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Residential Real Estate – Thiessen Law

Residential Real Estate

A large part of the work we do at Thiessen Law Group is in the field of Real Estate. As a member of the Canadian Home Builder’s Association (CHBA), Thiessen Law Group has become one of the most trusted names in the Real Estate industry for Lethbridge and area.

Thiessen Law Group is able to meet your Residential Real Estate needs, whether you are buying, selling, refinancing, leasing or developing. Consider Thiessen Law Group for your Real Estate needs:

  • Drafting and/or review of documents of all types, including: Agreements for Sale, Caveats, Leases, Mortgages, Purchase Contracts, Restrictive Covenants, Transfers, etc.;
  • Representation of both vendors and purchasers in transactions of residential real estate, commercial real estate and agriculture real estate;
  • Representation of both tenants and landlords in the review of leases; and
  • Acting for borrowers and lenders in loan, mortgage and refinance transactions.

Upon review of our fee schedule it will become clear that Thiessen Law Group offers competitive rates:

Fee Schedule for Residential Real Estate*

(as of January 1, 2017 – subject to change)

Cash Purchase or Sale
= $700 + disbursements + GST

Purchase with Mortgage
= $900 + disbursements + GST

Re-finance
= $900 + disbursements + GST

For a complete idea on fees related to your particular real estate transaction contact our office to discuss the finer details – fill out the form on the lefthand side of your screen and someone will contact you promptly or for immediate assistance call the office 403-381-7343.

 

*Please be advised that the Fee Schedule provided is not a quote.  If you would like to obtain a quote for your particular situation, please contact our office.  The Fee Schedule provided is for general information and generally reflects our standard fee for an average real estate file.  Your situation may require additional services or considerations, therefore, please contact our office to provide a quote for services particular to your situation.

FAQ's

One of the most frequently asked questions that we have of our Residential Real Estate department is related to the Property Tax Adjustment. It is not uncommon for Buyers to get settled into their new home and receive a Property Tax reminder – often times they ask themselves “how can I be responsible for the entire years’ worth of taxes if I only just moved in!”

Property Taxes are typically levied on an annual basis effective January 1st and become due and payable on June 30th (please note: these dates are specific to the City of Lethbridge – each jurisdiction may be different). Using these dates, this means that property taxes are payable six months after they become owing and cover six months into the future when paid on June 30th.

If you are buying or selling a home there is a good chance that you will incur a Property Tax Adjustment in order to complete your real estate transaction. A Property Tax Adjustment ensures that you do not over or under pay property tax; it ensures that you pay the correct amount of taxes actually incurred by you.

Property Tax Adjustments are typically calculated as follows:

(# of Days in year to Closing Date)/365 x Annual Property Tax Levy Amount=Adjustment Amount

There are two common types of Property Tax Adjustments:

  1. If the sale closes prior to June 30th, the BUYER will receive a credit for the amount of the year’s taxes owing to cover the portion of taxes not yet paid by the Seller. This effectively reduces the total amount paid by the Buyer, however, the BUYER is then responsible for paying ALL property taxes for the year by the due date;
    • Example: Joe is selling his home to Tom, the sale will close February 1st, and annual property taxes on the home are $2,000. Therefore, Tom will receive a Property Tax Adjustment credit on the purchase in the amount of $175.34.  Tom will be responsible for paying all property taxes for the year.
      (32 days to Closing Date)/365 x $2,000.00=$175.34
  2. If the sale closes after June 30th, the SELLER will receive a credit for the portion of the year’s taxes which are owed by the Buyer since the Seller has prepaid for the entire year’s property tax. This means that the buyer requires more money upfront to complete the purchase but will not incur additional property tax for the year of the purchase.
    • Example: Joe is selling his home to Tom, the sale will close August 31st, and annual property taxes on the home are $2,000.00. Therefore Joe will receive a Property Tax Adjustment credit on the sale in the amount of $1,331.51.  Tom will not incur additional property tax for that year.
      (243 days to Closing Date)/365 x $2,000.00=$1,331.51

 

Keep in mind that in some jurisdictions the municipality provides the option to pay property taxes by way of a monthly Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPP). By enrolling in TIPP property owners can make smaller monthly payments rather than one large lump-sum payment – a convenient option from a cash-flow perspective.  Property Tax Adjustments for properties enrolled in TIPP are usually quite minimal and often do not significantly impact the closing costs for the buyer or net sale proceeds for the seller.

