At Adleman & Solar Law Office, we represent the interests of our clients in matters related to real estate law. Whether you are buying or selling a residential property, house or condominium, we can help. Contact us for an estimate.
Buying a House
We are able to help you process your purchase on a new or existing home or condominium.
Your down payment and mortgage cover only the purchase price of your home as set out in the offer. There are other costs involved to complete the purchase. These are often referred to as “closing costs”. Prior to your appointment to sign documents, we will send you an estimate of closing costs setting out how much you need to bring in to complete the purchase. These costs include legal fees, disbursements, other one-time expenses, adjustments and taxes. The following is a brief explanation of some of these costs:
Land transfer tax: There are taxes and registration costs involved with your purchase. The land transfer tax is a tax charged by the provincial government and paid to the Land Titles Office (The Property Registry) at the time of the title registration and is based on the Fair Market Value (FMV) of the home being purchased (purchase price). To access The Property Registry Land Transfer Tax Fee Calculator, go to: www.tprmb.ca/tpr/land_titles/lto_offices/fees.html.
In addition to the land transfer tax, there is a fee charged by The Property Registry to register the Transfer of Land document and the mortgage. The current registration fee is $104.00 for each document.
Title insurance: Title insurance protects against loss caused by defects of title. This is different from house insurance which covers future events. Title insurance protects you from past events that could adversely affect the title.
The offer may require the seller provide an existing survey and zoning memorandum. Most sellers do not, however, have an existing survey and zoning and if they do the survey and zoning memorandum are usually outdated and not acceptable to your lender so a new one would be required. Instead of obtaining a new Surveyor’s Building Location Certificate and Zoning Memorandum most mortgagees will accept and most clients will instead choose to buy title insurance. It involves a one-time payment for less than the cost of a survey. Title insurance also provides additional protection than simply reviewing a survey of the property. We use First Canadian Title Insurance, (FCT).
Interest: If you have arranged a new mortgage for the purchase of your home, the Land Titles Office’s processing time may delay the release of the mortgage monies for a period of approximately two to four weeks from the date of registrations. During this period of time, you must pay interest to the seller on the mortgage amount at the Mortgage Rate of Interest. We must collect this amount from you prior to the possession date. Any excess interest collected is of course returned to you. Although interest is paid to the seller, you do not start paying interest to your lender until such time as the mortgage monies are released by the lender.
Property taxes: The real property taxes are prorated between the purchaser and the seller based on the number of days each of them is in possession of the home during the calendar year in which the home is purchased. The purchasers are responsible to pay property taxes for only the portion of the year that they own the home. Taxes are payable by June 30th for the calendar year. In rural areas, the taxes are usually due in the fall. Depending on the possession date, either the seller or the purchaser will pay the annual tax bill and will be reimbursed by the other party for the other party’s share. In Winnipeg, homeowners can choose to pay property taxes by way of monthly payments by enrolling in the City of Winnipeg's TIPP Program. Some rural municipalities also offer monthly payment plans.
Disbursements: These are “out-of-pocket” expenses including: land titles search, property tax search, courier fees and miscellaneous expenses such as photocopying and postage.
House insurance: You will need to contact your insurance agent to arrange for fire insurance to be in effect upon possession. Your insurance agent will need to send us the “binder” of insurance to confirm that is in place and if you have a mortgage, that the first loss is payable to the mortgagee. Even if you are not getting a mortgage it is a condition of the transaction that you have fire insurance in place at possession and that your insurance agent provide us with confirmation.
It is recommended that you change the locks after taking possession.
On the date of possession, we will need you to call a water reading in to the City of Winnipeg, phone number: 204-986-2455, and to our office as well.
Selling a Home
If you do not have a real estate agent it is a good idea to have a condition in the offer you receive that it is subject to your lawyer’s approval. That will allow us to meet with you to review the offer and search the title.
If you have an existing Surveyor’s Certificate and Zoning Memorandum, please bring those to your appointment.
The traditional practice is that the sale proceeds are not available until title issues in the name of the purchaser. In some circumstances if the purchaser has title insurance and their mortgagee and their lawyer confirm, the proceeds may be available prior to the completion of registrations.
You should keep the fire insurance on the property you are selling until we inform you that title has issued in the purchaser’s name. This ensures there is no problem if something happens.
Water reading: The water account remains with the property so you must take a water reading when you leave the property for the last time. You must call the reading in to the City of Winnipeg at 204-986-2455, and also to our office. We are required to pay the final water account from the sale proceeds.
If you are refinancing your home, your financial institution may likely require you to have a lawyer prepare and register your new mortgage.
Our role involves conducting a title and tax search of the property, reviewing the mortgage instructions and preparing the document and submitting it for registration. Your financial institution may require you to obtain title insurance.
You will also need to have your fire insurance updated and have your insurance agent provide confirmation to our office.
After receiving the proceeds of your new mortgage, we will attend to payout of your old mortgage.