- What type of legal representative do I need to complete the purchase of my home?
British Columbians are some of the lucky few in Canada who have a choice when it comes to selecting their legal representative to complete their purchase, sale, or refinance transaction. They have the choice between a lawyer and a B.C. notary public.
Both lawyers and notaries can assist in several aspects of the home buying process such as complex paperwork and legal contracts, overall their main goal is to make you aware of special considerations and assist you with the closing process. For a more in-depth understanding of what each roll entails, read Lawyer vs. Notary Public: What’s the Difference.
- What is Property Transfer Tax?
If you’re a first time buyer in British Columbia and you’re purchasing a property under $500,000, there’s no property transfer tax. Between $500,001 and $524,999 you may be eligible for an exemption of the property transfer tax on a sliding scale.
There is also an exemption on newly built homes up to $750,000, with a sliding scale of reduced property transfer tax up to $799,999.
However, if this is not your first home and it is not a new build, you’ll be paying one percent on the first $200,000, and then two percent on the portion of fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000. So, on a $600,000 house, you’re looking at $10,000 property transfer tax. If this cost is an issue for you, we do have some cash back mortgage options to assist with the payment, provided you qualify.
- What makes up closing costs?
There may be closing costs customary or unique to a certain locality, but closing costs are usually made up of the following:
- Lawyer/Notary fees
- Property taxes/Levees and fees
- Interest adjustment (paid from closing to 30 days before first monthly payment)
- Title insurance
- Homeowner’s insurance policy (plus fire and flood insurance if applicable)
- Any documentation preparation fees
- What happens prior to closing day?
At Auxilium we will thoroughly review your file 14 days before you take possession of your new property to ensure that your file is in order. During this time we will also make sure that your lawyer or notary has received instructions from us in order to ensure that your mortgage closes on time, without problems.
Around a week before your closing date you will need to meet with your lawyer or notary to sign the mortgage papers. Prior to the appointment, you must ensure that the following items are taken care of:
- The balance of your down payment funds must be accessible, as you will need to provide the lawyer/notary with a certified cheque to cover the down payment and other closing costs. Your lawyer or notary will contact you in advance with these details.
- House insurance with the loss payable to your chosen lender must be arranged.
- Have read the lawyer’s/notary’s paraphrased documents prior to your meeting as they are lengthy and you will not have time to read them while in their office
When meeting with your lawyer or notary, you'll present your paid homeowner's insurance policy or a binder and receipt showing that the premium has been paid. The closing agent will then list the money you owe the seller (remainder of down payment, prepaid taxes, utilities, etc.) and then the money the seller owes you (unpaid taxes and prepaid rent, if applicable). The seller will provide proofs of any inspection, warranties, etc.
Once you're sure you understand all the documentation, you'll sign the mortgage, agreeing that if you don't make payments the lender is entitled to sell your property and apply the sale price against the amount you owe plus expenses. You'll also sign a mortgage note, promising to repay the loan.
- What can I expect to happen on closing day?
On closing day, your lawyer or notary will be in contact with your lender to ensure they are being funded. Once the money is received, they will begin the process of transferring the money to the appropriate parties, and registering the title in your name if you are purchasing. The lawyer or notary will work to inform you of their progress on that day, and in most cases transactions are completed by midafternoon.
The Auxilium Team offers a complimentary consultation to start your home buying process; contact us today at 250-590-6520 (toll-free 1-855-590-6520). You can also visit us at 307 Goldstream Avenue during regular business hours. We can arrange an appointment at our Fort Street office, or evenings or weekends, to work with you.