Archive | December, 2012

Survey says

December 5, 2012


Almost all real estate deals will come into my office with a provision for the seller to provide a survey. If you are selling, be careful: you don’t want to offer more than you have.

First, to be a survey, it must have a proper mark on it from a licenced surveyor. Many people produce plans of subdivision or reference plans, believing these to be surveys. They are not.

Second, be careful about what kind of survey you are agreeing to provide. “A survey that shows the current location of all structures on the property” means that you have to provide a survey that shows the deck, pool, shed, and house. A pre-build survey that only shows the foundation will not do.

Third, be careful about providing a “legible” survey. Often, you received a copy of a copy when you bought. If all of the numbers cannot be read, then you can’t provide what you have agreed to do.

Getting a new survey done can be quite expensive. Even if there is a record online where you could order a survey that was previously done, in order to provide a legible copy, could cost you several hundred dollars, depending on where it is ordered from. Before you sign on the line, be sure that you can actually provide what you are agreeing to. A real estate agreement is a binding contract, and what it says, rules.


Cesia is a real estate lawyer at Wall-Armstrong and Green, a boutique law firm in Barrie focusing on real estate and estates. When she's not online, she can usually be found in her garden.

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Learn Before You Leap

December 3, 2012


Article courtesy of Genworth Canada.


Owning your own home is an exciting proposition. But before you can know whether homeownership is right for you, it’s important to understand what’s involved.
The worst mistake you can make as a new homeowner is to buy a house that ends up over-extending you financially. The key is to make sure that you can comfortably afford the mortgage payment and other monthly expenses that come with homeownership.


How Much Can You Afford?

The first thing you need to do is figure out your net worth. Your net worth is the amount left over once you’ve subtracted your total debts from your total assets. This can work as a guide to show you how much you can afford as a down payment.


Prepare a Budget

Next, prepare a budget. Detail all of your current monthly expenses and debt payments. Be as accurate as possible. Add everything up and then subtract this amount from your monthly take home amount. This will then give you a clear idea of how much you can truly afford for a mortgage payment each month.


Monthly Mortgage Payments

Just like when you rent, as a new homeowner, you will have a monthly payment to make on your mortgage. The size of your mortgage payments will depend on your down payment, the amortization period, the term and your payment schedule.


The Down Payment

In order to buy a home, the first thing you will need is a down payment. The more money you put down, the less interest you will pay over the life of your mortgage. The minimum mortgage down payment amount that is typically required in Canada is 5%.

In order to put less than 20% down, mortgage default insurance is required. Mortgage insurance premiums are paid once, but can be added to the principle of the mortgage.


How Much Can You Borrow?

Before you start looking at homes, visit your mortgage broker for a pre-approved mortgage. The mortgage broker will look at your finances and determine the amount of mortgage they are willing to give you. The maximum amount you can qualify for depends on a number of factors but the most important are your household income, your down payment and the mortgage interest rate.


Remember Your Budget

Quite often you will qualify for more than you expected. This is where preparing your budget beforehand is so important. Remember, your goal is to not over-extend yourself financially. Let your budget be your guide in determining how much mortgage to take on. You now know how much you have to spend, but not all of it can go towards the purchase price of your new home. Some of it will have to be used to cover costs associated with buying a home.


Tim is a mortgage agent in Barrie who specializes in helping first-time home buyers. He works with a variety of lenders and can help customize a mortgage with the best rates & options that fit the needs of each customer.

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