If you’re in the market to buy a new home, you’ll want to enlist the services of a real estate lawyer to help complete the purchase. Real estate lawyers help in various ways, including conducting a title search, securing title insurance, registering the home, drawing up a Statement of Adjustments, and ensuring that the financial transaction takes place on closing day.
Selling a house can be a stressful situation, and when the time comes, an experienced real estate lawyer can make all the difference. A real estate lawyer helps by performing a title search to ensure there aren’t any defects, drafting the deed for the buyer, calculating closing costs, drafting a Statement of Adjustments, and on closing day, they will make sure the transaction takes place.
There are any number of reasons for refinancing a mortgage (ie. consolidating debt, home renovations, securing a better rate or term, etc.) and it is crucial that you have a skilled real estate lawyer to help you understand your obligations and liabilities under the mortgage. It’s also not uncommon for a real estate lawyer to help you save money when refinancing your mortgage.
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Buying or selling a home is likely the most significant financial transaction you will make in your life and it’s important to choose a real estate lawyer with a proven track record. We have closed hundreds of sales and would love to help you as well.
Are you an existing home owner curious about what your land transfer tax will be? Check out our helpful calculator to see how much you’ll pay.
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|Purchase Price of Home||Land Title Transfer Fee||First-time Homebuyer Rebate|
|Up to and including $55,000||0.5%||Full tax rebate|
|$55,000.01 to $250,000.00||1.0%||Full tax rebate|
|$250,000.01 to $368,333||1.5%||Full tax rebate|
|$368,334 to $400,000.00||1.5%||$4,000 tax rebate|
|$400,000.00 to $2,000,000.00||2.0%||$4,000 tax rebate|
|Over $2,000,000.00||2.5%||$4,000 tax rebate|
Calculation of Land Transfer Tax is determined by the Land Transfer Tax Act (LTTA). The LTTA scheme for Land Transfer Tax consists of marginal brackets that are used to calculate the amount of Land Transfer Tax owing on each transaction of a purchase of a home. First-time homebuyers are eligible for a full tax rebate up to $4,000. Please see below for details on the eligibility criteria for the first-time homebuyer’s rebate. The tax rates for Land Transfer Tax are as follows:
EXAMPLE OF LAND TRANSFER TAX CALCULATION
For a purchase of property that is in the amount of $400,000:
- multiply $55,000 by 0.5% (55,000 × 0.005) = $275
- multiply the amount exceeding $55,000 up to $250,000 by 1.0% (195,000 × 0.01) = $1,950
- multiply the amount exceeding $250,000 up to $400,000 by 1.5% (150,000 × 0.015) = $2,250.
Total land transfer tax payable = $4,475.
If first-time home buyer, then total land transfer tax payable (4,475 – 4000) = $475
- You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
- You must be 18 years or older.
- You must occupy the home within 9 months of purchase.
- You cannot have owned a home or interest in a home anywhere in the world.
- Your spouse cannot have owned a home while being your spouse (but may be a previous home owner).
- If the home is newly constructed, it must be eligible for home warranty.
- Home buyers must apply for the refund within 18 months of purchase.
A very important consideration when purchasing a home, which most home-buyers are unaware of, is figuring out how you wish to take title to your home. The significance of this measure cannot be underestimated as this impacts your estate planning. As per Ontario law, there are three types of arrangements through which title can be acquired in a purchased home:
(1) Joint Tenancy
(2) Tenancy in Common
(3) Registered Owner
Under this type of arrangement, two or more people acquire title in equal proportions(each 100%) to a home. When one person dies, his/her title is passed on to the surviving title holders. In legal terms, this is known as a “right of survivorship.” In colloquial terms, one can call it the “right of the last person standing.” What is important to note here, for the purposes of estate planning, is that the deceased person’s title automaticallypasses onto the surviving titleholders by law, and there is no additional need to specify this in a will. The last surviving title holder (the last person standing) acquires the title of all deceased titleholders and he/she can then control how the property is distributed after his/her death through a will.
For example, let’s say A, B, and C acquired title by Joint Tenancy in a home they purchased together. Several years later, A passes away. A’s title automatically passes on to B and C upon his death. Some time later B passes away. C has now acquired title of both A and B. This makes C the absolute titleholder and she can now decide to pass on the property to her son X after she dies through a will.
Tenancy in Common
Tenancy in Common allows two or more people to acquire title (not necessarily in equal proportions) in a property. Unlike the Joint Tenancy however, there is no right of survivorship. Under the Tenancy in Common arrangement, each person acquires a pre-determined portion of title in the property (for example 50% and 50%, or 60% and 40%) and they get to control what happens to their portion of the title upon their death. In other words, the deceased person’s title remains in their control even after death and does not automatically pass on to surviving titleholders. Each titleholder can determine, through a will, what happens to their respective portion of title after their demise. They can also wish to sell their portion of title during their lifetime.
For example, let’s say A, B and C each acquired 1/3 title as tenants in common to a property they purchased together. Several years later B died and had left a will behind. According to B’s will, she wished to pass on her full title in the purchased property to her only son X. Thus, the titleholders of the property are now A, C, and X with each having a 1/3 title to the property.
As the name implies, the registered owner is the sole titleholder to a property. They can choose how they wish to deal with their property during their lifetime or after their death through a will.
The following formula is used to calculate the amount owing on the client’s trust ledger statement:
Total purchase price
Legal fees, disbursements
Total amount advanced by the bank
(Statement of Adjustments) Credits to Purchaser/Vendor
Amount Client Advances