FAQs

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Q:

What does "Fee Simple" mean?

A:

In case you are wondering about our name, an "Estate in Fee Simple" is the legal term to describe the highest right of ownership in property in Canada.  We thought that "Fee Simple" would be a fun play on words and a great name for a law firm that focuses on real estate law, charges set fees, and makes things simple.

Q:

I'm thinking of buying a house.  What should I do first?

A:

Congratulations on taking your first step towards home ownership!  One of the first steps is to meet with a mortgage professional to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan.  Once you have been pre-approved and you have your down payment funds saved, you can begin searching for your new home.  In addition, it is helpful to contact our office as early as possible in the process so that we can help provide you with guidance along the way.  Among many things, we can review your purchase contract with you so there are no surprises.  What's better is that this is all part of our standard fees as outlined on our website.

Q:

What costs should I expect when buying a property?

A:

In addition to the purchase price for your new property, you should plan for additional costs related to the purchase transaction.  These include things such as property tax adjustments, condo fee adjustments, lender fees, legal fees and related disbursements.  Depending on the circumstances, there may be other costs as well.  Contact our office and we would be happy to discuss whether any additional costs might apply to you.  As a general rule, you should expect these additional costs to total approximately 1% to 1.5% of the purchase price of the property.

Q:

What costs should I expect when selling a property?

A:

Depending on your circumstances, you can expect to pay real estate commissions, a property tax adjustment, a pre-payment penalty on your mortgage, an updated Real Property Report, legal fees and related disbursements.

Q:

What is a property tax adjustment?

A:

Although property taxes are generally payable sometime between June and August (depending on the municipality), they apply to the calendar year of January to December.  When you are buying or selling a property we do a calculation in order to ensure that you are only paying for the property taxes for the portion of the year that you will own the property and that the other party will pay their portion.  We will review this with you when you come to our office, as this can be a bit tricky, depending on the time of year you purchase and when the property taxes are due.  However, we ensure that you pay only for the taxes you are responsible for while you legally own the property.

Q:

What is an "RPR"?

A:

A Real Property Report ("RPR") is like a map of your property that is prepared by a Land Surveyor which shows where the house, garage, shed, fence, etc. are located.  This document is very important as most Offers to Purchase state that the Vendor must provide a current RPR along with a letter from the municipality confirming by-law compliance.  If you are selling your property, please let our office know immediately if you already have an RPR in your possession, or if we will need to order a new one on your behalf.  If you already have an RPR, it is important that we review this document with you as soon as possible in order to avoid any possible issues or delays.

Q:

What are "Disbursements"?

A:

Disbursements are third party expenses that are your responsibility but a law firm pays on your behalf.  They include things such as Land Titles searches, registration fees at Land Titles, property tax searches, courier charges, long distance charges, photocopying charges, fax charges etc. Because these expenses are not controlled by the law firm, they are payable by you in addition to the legal fees that a law firm charges.