A Dedicated Real Estate Team
At Prudent Law, we have in-depth experience working with clients on a full range of real estate transactions. We have locations conveniently located in the heart of Mississauga, allowing us to serve a significant portion of the GTA with ease. Unlike other firms that treat real estate as an afterthought, we have a dedicated team of highly skilled real estate professionals. This means that we thoroughly review every aspect of each transaction we handle, providing clients with the assurance of knowing their matter is receiving the attention it deserves.
Extensive Experience in Unique Real Estate Transactions
The real estate lawyers at Prudent Law have assisted with countless residential and commercial purchases and sales. Further, we have particular experience in specialty transactions requiring the consideration of unique factors, such as hotel and gas station purchases. Our knowledgeable real estate team provides first-rate service for clients in the following areas:
- Residential Real Estate;
- Commercial & Industrial Real Estate;
- Commercial & Industrial Leasing;
- Hotel Purchases & Sales;
- Gas Station Purchases & Sales;
- Real Estate Litigation; and
- Private Lending.
A Destination Firm for Private Loan Transactions
We have become a premier firm for private lenders looking to finance real property purchases in Mississauga and throughout southwestern Ontario, as well as borrowers looking for alternative lenders. In 2019 alone, we helped to facilitate over $100 million in private mortgage transactions. We are also able to work quickly, arranging a mortgage in as little as four hours, while ensuring our clients are fully protected with a valid and biding mortgage on title.
Thorough and Affordable Services for First Time Homebuyers
We are an ideal firm for first-time homebuyers. We provide professional and knowledgeable advice on all aspects of a transaction, being careful to take the time to explain each step as we go. Our real estate services are affordable, and we have a dedicated real estate team who can carry out a transaction on a rush basis if necessary while ensuring all due diligence is executed with care. We will review all available government programs set up to assist first-time buyers with costs and tax-savings to ensure our clients maximize their benefits in this regard.
Dedicated and Experienced Residential Real Estate Lawyers in Mississauga
The purchase or sale of a home or a recreational property such as a cottage is one of the largest transactions most people will make in their lifetimes. Given the significance of the financial investment at stake, these transactions demand extreme care and diligence. Too often, residential real estate transactions are handled in a factory line fashion, with administrative staff overseeing a deal from start to finish with almost zero input from a trained real estate lawyer. With this type of approach, details can be missed and end up costing a party significantly down the road.
At Prudent Law, we have a dedicated team of real estate lawyers who make it their priority to personally oversee each transaction in detail. Our lawyers and administrative staff work closely to ensure every aspect of the transaction, including potential pitfalls, are identified and managed from the start in order to prevent surprises or delays later on.
When buying or selling a property, there are a number of issues to consider including the property’s title, ownership structure, existing mortgages and other encumbrances. Some properties require specialized attention due to the type or location of the property. Our team conducts thorough searches on every property to confirm there are no outstanding issues requiring attention, including:
- Title, including any registered encumbrances, restrictions or mortgages
- Zoning, by-law and building code compliance for a second unit, if applicable
- Surveys, easements and property line concerns
- Municipal services
- Concerns relating to recreational or remote properties, such as water supply and septic systems
Walking First-Time Homebuyers Through the Process from Start to Finish
The lawyers at Prudent Law understand the nerves involved when someone is purchasing their first home. We are careful to walk first-time homebuyers through each step of the process, to be sure they have no outstanding questions or concerns. Clients appreciate the level of detail and attention they receive from our lawyers and staff, which is why so many return to us to handle their future transactions. They know we excel at the fine details relating to a real estate transaction, and they appreciate the level of service and communication we provide.
At which point should I engage a real estate lawyer when I’m buying or selling a home?
People tend to wait until an Agreement of Purchase and Sale is signed and legally binding before they think about retaining a lawyer to manage the transaction for them. However, we recommend starting your working relationship with your lawyer before an offer is even made on the property. Whether you’re the buyer or the seller, an experienced real estate lawyer can help to ensure that the Agreement of Purchase and Sale contains specific clauses intended to protect your interests. Further, they will ensure you are fully aware your rights and obligations under the contract before you commit to signing.
How does the provincial land transfer tax rebate work, and who is qualified to receive it?
