Real Estate involves either purchasing or selling a residential, commercial, institutional or industrial property. Sometimes there are real estate agents involved and sometime they are deal with by way of a private deal whereby the lawyer for the purchaser must draft the agreement of purchase and sale. I have been practicing for over 33 years, and during all those years I have made it a point to see the client personally as I find it is an important transaction that involves thousands of dollars and there are some financial liabilities as a result of the mortgage. I find it is important that you have the lawyer explain the transaction to you personally rather than simply delegating the task to a law clerk.
A distinction has to be made between a city property and a country property. For the most part city properties consist of the whole of a lot on a plan of subdivision and don’t require an abutting land search. On occasions, nonetheless such search must be conducted as failure to do so may result in the transaction being null and void. We don’t know if such search will be required until we are retained as a search of the property is conducted. For country properties, 99% of the time an abutting land search is required. The reason we must conduct such search is to ascertain if the vendor of the property retains abutting property and it so, the vendor must obtain a consent from the Committee of Adjustment, and if not the transaction is null and void.
As for commercial properties, one must make sure that the zoning permit the use of the subject property. Secondly when you sell or purchaser a commercial property, is it important that a provision be made for the HST and that the HST is over and above the purchase price. Failure to ascertain this will result in the vendor believing that he is receiving a certain amount for his property, when in fact 13% of the said amount needs to be remitted to the CRA.
If there is, or was a gas station in the area of the subject property at one time, you want to consider getting an environmental assessment done. There is two phases to an environmental assessment. Phase I is typically a research by someone that specializes in environmental matters that will ascertain the type of soil, and the use to the subject properties over the years. If there were properties in the area that were the cause for an environmental concern, the environmental consultant will recommend that we proceed to a Phase 2 assessment which involves some drilling on the subject property to ascertain if the property has environmental issues that need to be addressed.
For country properties one needs to be mindful about the well and septic septic system. It is highly recommended that not only that you check that the water is free of e-coli from the Porcupine Health Unit, but that you also test the water for its mineral content which is done through a laboratory in Sudbury. In particular you want to know if there are any heavy metals in the water. That cannot be ascertained by a simple test through the Porcupine Health Unit. An example of heavy metals is arsenic. I have seen instances where the Porcupine Health Unit determined the water was fit for human consumption because it was free of e-coli but it had a high concentration of arsenic that required a special filtration system to avoid the negative effect of such metal in the water. Also if we are dealing with a well you want to verify that the volume of water is sufficient to serve the needs of your household.
Also with country properties, you need to be mindful of the septic system. If you obtain a septic search or usage permit from the Porcupine Health Unit it only ascertains that when it was first installed, it met the specifications of the day. What you want to consider if there is a septic system, that the same is fully operational. In order to do you, it is necessary to have the septic tank emptied, and have someone with expertise in the area, to inspect the septic system to ascertain that the septic system is working properly.
At Suzanne Desrosiers Professional Corporation, we can assist you with your real estate needs. We would be happy to help you in this regard, and if you are presented with an offer, please feel free to contact the office as there is no charge to reviewing an agreement of purchase and sale.
Call for Suzanne Desrosiers or Florence Gonsalves at the office of Suzanne Desrosiers Professional Corporation at 705-268-6492 to find out more about how we can assist you.
Cochrane, Kapuskasing, Kirkland Lake, Temiskaming shores, Iroquois Falls, Gogama, Chapleau, Temagami First Nation, Mattagami First Nation, Wahgoshig First Nation, Constance Lake First Nation, Attawapiskat First Nation, Kashechewan First Nation, Fort Albany First Nation, Moose Cree First Nation, Taykwa Tagamou First Nation, Chapleau Cree First Nation and Missanabie First Nation, Brunswick House First Nation, Matachewan First Nation, Beaverhouse First Nation, Flying Post First Nation, all within the Province of Ontario.