Insurance, Inspection & Financing
Buying a home may be the biggest investment of your life. We want to make sure you are fully protected and that you don’t buy a “lemon”.
When buying a property that has insurance concerns such as knob and tube wiring, asbestos, vermiculite insulation, etc., a buyer must consider the insurability of the home. We will verify the relevant facts before submitting an offer so you are not stuck holding the bag filled with unforeseen costs in order to satisfy the insurance company.
When you purchase real estate, it is crucial that you obtain the property with clear ownership or “good title.” Title insurance provides assurance that the property is unencumbered and if a title related issue should arise the insurer will be there to provide legal advice and assistance, providing you total piece of mind.
A title insurance policy protects you against loss that could result from many potential defects that may be in your title. The policy guarantees you will never suffer loss from those defects.
Examples of claims may include:
- Defects that would have been divulged if one had an up-to-date survey
- Errors on a survey or illegibility of survey
- Any present encroachments and easements (before or after closing)
- Contravention of municipal zoning by-laws
- An old lien from a prior owner that was never properly dealt with
- Priority of certain construction liens
- Priority of unregistered easements and rights of way
- Solicitor error, omission or fraud
- Unpaid property taxes or local municipal charges by a prior owner
- Someone claiming they still have rights to your property
- Forged signatures or other frauds that may have occurred in the chain of title
- Mental incompetence of one of the signing parties
Properties that are not thoroughly inspected beforehand could reveal major undisclosed problems down the road that can be very expensive to remedy. Doing a home inspection can protect you by ensuring you do not buy a home with hidden problems. There are two ways to arrange an inspection:
If the property you are considering has a date set for offers, we can arrange for a home inspector to come in before that date so we can submit an unconditional offer. We would not want you to spend time and money for a home inspection if your chances of procuring the house are not high. We will advise you of your chances based on the price you are willing to pay and whether your terms might be favorable to the seller.
Sometimes the seller provides the buyer with a pre-list home inspection. We would only recommend you rely on this report if the inspection was conducted by a reputable home inspection company and that they stand by their report even though you didn’t hire them.
The other option is to make an offer conditional on a home inspection that makes it null and void unless you are fully satisfied with the findings of the report. We will also specify a time limit for you to perform the inspection which could range from 2 to 4 days. This method would only be advisable if there are no other offers on the property.
A qualified home inspector will examine the home thoroughly from top to bottom weather permitting (roof that is covered with snow cannot be assessed, air conditioners in the winter months cannot be turned on). The inspector will examine the basement for moisture and structural defects, mold, heating and cooling systems, plumbing and electrical systems, roof, boiler or furnace, attic, windows, foundation, retaining walls, garage etc. The inspector will itemize short and long-term expenses, help you prioritize them, and explain the level of maintenance needed to keep the house in good repair.
We will accompany you during the home inspection and interpret things for you if necessary, follow up on any questions or clarification the inspector may have of the seller, go over the report with you to make sure it is clear and hold your hand throughout the process.
Before we even start the search process you should meet with a financial institution to pre-qualify for a mortgage which will determine how much you can afford to spend on your new home. If you wish, we can refer you to our mortgage specialists who offer highly competitive rates.
If we are making an offer in competition with other buyers for the same house, making the offer conditional on financing will put you at a serious disadvantage. The seller will give priority to a firm offer before they consider any that are conditional.
If we are not competing with any other buyer then, only if absolutely necessary, we can make the offer conditional for about 2 to 4 days dependent upon you obtaining suitable financing. Conditional offers, regardless of whether or not it is the only offer, carry less weight than firm offers and the seller is less likely to show flexibility with the price with a conditional offer.
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