When do I get my Keys?

If you’ve got a ton of questions about buying your first home, you’re not alone. Join @RBC_Canada and a panel of 5 experts (including myself, @DavidLFeld!) for the #FirstHome Twitter chat, on June 26 from 9-10 pm. Get answers to your most complicated questions and a chance to win RBC Visa Gift Cards!

 

I am lucky because I get to meet a lot of people in a day.  A lot.  From nervous first time home buyers to ballin’ international investors in Lambos, we always get the same simple question – when do I get my keys?

 

There are legal answers and practical answers to this question.  The practical answer is that for 95% of the time, for resale properties, you can expect to pick up your keys at your lawyer’s office “some time” between 3:30 and 5:00 p.m. ON THE DAY of closing.  So make your MOVING PLANS ACCORDINGLY.

 

Legally, Agreements of Purchase and Sale say that vacant possession must be given to you by 6:00 p.m.  This is why we always give both answers.  So, the legal answer is that you have until 6:00 p.m. to receive your keys (and your new castle should be vacant at that time), but in reality you usually get them around 3:30 to 5:00 pm and can expect that the seller’s MIGHT still be in the property as you arrive.  To avoid the awkward OH SO YOU’RE THE NEW OWNER, OH SO YOU ARE THE GUYS THAT LIVED HERE moment you might want to SHOW UP ON THE LATER SIDE OF 5:00 P.M. AND BOOK MOVERS AND ELEVATORS ACCORDINGLY.

 

This post content is sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada, however the views and opinions expressed herein represent my own and not those of Royal Bank of Canada or any other party and do not constitute financial, legal or other advice.

What is a First Time Home Buyer?

If you’ve got a ton of questions about buying your first home, you’re not alone. Join @RBC_Canada and a panel of 5 experts (including myself, @DavidLFeld!) for the #FirstHome Twitter chat, on June 26 from 9-10 pm. Get answers to your most complicated questions and a chance to win RBC Visa Gift Cards!

 

 

One would think the term “First Time Home Buyer” (FTHB) can be simply defined.  Unfortunately, it is not.  The FTHB definition differs according to the program, CCRA HBP or Toronto Land Transfer Tax (LTT).

 

When discussing financing options with their mortgage specialist, buyers may consider withdrawing funds from their RRSP to put toward their down payment.  This can be done tax free under the Canada Revenue Agency Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) so long as certain conditions are met, including the requirement for the buyer to be a FTHB.  For the purposes of the HBP, a FTHB is a person who has NOT:

-          At any time during the period beginning January 1 of the fourth year before the year of the withdrawal and ending 31 days before the date of withdrawal, you or your spouse or common-law partner owned a home that you occupied as your principal place of residence.”

This means for the HBP, one can potentially be considered to be a FTHB every five years.  FTHBs under the HBP often take this to mean they are also eligible for the FTHB land transfer tax (LTT) rebates, which gives Toronto FTHBs an instant rebate of up to $5,725 off the LTT(MLTT + Provincial Land Transfer Tax PLTT combined).  That is not so.  In order to qualify for the LTT rebates, a FTHB is a person:

-          who has never owned a home ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD; and

-          whose spouse has not owned a home anywhere in the world while being the spouse of the FTHB 

o   The term “spouse” means married or in a common law relationship (continuously lived together for at least 3 years – or shorter if parents of a child).

See the difference?  For LTT rebate purposes, your FTHB status will never reset.  Also, for LTT rebate purposes, you will not be considered to be a FTHB if your spouse (married or common law) owned a home while being your spouse. 

It is entirely possible for one to be considered a FTHB for the purposes of the HBP, but not a FTHB for the purposes of LTT rebates.  Buyers are urged to consult an experienced mortgage specialist and real estate lawyer, lest they be shocked by having to pay more than anticipated. 

For more information on the Home Buyers’ Plan, including spousal eligibility, you can visit theCRA website. For more information on LTT, please visit the City of Toronto City of Toronto.

This post content is sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada, however the views and opinions expressed herein represent my own and not those of Royal Bank of Canada or any other party and do not constitute financial, legal or other advice.

 

New Build Condominium – Do You Get Interest On Your Deposits?

The short answer is ‘Yes … but’.  Section 82 of the Condominium Act (“Act”) legislates that the builder (also called the declarant) must pay you interest on any funds you have paid as a deposit towards your purchase.  This is great news for purchasers as we see more and more delays in the completion of new Toronto condominium projects and, as a result, builders holding purchaser deposits in trust for 3, 4, or 5 years and sometimes longer. Continue reading

Buying Real Estate – What is Title Insurance?

When we quote our all inclusive fee to a real estate purchaser and list the various items included – search fees, transfer fee, registration fee, title insurance, disbursements and HST – we are often asked ‘what is title insurance?’.  While title insurance is not a requirement in Ontario, as a firm, we purchase title insurance for every buyer as part of our services.  Here is a short summary of what title insurance is:

Continue reading

Buying Real Estate – Are you a First Time Home Buyer?

