Buying a home is a very exciting and interesting journey, that you hope will result in a happy ending. Yet, did you miss important details when buying your home?
You’ve done your homework to pay a respectable price for the property. You scheduled the pre-possession walk through, making sure all is in order before handing over the cash. You even made sure there wasn’t any developments going on in the green space across the street. Did that cover everything…. you wonder.
Now what if I told you there are a few details that mustn’t be left out to improve your chances of that happy ending? These are details that often get missed during the offer process. Luckily your lawyer brought it up at closing…. Although this information is best to know before you proceed with the purchase. It’s found in the title instruments.
I received a call from my brother in Winnipeg this morning asking about the documents related to his home purchase he made about 10 years ago. Specifically he was asking about his title to the land.
The day before he had a conversation with a colleague of his discussing the different items on his title. His colleague found a caveat on title that he wasn’t aware of.
My brother has a home built in 1918 and has been renovating it ever since he bought it… or so it seems. So of course my brother is now concerned about what’s on his title that might affect him.
The title to the property is a provincial document showing who has the right to the property. Within this document are the title instruments that are registered on the title that relate to the property that you must be aware of.
Within the document you’ll find the legal description, type of ownership, and the owners of the title. Make sure this is correct. Following this information are details placed on title by the municipality, the lender, the builder and other parties. These are the instruments on title and have details within them that pertain to your property. They’re in the form of an encumbrance, lien, caveat or some other interest.
If there is an instrument on there by the municipality, many times it relates to a utility right of way, airport path restrictions, or an encroachment. The lender will list any loan you have with them that your property is used as collateral, such as mortgage or line of credit. The builder will also have instruments on title that inform you of required roofing, fence height or type, and colours of the house you can have. Other items on title have details about the home owner’s association (HOA) fees. Also, a contractor will have a lien on the property if completed work has not being paid.
Builders are restricting the look of the area and the homes more so than in the past. This is to keep that look and feel of the area they developed. Although, just because you have a home from the early 1900’s doesn’t mean that you won’t have those same restrictions. Communities that want to maintain a historical look will also have restrictions on title.
You can see how important it is to know about the details in title instruments. They are there to communicate the restrictions you have when owning your property. Please take the time to understand these instruments within the condition phase of buying a property. You don’t want to make plans to renovate your property only to find out you can’t because of information you had access to.
If you can’t find your title or the details of the instruments, visit the provincial land titles office to get a copy. I pay $10 per document, so it shouldn’t be much more than that.
If you have any questions about buying a home please feel free to contact me. Take care!