Ashley Lo | Real Estate Solutions

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Understanding Condo Occupancy and Registration

When buying a pre-construction condo, it can be quite confusing as it is more complicated than a regular resale condominium. There are a couple of different phases that the building must go through before final closing. A ‘condominium’ is not technically formed until it completes and passes all approvals with the Land Registry Office. Only when the building is finally ‘registered’ that the title of your unit will be transferred you.

Once the interior of the building is complete, a number of inspections and approvals also occur at this time by firstly the municipal council, then the regional planning department, and on to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Affairs. These checks and balances are in place to ensure that the building upholds what is stipulated in the draft plan and Condominium Declaration. Once all parties agree that all the requirements have been met, the registration is complete.

When approvals are complete on a municipal level, an ‘occupancy certificate’ is issued. Owners will have a chance to do a PDI (Pre-Delivery Inspection) in the unit and report any deficiencies. Residents will begin occupying the units in phases and depending on your floor, this could take anywhere from 3 months to a year. This is known as ‘interim occupancy’, the period between the occupancy date and when the condominium is registered.

Since the vendor still owns suites during the occupancy period, you will be required to start paying ‘occupancy fees’ which is the interest on the balance owed to the builder (based on a one-year Bank of Canada mortgage rate), your estimated share of maintenance, as well as annual taxes.

There are also interim closing costs to consider including outstanding deposit amounts plus adjustments, occupancy fees, any upgrades, and enrollment of your suite to with TARION Warranty. You must have your homeowner’s insurance in place and arrange for your utility hook-ups at this time as well. Since you cannot obtain a mortgage until you receive title and it is difficult to predict the length of the occupancy period, you must ensure that you have enough savings preceeding the ‘final closing’.

A couple of months before the closing, you will be notified to secure your mortgage as rules and rates may have changed. When the building finally registers, it will take a couple of weeks for a final closing date, in which the balance of your purchase price will be due (where your mortgage kicks in!). Additional closing costs will also include but are not limited to, the land transfer tax, development charges, and legal fees.

Purchasing a new condominium is very exciting and has many benefits including increased value of your unit even before you take possession! However, it is important to understand the entire process very clearly to ensure a smooth transaction. Make sure you obtain a knowledgeable and trustworthy real estate agent to help guide your through this process.

Contact me if you have questions regarding real estate!

Ashley Lo | Real Estate Advice, Real Estate Solutions


Why you should be a homeowner or landlord

Are you currently renting? We’ll show you how feasible it is to buy your own home, and why you may be better off purchasing instead!


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Real estate is a scary investment! But we’re here to ease your fears. Whether you’re currently looking to purchase your first home or looking to invest, we will be there every step of the way to guide you and answer all of your questions!

Stay tuned for seminar details!! Contact me for more information or to be notified of upcoming events.



17 Things to Know About Closing Your House Deal

Source: http://www.moneyville.ca/article/1041152–17-things-to-know-about-closing-your-house-dea

Closing day in a house deal is a milestone for both the seller and the buyer. To make it go smoothly, it is very important that both buyer and the seller are properly prepared.


Here’s a checklist if you are selling:


  1. Make sure you have given your lawyer a copy of any deed, mortgage, survey and current property tax bills. You should have received these from your lawyer when you bought the house.


  2. Do not cancel your household insurance policy until you have heard that the deal has closed. Also, if you are moving out more than 30 days before closing, you need to notify your insurer that the home will be vacant. This way, you will still be covered if anything happens in the home up to the closing date.


  3. You will visit your lawyer a few days before closing to sign the papers. Make sure you give one set of keys to give to your lawyer, which will be passed on to buyer’s lawyer at closing.


  4. If you are a non-resident of Canada, you must obtain a certificate from Canada Revenue Agency regarding any income tax payable, or else the buyer will be holding back 25 per cent of the sale price until you do get it. Non-resident means you have not lived in Canada at least 183 total days in the past year before the closing day. This can take up to two months so let your lawyer know right away so that the proper application can be filed.


  5. Have all your utility meters read on the day of closing. That way you will only be responsible for your share of utilities. Also notify your cable and telephone provider so that your service can be disconnected. If your house is heated with an oil tank, you need to make arrangements to fill the tank on the closing day.


  6. Cancel any pre-authorized or postdated cheques at your bank, to make sure you don’t pay for anything after closing.


  7. As you have to be out of the property when it closes, arrange to move out before 5 p.m.



Here’s a checklist if you are buying:


  1. Schedule your pre-closing visit shortly before closing, so that you can conduct your final inspection to make sure that the home is in the same condition as when you signed the offer.


  2. Arrange moving time late in the afternoon, as that is likely when the seller will have moved out. If it is a condominium, and you need use of the elevator, contact the management company well in advance of closing to reserve the elevator.


  3. Fire insurance must be arranged for the full replacement cost of the home. If it is a condominium, you need a policy to protect your contents and liability. Do not leave this to the last minute.


  4. If you are arranging a mortgage for less than 20 per cent down, the bank will be deducting certain costs, such as mortgage insurance, appraisal fees and HST. Find out early what all these deductions will be, as you will have to come up with any difference needed to close your deal. Make sure you have provided the lender with all required proof of income, or down payment well in advance so that it does not delay the money.


  5. Your lawyer will be receiving a statement of adjustments just before closing. This could add to your closing costs if the seller has prepaid some expenses, especially property taxes. Find out exactly what this is as it can add up to 0.5 per cent more to what you may owe.


  6. You will need to deliver, at least 2 days before closing, the balance of money needed for your lawyer to close the deal, by certified cheque, money order or bank draft.


  7. Let the lawyer know how you will be taking title to the property. If you take as joint tenants and one of you passes away, the other party immediately becomes the owner. If you take as tenants in common, you can transfer your interest to a beneficiary under your will.


  8. Tell your lawyer to order title insurance for you. This will protect your property against title defects, survey issues, work orders and frauds while you own the property.


  9. Arrange for your cable and telephone providers to install service on the day of closing or immediately after closing.


  10. Contact the utility companies, to make sure they read the meters on closing, so that you are only responsible for charges after you move in.



Being prepared in advance will ease the stress of closing day and hopefully begin the creation of happy memories for you and your family.