Purchasing a new property can be overwhelming for many people – particularly those who are going through it for the first time or those who have not done so in a long time. There are so many things to consider both prior to writing and submitting an offer on a property as well as once that has been done and the offer has been accepted. This blog article will provide some items for the new home buyer to consider that may get forgotten in the process. These include:
- Home insurance: depending on the type of property being purchased, home insurance can be a key consideration. This can be particularly the case if the home buyer is obtaining mortgage financing on the purchase as evidence of insurance will be needed prior to completion to satisfy the lender’s conditions. It is important to ensure that the insurance set up will satisfy the lender’s requirements so there are no hiccups as closing approaches. In an ideal world, it would be helpful for the buyer to get the key requirements from the lender and submit those to the intended insurance provider to ensure appropriate coverage can be arranged. This should be done prior to conditions being removed to ensure the property is insurable before the buyers are unconditionally bound to the contract.
- Legal advice: many buyers wish to obtain legal advice on the transaction prior to condition removal to ensure they’re informed on as many aspects of the transaction as they can be. Depending on the time of year, it can be important to start this process with some time before condition removal to give the lawyer sufficient time to review the documents and provide thorough advice. Busy real estate periods, such as mid-month and month-end, can make it more challenging for a quick turnaround on this step of the process as can holidays and vacations.
- Financing: there are lots of resources out there regarding financing approvals and the various types of approvals a buyer can get. Ultimately, it is up to the buyer to ensure they have sufficient comfort that they will be able to get the funds needed to complete the purchase by the time it is needed. This means that the buyer has to rely quite heavily on their mortgage broker or banker to clearly delineate the required conditions for the approval. Proactiveness on this can be very helpful and can reduce the stress associated with the transaction.
- Utilities/accounts: depending on the property, there can be a range of utility accounts that are attached to the home. These can include government/municipal utilities as well as private utilities such as electricity, water, telecommunications, etc. Again, making plans for these items well in advance of completion can help reduce the stress as the closing date approaches and the buyer is often distracted by packing and moving.
- Strata arrangements: if the property being purchased is a stratified property, it is also advisable to reach out to the strata manager in advance of closing to make any necessary arrangements for strata fee payment, moving arrangements, and also to ensure any necessary forms have been completed. While strata documents will generally be reviewed as part of the condition removal process, the actual steps to get set up for appropriate payments will need to be taken to ensure a smooth transition to home ownership. The same principles apply to homes purchased in manufactured home parks.
- Moving arrangements: while move in arrangements may have to be made with the strata manager for a strata property, non-stratified property buyers will also want to ensure they have appropriate arrangements made for a smooth moving day. As part of this, the buyers should be cognizant of their possession time and the potential for some delays arising in some cases. For example, if the buyer is set to get possession at the time of registration, they should be aware that timeline is unpredictable as there are a number of factors that have to come together to permit registration including receipt of mortgage funds by the buyers’ representative (if applicable), receipt of insurance confirmation, signing of documents by both the buyer and seller, and receipt by the seller’s representative of a mortgage payout statement if there is a mortgage on title to be paid out on closing. As a result, a buyer should be cautious in these circumstances of being too optimistic on the time of possession on the closing date.
This list is by no means exhaustive but it is a summary of some of the key items we see arise in our residential real estate practice. While there is rarely an ability to really eliminate the risk of an impact on a transaction, proactive steps can be taken to help mitigate the last minute complications arising on the closing date. As always, we strongly recommend seeking advice from the chosen professionals with respect to closing on a particular transaction as this will assist in making the new home buying experience as smooth and stress-free as it can be.
Author: Una Gabie
This information is general in nature only. You should consult a lawyer before acting on any of this information. This information should not be considered as legal advice. To learn more about your legal needs, please contact our office at (250)448-2637 or any of our lawyers practicing in the area of real estate law at the following:Una Gabie: firstname.lastname@example.org Jennette Vopicka: email@example.com Danielle (Dani) Brito: firstname.lastname@example.org Jane Otterstrom: email@example.com