Is it time to make the move?

We all live busy lives, days spent with work, children, and the routines of life. While searching for your dream home can be an exciting quest it also requires a lot of time and energy. As experts, Team Corber will provide you with free documentation, tools, the experience and the sound advice that will help you make your real estate dream come true, and make it an easy and pleasurable experience.

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BuyerGuide


Buyer Guide

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Advice to buyers

Determine your individual needs

The reasons for buying property vary widely from one person to another. It is therefore extremely important to discuss your individual needs with your real estate broker before visiting a property.

Before making an appointment with your real estate broker, draw up a list of the factors important to you and determine your individual needs such as locality, price, type of property, number of bedrooms, surroundings, public utilities, and so on.

Check with your financial institution to find out how much you can afford to carry as a mortgage and have the loan amount preauthorized. When will come the time to look for the best mortgage opportunity, i will be really there for you with my multiple great quality contact.

Talk to me,

Once you have analysed your individual needs, talk to your neighbourhood broker. If you are moving out far from my working sector, I will be able to refer you to a professional  broker in the area of interest to you.

Checklist for visiting a property

Here is a checklist to use each time you visit a property. It will help you compare the various properties you visit and more easily come to a decision as to which property is best suited to your needs.

(Complete this form each time you visit)

View and print the form

You’ve found your dream house?

Remember to notify current service providers prior to moving and to take action as required when settling into your new location.

View and print the form

Expenses to allow for when signing before notary

  • Deposit to accompany Offer to Purchase
  • Tax redistribution and refunds:Refunds are calculated from the date of the signing of the deed of sale. You are responsible for reimbursing the seller for the number of days paid to date:
    1. Municipal taxes
    2. School taxes
  • Heating oil tank :The seller is required to have the tank filled on the day of the signing of the deed of sale and submit the invoice to the notary for reimbursement in full by the buyer.
  • Electricity meter (Hydro Québec)The buyer and the seller must notify Hydro Québec of the date the property is scheduled to change hands, have the meter read, and ensure that all amounts owing are properly allocated.
  • Homeowner insurance :Upon signing of the deed of sale, you must present proof that you have contracted homeowner’s insurance in an amount equal to or greater than the mortgage on the property.

Expenses to allow for after having signed the deed of sale

  • Land transfer or welcome tax :The municipality in which you settle will bill you within four (4) to six (6) months of the signing of the deed of sale in an amount based upon the selling price and scaled as follows:
    • 0.50 % of amounts up to $50,000
    • 1.00 % of amounts between $50,000 and $250,000
    • 1.50 % of amounts exceeding $250,000
  • Moving, painting, interior and exterior decoration, etc.

Moving more than 40km away?

People are increasingly having to move either because of new job opportunities or transfers (whether voluntary or not) to other locations.

If you’re facing a similar situation, you may be thinking about selling your current home and moving closer to your new workplace. And if that’s the case, there may be some great tax breaks you can take advantage of…

For starters, your real estate agent’s commission and all moving expenses may be 100% deductible from any future income earned in your new location. Let’s take a closer look at the rules.

According to federal and provincial tax laws, when a person moves to a new home because he is or will be employed in the new community or will be launching a business there, all eligible moving costs are tax-deductible – including the real-estate agent’s commission.

This is true as long as the new home – be it a house, apartment or condo – brings him at least 40 km closer to his full-time or parttime employment.

First time Buyers Plan

The best real estate program to help you become a homeowner!

The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) is a government program which allows first-time home buyers like you to gain financial autonomy. You can become happy homeowners while at the same time building a retirement fund within a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). A double advantage!

The best real estate program to help you become a homeowner!

The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) is a government program which allows first-time home buyers like you to gain financial autonomy. You can become happy homeowners while at the same time building a retirement fund within a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). A double advantage!

Is the HBP right for me? Of course!

And what’s more, while you’re fulfilling your dream of owning a home, you’ll also be getting income tax refunds worth thousands of dollars. For spouses who work, these refunds can be between $10,000 and $21,000, which is quite sufficient to purchase your first home. The HBP allows each taxpayer to withdraw up to $20,000, tax-free, from their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to purchase a home.

9 Traps to Avoid

Whatever angles are considered, the purchase of a house is a major investment in your life. For many buyers, it could be a process that will be more expensive than it should because many of them will get into it head first and will fall into traps such as:

  • Paying too much for the house they want;
  • Losing their dream house to the hands of another buyer;
  • And (this is the worst), buying a house that does not correspond to their needs.

