicable)

For condominium buyers, you should obtain a Status Certificate, from the applicable Condominium Corporation, this will include the most recent financial statements and budget information and the balance in the reserve fund.  This is provided by the seller and will be reviewed by your lawyer.

**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Three Best Methods when Searching For A Home

Over 80% of buyers begin their home search on the internet, this is due to two primary factors:

a) the growth of technology

and

b) the subsequent demise of print media.

Have you noticed the number of free newspapers being distributed of late – in the fast food restaurants, pizza shops etc., while all the information on any subject that interests you is available – on the web.

Searching For Your Next Home On The Web

The best methods are mls.ca, agent and brokerage sites, and daily property updates.  Let’s take a look at each one.

Mls.ca

This service will allow you to search properties across Canada, all properties that are listed on local Real Estate boards are subsequently loaded onto mls.ca.  This service avails you the opportunity to see and compare homes in your neighbourhood as well as the neighbourhood you are considering for relocation.  The downside is that it is not always current, new listings may take a few days to upload and sold properties are not always removed as quickly as one would like.  This leads to inaccuracies in availability which can at times be very frustrating.

Agent and Brokerage Sites

These sites will give you local properties to see and are for the most part, current.  Although somewhat limited in volume and variety, these sites will also introduce you to an agent and their brokerage and will give you a good feel as to whether or not  this is the group of professionals you would like to work with to make your next home purchase.  Remember, the agent and the professionals you decide to work with is probably the most important part of your search, people you can be comfortable with to complete your search.

Daily Property Updates

This is the quickest and most efficient means to find your next home. Once you’ve found an agent and brokerage you want to work with, this service will keep you on top of the market.  The agent will submit your search criteria, including price, location, number of bedrooms etc. and you will receive listings overnight as they come to market.  You will see new listings at the same time local agents are made aware of them.

**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Should I Fix Up My House Before Selling It?

Consider price appreciation, adding on to house

The decision to sell your home is usually a tough one. There are financial, as well as emotional decisions to be made, and a number of other factors that can tip the balance one way or the other. Emotional decisions are ones that only you can answer, but as for the financial side of things, there are a number of common sense questions that should make the decision a little easier.

What Is Condition Is Your Home In?

If you are looking at major home repairs, i.e. new roof, major plumbing or electrical overhauls, you need to weigh them carefully. If your home has appreciated substantially over the years and the repairs would create a financial burden, it may be wise to consider selling, you’ll have to ask a little less than if the repairs weren’t necessary, but you may still make a profit on the sale.

However, if the housing market is down, or you haven’t owned the house that long and your equity is not substantial, it may be wise to refinance and make the repairs now, before the situation worsens.

Can You Add On?

If your home is too small, but you like the neighbourhood and the house in general, you may want to consider adding on.

Room additions can make a large difference in the size, layout and livability.  Do you have the room to add onto the side or rear of the house? Can you add a second story? Remember that as much as you like your home and neighbourhood, remodeling is not always the answer. No matter how good your contractor is, remodeling will not increase the size of a small lot, and it probably won’t be able to alleviate major flaws in room layout.

Do Your Homework

If the time is drawing near to move or improve, do your homework. Look at what your neighbourhood is doing, and housing prices. Talk with a trusted real estate agent, and consider an independent market appraisal. Consider paying a general contractor to discuss your home’s condition, and the cost of improvements.

**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

The Ups And Downs of an Individual Legal Practice

If you are a young lawyer who wishes to start his own legal practice, you should know that this is a hard step, but it is a brave one and if you do the job well you will become successful. The first step when you decide to open an individual law firm is to ask yourself what do you want to do for the rest of your life and if you are good at it. There are many law niches and you should choose the one you are best at and you love. You have to put in a balance all your strengths and all your weaknesses and choose depending on your expertise, personal experiences and taste. If you choose something you really like and you are good at, you will build a successful company and you will have a rewarding life.

The advantages of running your law office will make the job worth it

Individual Legal Practice

There are many advantages of opening your own law office. People are looking for expertise, whatever their problem is and they are asking the attorneys for help. Law firms are all about expertise and professionalism and this is what clients are looking for. Therefore, this policy it will earn you many clients fast if you are competent and professional. It doesn’t matter if your niche is small or you have a big law firm, the clients will come if you are specialized in a certain domain and you do your work seriously and with professionalism.

Another benefit of choosing the best law niche for you and open a practice is the fact that you can focus on a certain target market and dedicate your work to the people who have a certain need. You will know how to approach your target market, how to advertise and what marketing solutions are the best for you.

However, there are some considerations

When you open a niche firm you have to understand that the clients will control you and you have to make them understand that you are best on this particular field of work. There are many big firms, corporate firms that cover all the legal branches and some clients might find it safer to choose one of these firms rather than you practice. They will ask themselves if you are credible and if you have enough experience and if you want to win them as clients, you have to answer these questions with professionalism and a good marketing plan.

It will be a challenging project

As you know, it isn’t easy to start a niche law firm and it isn’t easy to keep it going also. Even if you are starting to have clients and you are satisfied with your income, you have to keep offering the best services and make people more and more aware of your name in the market so that you won’t lose clients in front of the new firms or the big companies. You have to consolidate your firm year after year and understand that this is a challenging project and just with care and professionalism you will be able to maintain it and even upgrade it.

**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.