What types of ownership can I have in property?
There are three types of ownership in Canada. “Freehold ownership” is where you own the property outright, only subject to the interest of the Crown (government). “Leasehold ownership” is where your interest-only lasts as long as your lease on the land. You should register leases against the property title that are for three years or longer. “Life-estate ownership” is where your interest lasts for the duration of a person’s life; that may be the owner’s life, or any other specified person. When that person dies, full ownership of the property reverts to the freehold owner.
What is a dower release?
A dower release is a document proving the consent of your spouse when selling or mortgaging a piece of property. Dower consent applies only to legally married people who have lived in a home that one owned during their marriage. It is always best to consult a legal professional for advice in these types of scenarios.
What is a real property report?
A real property report (RPR) is a survey document showing the legal boundaries of a parcel of land and clearly illustrating the location of significant improvements relative to property boundaries.
What is bridge financing?
A bridge loan is a short-term financing tool designed to help homeowners “bridge” the gap between closing the purchase of a new home and the sale of an existing home. It enables homeowners to use the equity in their current home to pay the down payment on their next home while waiting for their current home to sell.
What is a condominium association?
A condo associations are organizations in condominiums, consisting of the owners of all of the units in a specific condominium development. The owners will vote in a board of directors to manage the affairs of the association, including the condo fees and reserve fund. The condo Board enforces the bylaws and the rules for the condo and residents. Condo Board members are usually unpaid volunteers and are confined to the governing documents establishing each particular association.
What is a condominium plan?
The condominium plan is a three-dimensional description of the condominium project in sufficient detail to identify what is included with each unit, what is common property, and what the owner has exclusive use over. This is an important document to review before buying condominium property, so make sure to review carefully. KMSC Law can help to explain the contents of a condominium plan and how it impacts your purchase.
What is a trust condition?
A trust condition is one of several unbreakable transactional rules that allow lawyers to facilitate a transaction, send and receive documents and large sums of money without fear that such documents or currency will be used for any purpose other than that which has been clearly specified in writing (think “Escrow”)
What is the land titles system?
The transfer and registration of property in Alberta is controlled by the Torrens land registration system. The foundational principle of the Torrens system is that there are no other interests, that can affect a title outside of what is registered. This title-based system is why registering property transfers at your local Land Titles Office is so important.
I moved into a recently purchased house and I’m finding issues with it that the sellers didn’t disclose before the purchase – is there anything I can do?
If a purchaser buys a house in poor condition, the price should reflect it. If issues with the house pop up after you move in, the seller may simply say “buyer beware”: what you see is what you get. This term is often used, but only applies to defects in the property that the purchaser can see with their own eyes, such as water damage or obviously sloping floors. If a seller intentionally hides defects from a buyer, there may be legal recourse. It’s best to consult with a lawyer on these issues.
What is a mortgage?
A mortgage is a document that secures a lender’s loan. Houses cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and buyers often don’t have the funds capable of fronting such a purchase. As a result, buyers go to the bank and sign a mortgage, where the bank pays the purchase price less the buyer’s down payment, and the buyer agrees to make regular loan (mortgage) payments with an interest rate until they pay off the full principal balance of the loan.
What is a mortgage term?
A mortgage term is the time period a mortgage lender (often a bank) is prepared to cast an interest rate in stone. Once the term expires the remaining principal balance must be renewed, refinanced or paid in full.
What is an amortization period?
This is the theoretical period of time it would take for the mortgage principal to be paid in full if the same terms and interest applied for that entire time. In Canada a typical amortization period is 25 years, which is why careful consideration should go into purchasing property before doing so.
What is an open mortgage?
An open mortgage allows a homeowner to pay out the balance owing early with no penalty—if, for example, you won the lottery.
What is a closed mortgage?
Although you can still pay out the full balance owing on a closed mortgage, a homeowner will accrue a penalty if you do so before the term expires.
What is a limited pre-payment?
A limited pre-payment clause allows a homeowner with a closed mortgage to pay down certain portions of the principal without penalty faster with offers such as making a yearly lump sum payment or doubling a payment.
What is mortgage refinancing?
This term is used when people replace or pay out an existing loan with a new one. There may be different reasons for doing so, such as consolidating debts with a lower rate mortgage, home renovations, a vacation, or accessing capital for investing.