Buying a house using a systematic approach will help you avoid falling into these frequent traps. Not only it will save you money but also you will buy the house that really meets your requirements. This rubric presents the 9 most common and expensive traps. It will inform you on how to identify them and how to avoid them.

9 Traps for the buyers

Buying blindly

What price should you offer when filling an offer to purchase? Is the asking price too high or does it seem to be a good investment? If you did not do any research on the market to assess the value of similar houses, you will make an offer blindly. Not knowing the market conditions might lead you to offer too much or you might miss an opportunity to make a competitive offer on a house that is a really good deal.

Buying the wrong house

What are you looking for in a house? A simple question that might lead to a complex answer. Too often, buyers get excited and overwhelmed when buying a new property and become an owner of a new house that ends up being too big or too small. Maybe the travel distance to work is too long or more important repairs than expected are needed. Take the time to define your needs and your expectations. Write everything down and use this list to assess each house you will visit.

Legal Problems

Make sure that you will obtain the irrefutable proof that the sellers own the house right from the beginning of the negotiation process. Make sure also that the house is not mortgaged and free of any other type of legal lien and that a title search will be performed. The last thing you need to discover is that there is a legal hypothec on the house or other type of priority lien, or you find out there are other owners in the picture or leases were already granted.

Non-compliant designation

In your offer to purchase, make sure you request a current certificate of location that describes accurately the limits of the property. If this document is not the exact reproduction of the actual reality, for example, if the expansion of the balcony or the addition of the pool is not there, this certificate will not be accepted by the bank. Be very clear and firm on these issues.

Repairs not mentioned

Don’t expect the seller will provide you with a comprehensive list of everything that needs to be verified or repaired. You as well as the seller expect to maximize the investment. Make sure you perform a thorough inspection of the house quite early in the process. Consider hiring an independent inspector who will examine the house objectively and ensure the purchase contract is conditional to the results of the inspection. The contract should include in detail all the elements of the house and all the required repairs.

Not being pre-qualified

A pre-qualified mortgage is fast and easy to get. And free. When you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, you take the stress away while you shop and you feel more secure knowing that you will be ready to move when you’ll find your dream house.

Contract defaults

If a seller does not comply strictly to the contract by neglecting to do repairs he/she promised to do, or by changing the nature of the contract in any way, this can lead to the postponement of the signature. Agree on a compensation amount ahead of time if, for example, the repairs are not completed as expected. Prepare a list of items both parties agreed on and follow up closely on each of the items.

Hidden Costs

Make sure you identified and found all the costs resulting from the sale – small or big – as early in the process as you can. When a transaction is concluded, sometimes unexpected fees suddenly “appear” after the total amount has been established: discharges, contributions, etc. Ask the seller to indicate in writing the total costs and charges for which you are responsible.

Rush the signature

During this step, it is crucial you take your time and insist on analyzing all the documents the day before the signature. Make sure the documents reflect your understanding of the transaction perfectly, that nothing was added or removed. Is the interest rate exact? Everything has been covered? If you rush through it, you might end up in a dead end at the last minute and with no solution at hand, you might compromise the transaction.

11 Expenses to Expect

Whether you are considering buying your first house or are looking for a bigger one, there a many expenses over and above the purchase price that you need to plan for right from the moment you start looking for a house. These additional costs can take you by surprise and turn the signature of the contract into a nightmare if you are not well informed and prepared to deal with them.

Some of these costs are to be paid only once while others might be on a monthly or annual basis, and are over the ones you expected to pay. All these costs do not apply to all situations but it’s better to know what they are ahead of time in order to prepare a realistic and complete budget.

Remember that buying a house will constitute the central point of your financial situation.

Whether it’s your first, second or tenth house, several details must be considered all along the process. The last things you need are unplanned expenses that are revealed to you too late in the process, meaning at the moment of taking possession of your new house.

Read the list of the following items carefully and make sure you include everything in your budget while planning the purchase of a house.

The last things you need, are unplanned expenses revealed to you too late in the process, meaning at the moment of taking possession of your new house.

1. Evaluation fees

The lending institution will probably ask for the property evaluation of the house you wish to buy and you will have to pay these fees. The cost of such an evaluation varies from $175 to $400.