Buyers that choose not to continue with TIPP upon possession should note that:

  • If the sale closes prior to June 30th then they will be responsible for paying the balance of all taxes owing by June 30th; or
  • If the sale closes after June 30th then they will have to pay the balance of the year’s taxes when they become the owner of the property.

It is always a good idea to keep in mind the Property Tax Adjustment whenever you are completing a Residential Real Estate transaction as it will affect the final amount you will pay/receive. Check your Statement of Adjustments to understand how the Property Tax Adjustment impacted your particular Real Estate transaction. If you still have questions please contact our office.

Chances are likely that you remember that day many years ago when you first signed your mortgage documents.  At that time there was so many papers to sign and much to understand – it may have seemed overwhelming.  Since then much time has passed, including too many mortgage payments to count, and now you might be wondering – what is next?

Once that final mortgage payment clears the bank one would think that they are done and ready to enjoy their mortgage-free existence.

However, it is important to realize that your mortgage was registered at the Land Titles Office (LTO) after you first signed the documents and chances are the mortgage still remains registered on title even after that last mortgage payment was made.  The banks will often make it the home-owners responsibility to ensure that the mortgage is discharged from title.  Your bank may start preparing the discharge of mortgage documents once they recognize that the mortgage is indeed paid in full (or is to be transferred to another bank) and will mail them out to the home-owner for final execution, however, this is not always the case – wherein the homeowner is responsible for the drafting and final execution of the mortgage discharge.

Why is it important to discharge your mortgage?

 

1. It is the final step in clearing your property from the debt/loan; and

2. It readies your property for sale or transfer of ownership.

 

Thiessen Law Group has handled all types of mortgage discharges and would be glad to help you manage through the final steps of your home-ownership process.  Whether the bank has actually sent discharge documents or whether you are still awaiting their arrival – call Thiessen Law Group to get the right advice to make sure everything is finalized properly.  The final step in home-ownership should not be overwhelming and Thiessen Law Group will ensure it stays that way!

 

Forms & Resources

CMHC Guide to Buying a Condo

We found this guide useful for those who are thinking of purchasing a condominium.  The Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC) provides a thorough 43 page guide to help you consider all aspects of a condo.

Condominium living is a popular option for many Canadians as it can be a relatively carefree housing option. Currently, in some parts of the country, one out of three new homes built is a condominium. Interest in condominiums tends to grow with a shortage of rental accommodation, relatively low mortgage interest rates, and urban core renewal. Most major newspapers now include a condominium section which recognizes the increasing number of people who already live in—or aspire to live in—a condominium. This Guide has been created to help you become an informed condominium buyer and to help you make the best choice. Please see the glossary at the end of the Guide for full definitions of some of the terms used in this guide.

The Guide will give you the basic background information you need to get started on the path to condominium ownership. It will identify important questions to ask—and the people you should be asking—before you make this important purchase. At the end of the Guide, we’ve provided you with a condominium selection checklist to help you narrow down the choice between the different types of condominiums you might see. This Guide provides a general overview of the purchase of condominiums. It is not intended to provide legal or technical advice. It is recommended that you retain appropriate legal and technical professionals to guide you with any condominium purchase you may consider.

Click here to open the full guide: CMHC Condo Buying Guide

 

CMHC – Homebuying Step by Step

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has put together useful materials on the process of buying a home.  You might find this step-by-step guide very useful – click on the text to go to CMHC’s website:

“CMHC’s Homebuying Step by Step guide is here to make things easier for you by providing the information you need to make a wise homebuying decision. This section provides examples and worksheets that will guide you through the entire homebuying process, from the moment you make the decision to buy your own home to the moment the movers carry the first box through the front door. It couldn’t be easier!

Step 1: Is Homeownership Right for You?

Step 2: Are You Financially Ready?
Step 3: Which Home is Right for You?
Step 4: The Buying Process
Step 5: Now That You’re a Homeowner
Words to Know When Buying a Home
Worksheets