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

businessman looking at the plan of buying a house

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

businessman looking at the plan of buying a houseAfter a long search, you may be in a hurry to sign the paperwork once you have found your dream home. Unfortunately, beauty may only be skin-deep– there are many pitfalls in real estate that can surface after it’s too late. Consult the checklist below for a quick reference guide to buying property.

#1: DO HOMEWORK

Check for any unpaid taxes, liens or other restrictions against the property. All fines and fees should be settled before the sale is done.

#2: TRUE COST

“Sticker price” is one thing, but you need to account for the true cost of purchasing property. The following is a summary of 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.

#3: COMPARISON SHOP

Getting to know the local real estate market is important, especially if you are not from the location that your buying in. Compare prices in different neighbourhoods and at different budget levels. Don’t get surprised down the line: estimate yearly tax and utility costs of your future property. A realtor can be extremely helpful in this process.

#4: DUE DILIGENCE

Home inspections, credit checks, tax checks– none of them are legally necessary, but they are all safe investments for prospective buyers. Each one can reveal ugly truths about your preferred property or current financial status. Unexpected costs can be overwhelming if you have not completed your due diligence.

#5: CALL FOR BACKUP

All property buyers should be surrounded with the best possible team– so, call the professionals! Lawyers, lenders or mortgage brokers, appraisers and home inspectors are all experts in their field. Each one can protect your blindside from unexpected issues and costs.

The above list is only a summary of the issues property buyers can and will encounter. Contact or visit Heritage Law for your legal consultation today!