Real Estate

I would like to add one of my children to the title of my home as a joint tenant so that she receives it when I die. Is this a good idea?

There are at least 3 things you should think about. Consider that once you’ve done that, you can longer sell the home or borrow against the home without your daughter’s consent. This limits your independence.  Further, there may be an unintended tax consequence if your daughter already owns a primary residence. Finally you may be […]

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I live in a condo and my toilet overflowed, causing water damage to several units below me. The condominium insurance policy paid the claims, but the Board wants me to pay the $10,000.00 deductible. Do I have to pay?

It depends on what the condo bylaws say. If the bylaws are silent regarding deductibles, it is likely that you do not have to pay. If the bylaws impose liability on the owner in all circumstances, you are likely going to have to pay. If the bylaws say you pay only if you were negligent, […]

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My spouse and I have separated and are in agreement on how we will deal with our assets and cash flow. Should I go ahead and put an offer on a new home?

We often receive calls from people in a time crunch: they have separated, agreed on a resolution, and placed an offer on a new home – only to learn from their bank that a new mortgage is not possible until a formal separation agreement is in place. Even if you and your ex-spouse agree on […]

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I’m buying a home. I am talking to my lender and my lawyer about my down payment but they aren’t talking about the same thing. What’s up?

When you made your offer to purchase, you gave your Realtor a cash deposit and perhaps a second deposit when you removed your conditions.  In addition, there will be a cash shortfall requested by your lawyer. The cash shortfall is the total required to complete the purchase which will include tax and condo fee adjustments, […]

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If one of our appliances is listed in the real estate purchase contract as being sold with our home, can we replace that appliance with a different one before closing?

The answer is no. There is an expectation that the buyer will receive the same appliance as was in the home when the offer was made, unless otherwise specified in the real estate purchase contract. The contract also provides that the appliance will be in good working order on the day of closing. If problems […]

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What is a Real Property Report (RPR) and why do I need one?

A Real Property Report, drawn by a qualified surveyor, shows the location of all buildings and improvements on your property. You need this to get a letter or stamp of compliance from the City. And you will need to provide both of these things to the buyer if you are planning on selling your property, […]

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I have purchased a home and I will take possession next month. I drove by the house yesterday and I noticed that shingles have blown off the roof. Can I withhold money from the purchase price until the roof has been repaired?

Unless you have already negotiated a hold back in your Real Estate Contract, you cannot unilaterally withhold money from the cash required to complete the purchase. Immediately ask your lawyer to request a hold back with a specific time limit for the completion of the roof work. If the request for a hold back is […]

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Ask an Expert: Can I be evicted from my condominium even though I own it?

Yes. The Condominium Property Act gives the Court the power to make “any other order appropriate in the circumstances,” which would an include an eviction order when an owner’s conduct has been found to be improper. However, the conduct would have to be serious and the eviction might only be ordered after the condominium corporation […]

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Ask an Expert: I am buying a house in August. Who pays property taxes this year?

Taxes are levied  for the calendar year and are due June 30 in St. Albert. If paid in one lump sum by the seller, you will pay the seller your share of the year’s taxes though the lawyer’s Statement of Adjustments. If the sellers paid the taxes in monthly payments to the City, you will […]

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Ask an Expert: If one of our appliances is listed in the real estate purchase contract as being sold with our home, can we replace that appliance with a different one before closing?

The answer is no. There is an expectation that the buyer will receive the same appliance as was in the home when the offer was made, unless otherwise specified in the real estate purchase contract. The contract also provides that the appliance will be in good working order on the day of closing. If problems […]

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Ask an Expert: Is it a good idea to sell and buy a home on the same closing day?

While the actual moving day will be hectic, from your lawyer’s of view, it can be done. However, if for some unanticipated reason, your sale closing is delayed and the money is received late at your lawyer’s office, the money will not be available to complete your purchase. Your taking possession of the new home […]

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Ask an Expert: Why do I need a real property report and compliance when selling or buying a home?

If you are a seller, the standard real estate contract states that these are documents that you must provide to the buyer, unless set out otherwise in the standard real estate contract. These confirm that the building location warranties given by the seller in the contract are true. If you are a buyer, you will […]

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