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Legal issues that could arise when buying your first home

by | Apr 27, 2021 | Real Estate |

Buying a house is exciting, but it can also be frustrating and intimidating – particularly for first-time buyers. Add in an incredibly competitive housing market, and the process of attempting to buy a house becomes even more stressful.

Unfortunately, buyers can wind up facing even more stress when purchasing a home if they run into the following common legal issues.

Failure to disclose

In Canada, property sellers disclose certain information to prospective buyers in a Property Disclosure Statement. They must provide an honest, accurate statement regarding matters like water intrusion, patent defects and structural damage.

If a seller fails to disclose known issues about the home, they could ultimately be liable for any damages stemming from the failed disclosure.

Title defects

A title with a defect refers to an issue that prevents a buyer from taking legal ownership of a property. If a property does have a defective title, buyers could experience losses related to correcting the problem.

Some examples include errors in a survey, forgery, encroachment and additional claims of ownership. Correcting these defects can be costly and inconvenient. Thus, potential homeowners often consider title insurance, which covers financial losses and the legal expense of restoring the title.

Contractual disputes

Every real estate transaction in Canada must be in writing in the form of a purchase agreement. These are legally binding contracts that specify several terms and conditions of the sale. Typically, parties can expect to see the price, description of the property, special arrangements, and other standard legal clauses in these agreements.

Parties should not take lightly the importance of reviewing and negotiating the terms in these contracts to know what they are agreeing to. Whether you do so yourself or work with a lawyer, scrutinizing a contract before finalizing the transaction will be crucial.

When you are looking to buy your first house, it is easy to get swept up in the competition to make the winning bid on a property. However, “winning” could come at a cost if you run into these issues and do not address them adequately. Thus, legal guidance throughout the process can be vital.

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