Regulator of Ontario’s new home building industry, Tarion Warranty Corporation has introduced a number of program changes which will benefit consumers, including lower enrolment fees and better disclosure of extra charges in builder sales agreements.
By law, every agreement of purchase and sale for a new home or condominium must contain a lengthy disclosure statement called an addendum. Tarion has now introduced a new schedule to be added to every addendum, called Schedule B.
Schedule B became optional for builders on July 1st, and on October 1st it will become mandatory for all homes and condominium projects where the first purchase agreement is signed on or after that date.
There will be two parts to the schedule. Part I will contain an itemized list of all charges, fees or other adjustments to the final purchase price or balance payable on closing, where the dollar value is set out in the builder’s agreement of purchase and sale.
Charges listed in this section may be items such as the Tarion enrolment fee (which has now been reduced by $150), a charge for holding the purchaser’s deposits in trust, a fee to discharge the builder’s construction financing and a fixed charge to subsidize the builder’s legal fees.
Part II of the new schedule will set out all additional charges, fees or other anticipated adjustments to the final purchase price, which are to be calculated after the purchase agreement is signed, according to the written terms of the agreement.
For condominium purchases, charges in this section may include items such as:
- The unit’s proportionate share of the cost of installation of gas, hydro, sewers and water service and meters in the project,
- Any new / increase in taxes, levies or development charges imposed on the unit by any level of government after the agreement was signed (such as parks and other municipal charges, education or transit development charges)
- A portion of the costs associated with a development agreement entered into with the city,
- HST on the value of the appliances included with the unit,
- Interest on the balance of the purchase price until final closing,
- A portion of the building’s first common elements study.
Each charge will be referenced to the relevant text in the purchase agreement so buyers can determine whether it is unlimited or capped at a particular amount.
Your real estate agent should be limiting the charges on your behalf, however, assembling all the open-ended charges in one place will also alert purchasers to the additional financial risks involved in signing the pre-construction agreement.
Another significant change to the Tarion warranty came into effect on July 1st. It affects all new houses sold after that date and all condominium units where the first purchase agreement in the project was signed after that date.
A new definition of “major structural defect” has been implemented by regulation. The warranty program now protects purchasers against a defect in work or materials if it results in a failure of a structural load-bearing element, or adversely affects the use of the building for the usual and ordinary purposes of a residential dwelling.
Breakdown of mechanical equipment like a furnace, where the builder has no control over its manufacture or ongoing functionality, will now rest solely with the manufacturer, either through the original warranty or ongoing service contracts.
More information can be obtained here: http://www.tarion.com/Pages/New-Policies-in-Effect-July-1st-2012.aspx
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Ashley Lo | Real Estate Advice, Real Estate Solutions
E Condos is located in one of Toronto’s most sought after locations – Yonge & Eglinton. This mid-town condominium project will have direct access to subway and with the expansion of the much-anticipated Eglinton Crosstown below grade LRT, there will soon be another added convenience to the east-west transit link. This project is just steps to the Yonge / Eglinton Centre, an energetic entertainment/shopping complex with movie theatres, bookstore, supermarket and shops.
Contact me today for VIP access to prices & floorplans of this highly anticipated project!
Development Name: E Condos
Developers: Bazis Inc., Metropia and RioCan
Address: 8 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto, M4R 2H1
Estimated Completion: 2017
Number of Buildings: 2
Storeys: 64, 44
Architect: R. Varacalli Architect
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$5,000 upon signing the Agreement of Purchase and Sale
When looking to purchase a condominium, there are essentially two choices – resale or pre-construction. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, however when buying new, there are some details you should be aware of that differ from a typical resale.
Unlike When buying resale where you could have a down payment as low as 5%, buying directly from the builder requires a minimum down payment of typically 20-25%. This may seem like a lot, especially for first time buyers, but this may be an advantage as there will not be additional CMHC loan premium insurance costs and this will reduce your monthly mortgage payment. In addition, the deposit is paid in installments, so it does allow for some time to save. A payment schedule could look like this:
Balance of 5% in 30 days
5% in 120 days
5% in 350 days
5% at occupancy (see below)
Development and educational levies ($500-$6000)
TARION Warranty enrolment fee ($900-$1200)
Utility hook-up fees ($1000-$2000)
Misc. fees (law society of Ontario, discharge of builder’s mortgage, etc.) ($200-$500)
Assignment fees (if you sell before final closing, or ‘flip’ your unit) ($3000)
Occupancy fees (see below)
TIP: Your Realtor may be able to negotiate a better deposit structure for you.
