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December 2021- Important Questions To Ask A Real Estate Lawyer When Buying or Selling A Property

Real estate lawyer calgary

We already discussed the importance of having real estate lawyers assisting you when selling or buying a property. Not only you will have a better sense of confidence that you’re doing the right thing, but you will also have significantly less stress before moving to your new home. 

But how do you achieve such status with your lawyers in Calgary? How to establish the so-needed trust to ensure that your purchase goes smoothly? 

Hiring a lawyer is not a set-in-stone process. Some people will get along well with one or another kind of lawyer, so don’t be afraid of scheduling multiple meetings with different attorneys. To get it right the first time, though, you must really ask a few essential questions, both about the lawyer’s services and your real estate needs.

Doing so can lead to the best results in your case, so here are a few of them.

Lawyer Fees and Disbursements 

For many, knowing how your lawyer will be compensated and how much will cost you is the most important question. Having all of the lawyer fees laid out for you beforehand can help you shape your expectations, and will clarify the kind of process that you are about to go through, since most lawyers also charge extra fees for disbursements.

That is, you should inquire your lawyer about their fees and then ask what each of them means if you have any doubts. By doing so, you can compare the fees of different lawyers and choose the one that fits your budget the most. 

Fees from Calgary real estate lawyers do not tend to vary a lot. In Alberta, the average starter fee is about $ 800 plus taxes, and that does not include the potential disbursements that you will have to pay extra—the average for those varies much more depending on your household needs, and you may have to pay a significant amount.

On the same topic, you should also ask your lawyer about the expected disbursements for your case. When buying a property, Title Insurance and Property Insurance are obligations that, together, may cost you from $1,000 to $2,000, and can be a surprise if you are not aware of them from the beginning.

Mortgage Rates

For the inexperienced or first-time buyer, mortgage rates can be a puzzle, and you should use your time with your lawyer to ask about it.

Before setting to buy real estate, you must be sure of your budget and prepare yourself to pay for your expenses. This is the most important part of buying a house, and your mortgage is going to be an inevitable compromise you must be ready to take. 

Mortgage rates, however, can be settled differently for each person, and asking your lawyer which option is best for you, is essential.

Fixed interest rates, for example, will stay the same for the length of your contract and will not surprise you with a sudden increase in your bills, but they are usually higher than other options, thus being more expensive. 

On the other hand, if you choose a variable interest rate, you can expect to pay a little less, but may be caught in a tough spot if the rate increases too much in the future. 

In any case, talking to your lawyer about it and taking the time to understand your options is a smart move, especially considering that your lawyer has the expertise to understand the market.

Rent Restrictions

If you plan to rent your current place to help you pay for a new one, you should also ask your lawyer about it. Some places, especially apartment buildings, will have restrictions that may affect your plans. To protect yourself, you should make sure that your current home can sustain tenants properly. 

Your lawyer can guide you through the basics of renting out your home, such as implementing pet restrictions, opening for viewings, how much you should charge for rent, and how to deal with the maintenance of your unit while other people are living there.

Although it is not likely that you won’t be able to rent your property, doing so still requires an extra care on your part, as it is not as simple as it may seem. You have to evaluate if it is to your benefit to sell the entire place as you move out, or if it is worth it to keep it as another source of income for a few years.

Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer about your options to outline a better strategy for yourself along the way.

Zoning Restrictions 

When moving to a new home, you should inquire your lawyer about zoning restrictions if you have any plans that may affect the neighbourhood—from starting a small business in your yard to making significant changes to your home—especially if you are going to build a house from scratch.

Not everyone is aware that some districts have their own regulations, and some end up buying properties without the knowledge that they may not be able to alter the land or building in the way they wanted. This is most common regarding balconies, pools, higher floors, gardens and smaller houses in the backyard. 

As soon as you start your search for your new home, or if you suddenly want to make changes to your current space, you should schedule a consultation with your lawyer and ask them for assistance. 

No matter your situation and needs, your lawyer is there to help you. Be honest with them, and don’t be afraid of asking questions or showing up with a list of doubts that you may have. Being proactive only serves to establish a better relationship with your lawyer, and will save you from unnecessary stress along the way. 

From the first meeting on, it is always a good idea to speak openly to your lawyer.

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