There are several steps you can take to save time and money when purchasing a home in Winnipeg. Here are five things you need to know when buying a home:
- Understand closing costs.
In most cases, your lawyer will collect the balance of the purchase price, fees, and disbursements up front, directly from you. If you are buying and selling at the same time, you may need to arrange bridge loan financing with your lender.
Closing costs are explained in more detail in this article.
- Secure your home insurance.
An insurance binder is a one-page document that proves that you have placed insurance on the property. Your lender will require you to have an insurance policy in place prior to possession. Ensure that your insurer has sent your “insurance binder” to your lawyer at least three days before possession. The “loss payable” must be your mortgage lender.
- Arrange financing two weeks prior to your possession date.
Once loan documents have been signed with your mortgage specialist, your lender will send mortgage instructions to your lawyer. Your lawyer can only move forward with your deal after they have mortgage instructions. A delay in mortgage instructions could result in additional rush fees. If your lawyer receives mortgage instructions early, it will be much easier for you to schedule an appointment at a convenient time, and you will save money on legal fees.
- Choose your lender carefully.
From credit unions, to banks, to broker-channel lenders, there are a wide array of institutions who will lend you funds to buy your home. Shop around, not just for your interest rate, but also for less obvious but equally important terms such as pre-payment privileges and penalties, renewal fees, and front-end servicing fees. You may want to specifically ask if additional documentation will need to be signed with your lawyer. Law firms will often charge additional fees on home purchases where significant additional paperwork is required. Remember that you will be dealing with your lender for the full term of your loan, and early experiences may be a telling sign.
- Be available to pick up keys.
Depending on the specifics of your transaction, you may need to pick up the keys to your new home on the business day before the possession date. Make sure you are available to swing by your lawyer’s office during regular office hours, or that you have made alternate arrangements for key pick up.
Being well-prepared and well-informed on all aspects of your purchase is key. Make sure you have a trusted team of professionals to guide you through the process.
If you have any questions, or wish to inquire about our real estate services, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 204-977-1706 ext. 8, and we would be more than happy to help you.
Davis Johnson is a legal assistant at Wolseley Law LLP who works primarily in the area of real estate.