This question was much less confusing when I was a financial advisor at one of the big banks; however, as a real estate lawyer, I am explaining the first time home buyer (FTHB) rules to clients on a daily basis.  You see, the confusion lies in distinguishing between qualifying for the RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan versus qualifying for the Land Transfer Tax Rebate (provincial and municipal – if applicable).

Continue reading

Welcome to ‘F|K in the House’

Let us roll out the red carpet here and welcome you to the newest and most exciting legal blog (blawg for short) on the web – we call it ‘F|K in the House’.

 

We – David, Sonia and Jason – will primarily write about real estate law and wills & estates.  This blog will be the go to place on the web for real estate professionals, non-professionals and everyone in between.  Of course, you can also swing by and find posts that will surprise you, give you some insight into who we are and show you why Feld Kalia is a different kind of law firm – a breath of fresh air.

 

So, stop by often, read and peruse, make a comment or two, or send us an email.

 

We are thrilled to be blogging and we look forward to hearing from you.

 

‘Magic’ iPad proves popular with lawyers

Given the seemingly inescapable buzz surrounding Apple Inc.’s iPad, you probably don’t need it explained to you. It’s a tablet/slate computing device, it has a touch screen, no keyboard, and Apple CEO Steve Jobs calls it “magical.”

 

But what “magic” does it bring to a law practice?

 

Early adopters in the legal profession explain that magic in several ways.

 

“It doesn’t change the way I work,” says Toronto real estate attorney David Feld, “but it adds flexibility. It allows me to leave the office without really leaving.”

 

Download a .pdf version of this article here – Magic IPad


Luigi Benetton is a Toronto-based freelance writer, editor and trainer — visit his site at http://luigibenetton.com/

 

Going paperless at the office is possible with some astute planning, determination

If a clean desk is a clean mind, what do the papers on your desk say about your mind?

 

Increasingly, lawyers answer that question by replacing piles of paper with that most prominent of paperless-office machines, the scanner.

 

While critics argue that you’ll find paperless offices when you find paperless restrooms, the misnomer hasn’t prevented people from reducing the amount of paper they use, nor from sharing their experiences and lessons learned along the way.

 

Reducing the workload

Brock Smith, a partner in Clark Wilson LLP’s Technology and IP Group, finds traditional office copier-scanners cumbersome.

 

“They’re not mouse-driven, they’re all touch-screen,” he explains.

 

But the models in his office can perform all related tasks — optical character recognition (OCR), emailing, filing and so forth — as part of the scan operation. “You only have to deal with it once,” Smith says.

 

Download a .pdf version of this article here – Going Paperless


Luigi Benetton is a Toronto-based freelance writer, editor and trainer — visit his site at http://luigibenetton.com/

 

Updating to Windows 7 has perks, drawbacks

After years of galling “Hi, I’m a Mac — And I’m a PC” ads, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may want to make an ad out of the following anecdote:

 

Toronto real estate lawyer David Feld updated all 8 Vista PCs in his office to Windows 7, Microsoft’s latest operating system. Seeing how well the computers ran using Windows 7, he wiped the operating system from his Apple MacBook Air and installed Windows 7 on it as well.

 

“I’ve been using Macs for the last five years,” Feld says. “I believe Windows 7 wins.” A self-professed early adopter, Feld has nothing but praise for Windows 7. “It’s not crashy,” he explains. “It’s prettier, more fun to use — I’m trying hard to not say it’s more Mac-like — and it isn’t as daunting.”

 

This is the kind of news Ballmer and company crave after Vista, the previous version of Windows, earned Microsoft widespread scorn and disappointing sales. (Praise for Windows 7 has not echoed across the Internet the way criticism of Vista did, but after Vista, the relative quiet of Windows 7’s arrival must sound like good news to Microsoft.)

 

People in the legal industry, particularly those running older XP-based machines, may want to take note of certain improvements in Windows 7.

 

Download a .pdf version of this article here – Updating to Windows 7


Luigi Benetton is a Toronto-based freelance writer, editor and trainer — visit his site at http://luigibenetton.com/

 

Techno-savvy law firm shares secrets for success

How do you explain the techno-savvy — the understanding of both technology and its business value — that some lawyers instinctively
bring to their practices?

 

Maybe it’s found in their upbringing. David Feld’s entire family enjoyed computers, while Sonia Kalia introduced her family to computers when she was a teenager.

 

Today, “we’re considered the technology firm,” Feld says of Feld |Kalia Barristers & Solicitors, the real estate practice he and Kalia run. “We teach people how to use computers and gadgets on the side.” They also effectively put bits and bytes to work in their business.

 

Clients see technology in use whenever they visit the office. Given the fast-paced nature of residential real estate law, where files only stay open 30 to 60 days, the pair feel they have no choice. “Technology is the most helpful tool we have,” Kalia asserts.

 

“Transparency is the name of the game,” Feld offers as an explanation of the firm’s technology choices. He starts by explaining information on the firm’s web site, pointing to the search feature on the home page that lets people find information quickly.

 

Download a .pdf version of this article here – Techno Savvy Law Firm


Luigi Benetton is a Toronto-based freelance writer, editor and trainer — visit his site at http://luigibenetton.com/