2. Taxes

According to the amount of cash you will put down, the lending institution might decide to add the amount of property taxes (municipal and school) to your mortgage payment. And even if you repay them to the actual owner as part of the notary adjustments, you will have to start immediately to pay them together with your mortgage payment to build a reserve for the next payment date.

3. Land surveying fees

When you buy an existing house (as opposed to a new one), the bank can require an updated version of the certificate of location. If your offer to purchase did not already include it as being the responsibility of the seller, you will have to pay fees ranging from $500 to $800 for such a document.

4. Insurance for the property

Home insurance covers the reconstruction of the property (replacement value) in case of destruction and covers the contents (theft and fire). Your lending institution will require proof of insurance before releasing the funds for the signature at the notary.

5. Legal fees

Even the simplest transaction must be duly signed at the notary and registered at the Publicity of Rights Office. Inform yourself about the fees charged by various notaries. Costs will vary based on the complexity of the file and the services offered by the notary.

6. Mortgage insurance fees

If you do not deposit the required minimum amount in cash to get a “conventional” loan from the bank you will have to pay an insurance premium. This premium represents from 0.5% to 3.5% of the total amount of the mortgage. Payments of the premium are usually added to your monthly payment.

7. Mortgage brokerage fees

A mortgage broker has the right to require to be compensated for analyzing various offers from lending institutions. However, it is important to “shop” since many brokers will offer this service for free because they are compensated by the lending institution.

8. Moving fees

The costs of professional moving companies average between $80 to $125 an hour for the truck and 3 men. The cost increases from 10 to 20% during the 1st of July period. If you plan to move over 40km away to your full-time or parttime employment, this move could be very smart!

9. Condo fees

The co-owners must pay monthly fees for the maintenance of common spaces, stairs, landscaping, snow removal, etc. These costs vary according to the property and the decisions of the co-property syndicate.

10. Infrastructures

It is important to know if a special tax relating to exceptional infrastructure expenses (sidewalks, aqueduct, sewers, paving) will apply to the property you’re interested in buying. These infrastructure fees might amount to thousands of dollars in addition to municipal taxes for a predetermined number of years.

11. Transfer tax and others

This tax applies evenly in all municipalities for the transfer of title to property, whether for a house or for land. Commonly referred to as a “welcome tax”, it must be paid within three months of the signature. In some municipalities and in some circumstances, a “green tax” can apply for an important expansion requiring a new cadastre.

Tennant

We all dream about owing our own house and stop paying a rent. If you are like most of tenants, you feel trapped in the walls of an apartment that you do not own. You feel helpless and you can’t see the day when you will buy your own house.

Regardless how long you have been a tenant or how difficult your financial situation seems, the truth is some little known information might help you make the move to change your status from a tenant to an owner. Thanks to the information, you will learn to:

  • Save money for your down payment
  • Stop giving money to your landlord
  • Stop wasting thousands of dollars in rent

6 little known facts that can help you buy your first house.

The problem most tenants face is certainly not their incapacity to meet their monthly payment. Everybody knows that this obligation has to be met the first day of the month. The problem is rather to accumulate enough capital to make the first deposit on a house.

Saving this amount of money is not as difficult as you might think if you know the six following facts.