10-day Cooling Period
By-law in Ontario, anyone who buys a new property from a builder has a 10-day cooling off period, during which they can rescind their offer with no penalty. This also allows time to do 2 things: 1) have your Agreement of Purchase and Sale reviewed by a real estate lawyer, and 2) obtain a mortgage approval for your purchase to satisfy the builder’s requirements.
TIP: Sometimes lenders work with specific builders to offer special rates and incentives.
When you buy pre-construction, there are some additional closing costs that you do not incur when buying resale. Estimates are hard to make because they vary by developer, but averages are outlined below:
TIP: some of these closing costs can be capped at a maximum figure so it’s important to have Realtor and a lawyer who are experienced in pre-construction condos on your side to help you negotiate these terms with the builder.
When buying new, there is usually a short period of time between when occupy the condo and when you actually receive title to your condo, known as the occupancy period. During this time, you must pay the developer for the right to occupy the suite. The amount of the occupancy fees is more or less equivalent to interest on the amount outstanding on the purchase price + monthly property taxes + condo fees. You will only pay occupancy fees until your final closing, where you begin paying for your mortgage, but you will never have to pay both at the same time.
Learn more about Occupancy & Interim Closing
TIP: to minimize your occupancy fees, buy as high up into the building as possible. Buildings take occupancy from the ground up, therefore the higher your suite is in the building, the shorter your occupancy period will be.
Final closing when the building is finally registered and your occupancy period is over. This is when your mortgage payments begin and you officially own your unit. You can choose to put down additional funds on your condo if you want to have more than the typical 20-25% that most builders require.
TIP: remember that you can shop around for the best mortgage rate right up until final closing, so even if you obtained an approval during your 10-day cooling off period. You can even choose a different lender if you like. That is, your initial pre-approval will satisfy your credit worthiness to the builder, but you can always get another pre-approval from an alternative lender up until you close.
Ashley Lo | Real Estate Advice, Real Estate Solutions
NEW LOFT STYLE CONDO COMING TO QUEEN WEST – PRE REGISTER NOW AND SAVE
THE CARNABY AT QUEEN ST W & GLADSTONE
Streetcar Developments is proud to present their latest real estate offering on Queen St. W, on the corner of Gladstone and Queen St. The Carnaby’s eclectic, high-energy lifestyle perfectly exemplifies Streetcar’s motto: Rethinking. Urban Living. The loft residence will comprise 20 storeys of one bedroom, one bedroom plus den and two bedroom suites starting in the low $200’s.
THE CARNABY: WHERE MODERN LIFE MEETS VINTAGE INSPIRATION
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Contact Me for VIP PRCING AND INCENTIVES!!!
Cash back for Clients
$2,000 for Jr. 1 bdrm
$3,000 for 1 bdrm
$4,000 for 1+den and Jr. 2 bdrm
$5,000 for 2 bdrm and 3 bdrm
Assignment fees reduced to $500 (regular $4,500!!)
Superb deposit structure allows 20% in 18 months!
$5,000 on signing with balance of 5% in 30 days
5% in 90 days
180 270 days
365 540 days
5% on Occupancy
PARKING reduced to $60,000 (regular $69,000) only available for suites 800 sqft+
Occupancy anticipted November 2016
FEATURES, FINISHES and AMENITIES
The features and finishes are what youexpect for a building of this calibre and luxury. They include:
Fitness and Weight rooms on 9th– 10th flrs
Piano Bar / Cocktail Lounge
Party Room with catering kitchen and diningroom
10th Flr roof garden
SUITE finishes include:
~9’ smooth ceilings
Engineered Laminate flooring throughout
Euro-style appliances with 4-burner glasscook-top, integrated fridge, dishwasher and free-standing microwave oven,stacked washer/dryer
Granite/composite stone countertops
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