We tend to examine the yard quickly. In our minds, it’s not very important. The condition of the home and its financing are of greater significance. Yet, taking the time to observe the four corners of the yard may save you many problems.
If you’re only planning to stay for a few years, you may think the yard doesn’t really count for much. Caution! If the yard hides a defect, it will affect the home’s resale price. If you intend on staying there permanently, the yard will require much thought for future projects. In both cases, a basic examination is required.
If an old tree is near the house, its roots may be so deep and spread out into the ground that they are about to crack the foundations, especially if they’re already fragile.[……]
The notary plays a critical role in the home-buying process. In fact, not everyone has a notary within reach. There are two ways to find one: by word of mouth or with a few clicks of the mouse.
You will especially feel the need to find a trustworthy notary when comes the time to draft the promise to purchase or complete the transfer of ownership. Yet, a notary can accomplish much more. He* can make your life easier.
If someone gives you the name of a notary, make sure his name appears on the Chambre des notaires du Québec (CNQ) roll. All you have to do is write the first and last name of the notary. If you are looking for a random notary offering his services in your neighbourhood, consult the CNQ referral service.[……]
The last article of our series on buying a condo focuses on additional information the buyer should know before signing the ultimate contract: services, property taxes, new home warranty program, developer, and insurance.
Ask the condo manager about the municipal taxes and the services offered: garbage pickup, road repairs, snow removal, etc. Are the general services included in the monthly fees? Some co-owners pay independent contractors through an additional condo service charge.
To get an idea of the property tax amount you will have to pay, contact the municipality if the building is new. In the case of a resale condo, ask the property manager to provide you with a copy of the most recent property assessment and most recent tax statement. The real estate broker may also have this information on hand.[……]
Anyone who wishes to buy a condo should analyze these two issues very carefully before taking action: the monthly fees, and the general condition of the building, including the private and the common spaces. Need advice?
Before looking at the monthly fees, let us review the importance of the condo inspection. Many of us believe it is useless to have a condo unit inspected since it is more like an apartment than a single house. Plus, no one has an apartment inspected before renting it. Bad idea!
Specialists in the field know all too well that it is best to have a condo inspected before buying it. Not only the private area but also the common grounds: hallways, staircases, exterior walls, roof, foundations, land, etc. Just like a home purchase, you can demand the right to have the condo inspected in your offer to purchase.[……]
This happens quite often enough. Some homeowners start off by being very happy with their new purchase, but they end up being disappointed. Is it because the property no longer suits their needs? On the contrary! The problem is the area, the neighbours, the public services. Before buying the property, these homeowners thought it was unnecessary to explore the neighbourhood. Bad idea!
You are so excited to have found the property of your dreams that you immediately sign the papers because you are afraid someone else will buy it. The seller, on the other hand, is happy the house is selling quickly, especially if he gets the price he asked for. With no bad intentions in mind, he exaggerates the advantages that come with buying the home. “How far from downtown Montréal?” “Thirty minutes” (when it actually takes an hour) “Where is the nearest subway station?” “A ten-minute walk, at most!” (by bus, maybe) And so on.
The buyer and the seller are both feeling anxious. They’re in a hurry to close the deal. They create illusions. We believe what we want to believe. It’s normal.[……]