  1. You can buy a house with much less cash than you think.Local or national programs (such as the First Time Home Buyer’s Program) exist to help access the real estate market. You can also qualify as a first time home buyer even if your spouse owned a house before, as long as your name was not registered as co-owner. Make sure your agent is well-informed and knowledgeable about the home buyer’s programs in order to offer you all the possibilities.
  2. You could get some help from your financial institution for your initial deposit and acquisition costs.Even if you don’t have the initial deposit available, if you don’t have debts and some net worth (like a fully paid car), your financial institution might lend you the funds for your initial deposit which would be secured by that asset.
  3. You might find a seller who can help youSome sellers might grant a second legal hypothec lien. In this case, the seller becomes more or less the lending institution. Instead of paying him/her the cash for the house, you pay monthly payments.
  4. You can create a cash deposit without incurring debtsBy borrowing money to invest in an RRSP until the required amount is achieved, you can benefit from a tax credit that you will use as cash. It is true that the money borrowed can be technically considered as a personal loan, but the monthly payment might be lower. Then, the money invested in the house and in the RRSP is yours.
  5. You can buy a house even if you have some credit issuesIf you can’t get the minimum amount in cash or provide security for a loan because your net worth is too low, lending institutions will still accept your mortgage request.
  6. You can, and you should, be pre-qualified for a mortgage loan before starting your researchThis is easy to do and will provide you with peace of mind when the time comes to buy a house. Mortgage brokers can help you obtain an approval in writing at no cost and with no obligation. This can even be done over the phone. Better than a verbal approval, written pre-qualification is like having cash in the bank account. You will receive a certificate that guarantees the amount of your mortgage loan; very useful when you finally find the house you were looking for.Consider asking a professional specialized in mortgage loans. Using his or her services can make the difference between obtaining a mortgage and remaining a tenant forever. Usually, there are no fees to obtain the information. Then why on earth would you continue to waste thousands of dollars in rent when you could take a few minutes with your agent to talk about your specific needs in order to stop renting an own a house.This conversation will not cost you anything. And of course, you should not feel obliged to buy a house at the moment you read these lines, but take the time to explore various opportunities, discover ways to own a house, imagine how informed and relaxed you will feel when the time comes to make this important decision.

Divorce

HOW TO AVOID COSTLY ERRORS RELATING TO THE HOUSE WHILE IN A MIDDLE OF A DIVORCE?

With divorce comes the weight of emotional difficulties and important financial decisions that need to be managed properly. One of the most important is the one relating to the house.

In the emotional turmoil and worries concerning the assets that divorce brings, you particularly need clear, precise and objective answers about your real estate wealth. The decision making process will be easier once you are informed of what can happen with the mortgage, taxes and all issues related to the house. The advice of a third party, neutral and well-informed will help you make rational decisions rather than emotional decisions.

The first question you might want to ask yourself is: “Do I want to continue living in the house?” Will your neighborhood be a source of comfort or painful memories? Do you prefer minimizing the disruption or moving to an area which would lead to a new beginning?

Only you can answer these questions, but regardless of the answers, the financial impact must be considered in the decision making process. What can you afford? Does your “new” budget allow you to keep the house? Can you re-open your mortgage to negotiate refinancing? Is it better to sell and buy something else? What can you buy with your new budget?

The goal of this document is to help you ask the right questions in order to make informed decisions that correspond to your new situation.

4 OPTIONS

It is important to understand the financial impact of each of these scenarios.

Sell the house and share the profits

Your main interest in this option is to maximize the selling price of the property. We can help you avoid the errors which owners often make in your situation, and which compromise the expected results. While you are trying to put some order in your situation, make sure you set the net profit you expect to earn. After the expenses related to the sale and after establishing how profits will be divided, what will be left? The division of profits might not be equal because the judgement of divorce might have set a different arrangement or the cash deposit was different or because the laws in effect related to family patrimony would influence the process.

Buy the portion of your spouse

If you have the intention of keeping the house, you will have to determine how you will honour your monthly obligations with one income. If you qualified for the mortgage with two incomes, it might be difficult to refinance with only your income.

Sell your portion to your spouse

If you leave, you can start over with some cash in your pocket. However, you have to know that the existing mortgage loan is still in effect and you will remain, with your spouse, because you both signed for the loan, jointly responsible. This responsibility towards the prior loan can prevent you from obtaining a mortgage if you buy another house even if in fact you are not legally the owner of the first house anymore.

Remain an owner

Some divorced couples will postpone the decision of the sale of the house for a certain time even if one of the spouses continues to live in the house. This situation will give you some breathing room and take away some worries, but requires vigilance given tax rules. Keep in mind that at the date of the sale, your situation relating to your income tax return might have changed.

When you decide to sell
If you and your spouse decide to sell the house, make sure you obtain the services of professionals to get the most from this important asset. Your differences must be put aside and you should get involved in the brokerage contract.

Testimonials

“We would like to take this opportunity to let you know how pleased we were with the professionalism and courtesy that we received from the Corbers during the purchase of our first home. Even though our case was a little complicated, the Corbers really served us with patience and understanding, they returned all our calls immediately, were always available for any requests, questions or advice, and always arrived at our meeting on-time. We felt that they represented both the vendors and ourselves equally, fairly, and professionally, and first and foremost always has a positive approach! We are very grateful for all of their hard work to make our dream come true.”
Karen and Josh
D.D.O, Québec



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