Real Estate

It’s nearly property season, do you know where your birth certificate is?

If you are planning on buying or selling a property sometime soon you should take a minute to make sure you know exactly where your birth certificate is.

In New Brunswick all property transactions have to be registered with birth certificate names, and your lawyer is required to have actually seen your birth certificate to confirm that they are following this rule.

If you can’t find your birth certificate, and you were born in New Brunswick, you can easily request one from Service New Brunswick. You’ll probably want to start by visiting  This Service New Brunswick website sets out what information you’ll need to make your request, how much it will cost and how to make your request in person or online.

If you have any questions about the birth certificate requirement or property law in general, please get in touch, we’d be happy to help. 

Buying A House – A Primer

Looking to shed some light on purchasing a home? Here's a primer on the process that should help. 

Looking to shed some light on purchasing a home? Here's a primer on the process that should help. 

If you are about to buy your first home, or it has been a while since you last purchased, here is a summary of what to expect.

This is likely the largest purchase you have ever made. Take your time, do your homework and get advice from those knowledgeable in the field.  A good realtor can help to educate you on what is available, for what price, and point out features that may affect your ability to sell the property in the future.  They will also prepare an offer when you find what you are looking for.  Your realtor will be paid by the seller.

Your mortgage broker or banker can get you “pre-approved” so you will know your price range.  Better to get the needed information ahead of time to prevent any surprises related to your financial situation from causing delays (or scuttling the deal) when you have located a potential home.

Your lawyer can review the offer before it is accepted and becomes a contract.  The agreement of purchase and sale typically has some fairly standard small print, but also a number of blanks for other items to be filled in.  It will also contain “conditions”, which are there for your protection.  For example, the deal is typically conditional upon you being approved for financing (any pre-approval you might have is a helpful first step, but it will still depend upon things like the bank being satisfied that the home has a sufficient appraised value in relation to the purchase price), upon a satisfactory home inspection, and upon there being clear title to the property.

Once the offer is accepted, your lawyer will await confirmation that the financing has been approved and the results of any home inspection are acceptable.  If issues with the condition of the home are uncovered, your realtor should assist you in negotiating a reduction in the purchase price, or adding a requirement that the seller repair or replace certain things, or putting an end to the deal.  The law is “buyer beware”, so careful inspection is required even if a property condition disclosure statement has been provided by the seller.

When all conditions have been satisfied or waived, your lawyer will search title, communicate with the seller’s lawyer, receive mortgage instructions from your lender, prepare mortgage documents for your signature.  Your lawyer will meet with you prior to closing  to review and sign mortgage and other documents, and receive funds from you that are required to close.

On the day you pay for the home and get the right to move in, known as “closing”, your lawyer will receive mortgage funds from your lender, meet with the seller’s lawyer to exchange documents and funds, and then let you know the home is yours.  Make sure you check with your lawyer before arranging a time for movers to arrive, or for any service providers to get access to your new home.

Following closing your lawyer will send a report to you and to the lender, so you will have copies of relevant documents for your file. 

For more information, please contact us.

Real Estate Transaction Costs

Purchasing a home? If so, there are a couple added costs you should be aware of. 

Purchasing a home? If so, there are a couple added costs you should be aware of. 

Land Transfer Tax

One such cost is the tax associated with the transfer of the property, which needs to be paid on closing. The tax you will be required to pay is 1% of the higher of the assessed value (for provincial property tax purposes) and the actual purchase price.

However, there are some situations where this tax does not need to be paid, referred to as exemptions. Examples include where real property is transferred to a registered charity; or where marital property is transferred by a married person to his spouse, or by a married person to himself and his spouse.

Your lawyer will be able to assist you in determining whether you qualify for an exemption.

Title Insurance or Survey

Another cost associated with purchasing a home is title insurance or a survey. If you are going to have a mortgage on the property, your lender will require either title insurance or an up-to-date survey. Note that some lending institutions only accept title insurance. The actual cost of title insurance will depend upon the purchase price. In comparison to title insurance, a survey is more expensive but has advantages: it will show features such as any survey markers found, distance from the foundation to the limits of the lot and any encroachments.

Due to the high volume of property transactions conducted here at McMath Law we receive a discounted rate when we purchase title insurance, which savings we are happy to pass along to our clients.

For more information relating to the costs that are associated with purchasing a home, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Stephanie Rushton, Student-at-Law