Purchasing real estate is one of the biggest investments one can make in their lifetime, which is why it is so important to fully understand the associated legal implications. Can an offer to purchase be cancelled? What is a latent defect? A defect of consent? Interview with Martin Janson, real estate lawyer at Janson, Larente, Roy in Montréal.
1. Is there a difference between an offer to purchase and a promise to purchase?
The term “offer to purchase” is often used, but the correct term is actually “promise to purchase”. In this document, the buyer proposes an amount to the seller to acquire the property and sets a deadline for a response. Once the promise is signed, there is to a certain extent a contract. One party is obligated to purchase, while the other is obligated to sell. However, the buyer can stipulate conditions to the promise to purchase. The most common are obtaining the necessary financing, the sale of their current property, and a satisfactory inspection report. Continue reading →
If we compare the expense of an inspection to the cost of buying a home, it really isn’t that expensive after all! But too often, we still skip this step.
“You would never purchase a used car without hiring a knowledgeable mechanic to inspect it first. So why wouldn’t you do the same thing before making one of the most important investments of our life?” asks Jean-Claude Fillion, an architect who specializes in pre-purchase inspections.
“It’s important to know where you stand before buying a home,” he continues.
Before you sign on the dotted line, here are five good reasons to get a home inspection before you buy a house. Continue reading →
What are the first things you should ask yourself before buying rental property? First of all, will you live there or not? From a fiscal point of view, if you are renting out the entire property, you could deduct all of the day-to-day expenses related to the building from your income. But if you’re an owner-occupant, only expenses related to the rental units will be deductible. On the other hand, when you go to sell, the portion of the building occupied by the owner is exempt from capital gains tax. If it is completely rented out, all of your capital gains will be taxable.
In addition, when you have a specific property in mind, you need to consult the assessment roll to ensure that the number of units on the realtor’s listing is correct. If a livable basement is considered to be a dwelling by the city, this counts as one more unit. If this is the case, you might have to make a bigger downpayment.
Speaking of which, how much of a downpayment do you need for this type of purchase?
If you’re renting out all of the units, you need to make a minimum downpayment of 20% of the building’s purchase price.
If you’re going to be an owner-occupant, you could lower the downpayment to 5% of a duplex’s purchase price with mortgage loan insurance. For a triplex or quadruplex, you’ll need to put down a minimum of 10%.
According to Jonathan Haziza, a product manager for mortgage solutions at National Bank, the scale of the costs linked to buying a property tend to be underestimated by first-time buyers. So without further ado, here are some expenses to keep in mind for a realistic portrait of what lies ahead.
Your financial institution may ask for an evaluation of the property’s market worth. This happens when the cost is steep or the property contains various risk factors. Requesting an appraisal is a means of protection: either to ensure that payments won’t be above your means, or to verify that the property is truly worth what you’re about to pay. You’ll therefore need to hire an appraiser to produce the necessary documents.
Inspection fee Hiring a building inspector to check for hidden defects in pre-existing houses is crucial. This will help you avoid bad surprises that could cost you a lot; you’ll have peace of mind knowing that everything is as it should be. Continue reading →
After home sales failed to meet expectations in 2014, many analysts gave a cautious forecast of only a 2% increase in sales for 2015. However, despite several economic ups and downs, the real estate sector performed surprisingly well across Quebec this past year.
Key interest rate, depreciation of the loonie and jobs
To everyone’s surprise, at the start of the year, the Bank of Canada decided to reduce its key interest rate to 0.75%, which led to lower mortgage interest rates. The impact of this change resulted in shorter terms and generous rate discounts. What’s more, in July 2015, the Bank of Canada further reduced its key interest rate to 0.50%. While this second decrease had a less dramatic effect on mortgage rates than the first, it did encourage Canadian banks to reduce their preferred rates, which gave a boost to the Canadian economy.
Among other factors influencing the housing market, the job market proved to be particularly resistant to economic fluctuations, with over 80,000 jobs being created in Canada over the course of the year.
Higher sales than expected with slight price increases
While many anticipated growth in home sales of just 2% in 2015, as mentioned above, by mid-2015, that figure had already reached 5%. The Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) even forecast a rate of 6% or 7% by the end of the year, with some 75,000 properties sold, and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) agreed. Continue reading →
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