The Ontario Land Transfer Tax Rebate program enables first-time homebuyers to receive a rebate of a portion of the land transfer tax associated with buying their first home. To qualify, a homebuyer must:
- Be at least 18 years of age;
- They cannot have owned a home or an interest in a home anywhere in the world; and
- If the buyer has a spouse, their spouse cannot have owned a home or an interest in a home anywhere in world while they were the buyer’s spouse.
The rebate applies to both new construction homes as well as resale properties. The rebate can be claimed instantly by registering the claim at the time of the purchase. The maximum rebate amount is $4,000.00, and the rebate will be reduced if one or more of the buyers do not qualify under the eligibility rules. For example, if you are purchasing the home with another person who does not qualify for the rebate, the maximum rebate amount will be halved, to $2,000.00.
The amount of land transfer tax payable increases along with the value of the property. If you qualify for the full amount of the rebate ($4,000), this means you will not pay land transfer tax on the first $368,000.00 of the home’s costs.
For properties located within Toronto, Municipal Land Transfer Tax is also payable, and there is a similar rebate program available for qualified buyers.
What is title insurance, and do I need to purchase it?
Title insurance protects the owner(s) of real property by insuring them against unforeseen defects in the property’s title. The insurance represents a one-time cost added onto your legal fees, however the protection lasts as long as you remain on title to the property.
Title insurance can help cover the costs of fixing title defects including unknown liens against the property, conflicting ownership interests, encroachment issues, and more. Once a defect is discovered, it often must be corrected before the property can be sold. Depending on the nature of the defect, the cost to fix it can be considerable.
In addition to protecting the property owners, it also protects the mortgage lender should a costly issue arise with respect to title. In fact, some lenders will make obtaining title insurance a mandatory condition of the mortgage.
If your lender has not required you to obtain title insurance, it remains an optional part of your closing transaction. However, given the relatively small cost upfront, the peace of mind it will provide often makes purchasing a policy worthwhile.
How can I get out of a signed Agreement of Purchase & Sale?
Once an Agreement of Purchase and Sale is signed and no longer subject to conditions, it represents a binding legal contract. If you are unsure about the purchase, we advise you not to sign the Agreement until you’re certain. If a party backs out of a real estate transaction after the contract is in place, they may find themselves labile to the other party for a significant amount of money. For example, if you agree to purchase a home for $1,000,000 and then walk away a month later, the seller may not be able to get the same amount for the house again. If, after making a reasonable effort, they manage to sell the home for $850,000, you could be on the hook to pay the sellers the difference in price.
Similarly, if you are selling a property and back out after the contract is in place, the buyer may not be able to find a similar property for the same value. In those cases, a court is likely to award financial damages against you, in favour of the buyer. In some cases where a property is especially unique, the court may order a remedy called specific performance, whereby you would be ordered to complete your end of the contract as originally planned.
What is the difference between joint tenancy and tenants in common?
Joint tenancy and tenants in common are means of taking title to a property. Joint tenancy, commonly used by married couples and common-law spouses, creates joint ownership over 100% of the property. As joint tenants, neither party can sell or mortgage the property without the other party’s consent. Further, joint tenancy creates a right of survivorship if one owner were to pass away. This means that if a couple jointly owns a home and the husband dies, his share of the property would, by right, transfer to his spouse.
Tenants in common, on the other hand, allows multiple parties to each own a specified share of a property. Two people can own a property 50/50, or one person can own 99% of the property while the other owns the remaining 1%. Each party is free to do what they choose with their share of the property. There is also no right of survivorship for tenants in common, allowing each owner to bequeath their share to the beneficiaries of their estate or gift it to others during their lifetime. This type of ownership can be especially helpful for parties looking to purchase an investment property together or families looking to share a recreational property, such as a cottage.
Contact Prudent Law in Mississauga for Exceptional Oversight of Your Residential Real Estate Purchase or Sale
The real estate lawyers at Prudent Law are dedicated to ensuring their clients’ interests are protected from the moment they become involved with a transaction. They regularly assist clients with a variety of issues relating to residential real estate matters, including:
- Recreational Properties
- Mortgages & Private Financing
- Real Estate Litigation
Contact Prudent Law in Mississauga for Skilled Guidance Through Your Real Estate Transaction
Prudent Law has considerable experience working on all types of real estate transactions for purchasers, sellers, lenders and borrowers. With offices conveniently located in downtown Mississauga, we are poised to assist clients located throughout southwestern Ontario. If you have an upcoming property transaction you’d like to discuss with one of our experienced real estate lawyers, please call us at 905-361-9789 or contact us online.