REAL ESTATE LAW 101: 5 Things To Know Before Buying Property


Posted by heritagelawoffices on Mar 14, 2017 in Blog, Real Estate Law

Have you found your dream home?

After a long search, you may be in a hurry to sign the paperwork and get moving.

Unfortunately, beauty can sometimes be skin-deep – there are many pitfalls to consider in real estate that can surface after it’s too late.

Buying a home is a huge investment and should not be taken lightly. There are many details to consider and the process can become quite complicated.

Before you jump into buying a new home in Edmonton, consult the checklist below for a quick reference guide to buying property:

1. Do Your Homework

The last thing you want to find out when you buy your new home is that there are unpaid taxes, liens or other restrictions against the property.

Do your research into the property to ensure all fines and fees are settled before the sale is complete.

Liens are a matter of public record, so it’s not difficult to find out if there is one on the property. Conducting a search is free and can save you from difficulties after the sale.

Other sales restrictions could exist – meaning there are specific conditions that must be met in order for a property to be sold.

To ensure there are no restrictions on your soon-to-be new home, consult our team at Heritage Law to check into liens, taxes or conditions for your new home.

2. True Cost

“Sticker price” is one thing, but you need to account for the true cost of purchasing a property. There’s more to owning a home than paying the agreed upon price.

To give you an idea of what the true cost of home is, here are some fees and charges that are often overlooked:

  • New Home Warranty (required in Alberta for new builds)
  • GST
  • Inspection fee
  • Mortgage insurance
  • Utility costs
  • Moving expenses
  • Property insurance
  • Title insurance
  • Legal fees
  • Adjustment costs

Speak with your realtor about these hidden costs to get a better estimate of what your new Edmonton home is going to cost you.

A mortgage broker and lawyer can also give you a more complete idea of what the actual cost of your new home is going to be.

3. Comparison Shop

Getting to know the local real estate market is important, especially if you are not from the area in which you are buying.

Compare prices in different neighborhoods and at different budget levels. This will give you a better idea of what you truly want versus what you are willing to pay.

For example, you may have your heart set on a particular Edmonton neighborhood but the price may be way above your budget.

However, you may find a house within your budget in a neighborhood you had never even considered. Perhaps it’s missing a few perks, but for the cost it may be your dream home.

Once you comparison shop and consider your budget, don’t get surprised down the line – estimate the yearly taxes and utility costs of your future property.

Again, a realtor can be extremely helpful in this process.

4. Due Diligence

There are some aspects of the homebuying process that are not legally necessary, such as home inspections, credit checks and tax checks.

But they are all safe investments for prospective buyers.

Each one can reveal ugly truths about your preferred property or current financial situation and unexpected costs can be overwhelming if you have not completed your due diligence.

Imagine buying a beautiful home in Edmonton only to find out it needs a new roof or the foundation is cracked. Or picture being so close to owning a home only to find out there are previous taxes owing on the property

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and this couldn’t be truer when it comes to purchasing a home.

5. Call for Backup

Property buying is not a solo affair and all homebuyers should have the best team possible!

Call in the professionals to help you through the process – lawyers, lenders or mortgage brokers, realtors, appraisers and home inspectors are all experts in their field. Their job is to ensure that property purchases go smoothly for all parties involved.

Each one can protect you from being blindsided by unexpected issues and costs.

Ready for Your Edmonton Dream Home?

We’ve only just touched on the issues property buyers can and will encounter. Purchasing a home can be a difficult process to navigate.

Our expert team of lawyers at Heritage Law are ready to step in with legal consultation!

If you’re gearing up to buy a home, contact us today!