Buying Your First Home

Buying Your First Home

You are buying your first home! This is usually a person’s first experience with working with a lawyer, who you will need to transfer the Property into your name, register the Mortgage and be sure any charges on the Title by the previous owner are removed.

Your lawyer will assist you from the date of offer to the closing of the purchase. 

There are three stages to a property purchase: 1) Initial offer and acceptance; 2) Subject removal; and 3) Closing the Purchase.

When the initial offer is written, your Contract of Purchase and Sale should include a subject that allows for your lawyer to review the Contract and the Property Title. Your lawyer can advise you about any non-financial charges on the Title, such as rights of way, statutory building schemes or restrictive covenants. These charges can affect the use of your Property and you need to know about these before you are obligated to purchase the Property.

You should meet with your lawyer to review the Contract and Property Title before the subject removal stage is complete. Once subjects are removed, if there are any issues with your Title or the Contract itself, it is too late to back out of the Contract. You are obligated to complete the Purchase.

The Province of BC charges a Property Transfer Tax of 1% on the first $200,000 of the purchase price of a home, and 2% on the remainder of the purchase price. If you are a First Time Home Buyer and buying a home for less than $475,000, you are eligible for a Property Transfer Tax Exemption. This can translate to quite a savings. There is also a partial exemption available, if only one Purchaser is a First Time Home Buyer. Your lawyer can explain your options to you in this regard.

Your lawyer will also advise you on the necessary adjustments for annual Property Taxes and City Utilities, your property insurance requirements, home inspection findings, title insurance and strata minutes.

Your lender will send instructions to your lawyer to prepare your mortgage documents for registration with the Land Title Office. Your lawyer will explain to you the mortgage terms and your obligations, and answer questions about the process, as well as details of payments and prepayments.

Your lawyer works with the seller’s lawyer, your mortgage lender and you to ensure that all items are adjusted for, your Property is properly transferred into your name, your mortgage is accurately registered and your funds are adequate to complete the purchase from the seller.

Finally, your lawyer will advise you about the precise amount of funds you will need for closing costs. This includes your down payment, legal fees, adjustments for taxes, utilities and deposits made as well as any other costs incidental to your Property purchase. You will meet with your lawyer in the days leading up to Closing to finalize such matters and sign the paperwork necessary to transfer the Property and register the mortgage.

If you would like advice or for more information regarding real estate matters please contact Chahal Priddle LLP at 250-372-3233 to set up an appointment today.