If you are purchasing from a developer, there are several issues to consider. If the purchase contract has been prepared by the builder or developer, then make sure you read it carefully. You may wish to have us review this contract on your behalf before you even sign it. This may result in an additional fee. Some issues to address in the contract are as follows. Does the contract allow for seasonal holdbacks? Does it allow for holdbacks for any items that are not completed? Does the contract include landscaping and grading? Is there new home warranty coverage and in particular is there deposit coverage? Is this a situation where you must make progress payments? If so, does the builder’s schedule of payments match the schedule of payments your mortgage lender is willing to provide?
Many newer subdivisions require a landscape deposit. This deposit is held by the developer and is refunded to the homeowner upon completion of certain minimum landscaping requirements. If you are buying directly from a developer make sure you ask about this issue. If you are buying a house that was completed within the last 2 to 5 years, ask the seller about the status of the landscaping deposit. If the landscaping has not been completed, the deposit may still be in place and you may still be required to complete certain landscaping requirements after you purchase the property. The landscaping deposit must be assigned from the seller to you so that you will obtain the refund when the landscaping is complete and this should be stated in the REPC. The amount of the deposit is typically added to the purchase price of the property.
Municipal bylaws require certain lot grading standards. These ensure that melting snow and rain drain away from your property and away from the neighbor’s buildings. When purchasing a house from a builder or developer or a house that was completed in the last 5 years, you or your realtor should enquire about the status of the lot grading. If the owner has not obtained a Lot Grading Certificate, you will be required to complete this task. You may purchase the property only to find your enjoyment is interrupted by notice from the city requiring you to complete certain lot grading requirements.
Soon after your deal closes, we send you a preliminary report. This is usually done within two to three weeks of the closing. The report will include a Copy of Title showing you as the new registered owner. We will also include copies of other relevant documents such as the Real Property Report in the case of a house or the Estoppel Certificate in the case of a condominium. If the previous owner had a mortgage on title, it will still show up on the title sent to you with the preliminary report. It can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months before we receive an updated title from the seller’s lawyer showing the discharge of the seller’s mortgage or other registrations. Once we receive the updated title, we will provide both you and your mortgage lender with a copy.
Many newer areas in Edmonton will have a Restrictive Covenant registered against the title to the property. Before you plan any major changes to your property, make sure you understand what this Restrictive Covenant requires. These are typically put in place to ensure that there is a certain uniformity amongst all houses in a neighborhood. This prevents your neighbor from making some radical change to the exterior of their house that will decrease the value of all the neighboring properties. It also prevents you from doing the same thing and may require certain minimum standards such as the quality of your roofing material.