New Year, New House – Your Guide to a Smooth Home Buying Process

young couple happy to move into new home

The New Year brings in new beginnings and resolutions. One such resolution that most of us have is to buy a new house, but the process can be daunting. Purchasing a home is an important decision, and it requires careful planning and expertise. Buying a house is not just about finding the right home; it’s about making the right financial decisions that will set you up for a secure future. In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about buying a house.

First Things First – Financial Planning

Before exploring the housing market, you need to analyze your finances. This involves understanding your income, expenditure, credit score, and debt. It’s best to break down your expenses and see how much of your income you can devote to home buying. It’s recommended to aim for a down payment of at least 20% of the home’s value. However, you may take advantage of first-time home buyer incentives for a lower down payment amount. A good credit score will not only assure you of loan approval but also help you secure a better interest rate. Be sure to get pre-approved for a loan before house hunting to know the amount you can afford.

House Hunting – Research and Due Diligence

House hunting can be an exciting experience, but it’s important to be realistic. Before searching, decide on the location, property size, and style that you prefer. Research the market trends and compare prices to avoid overpaying. Visit multiple homes and take note of details that may affect your future living experiences – neighbourhood, proximity to amenities, crime rate, schools, etc. While a home can look picture-perfect, it’s important to have a home inspection done to uncover any underlying problems.

Financing – The Options Available

Financing a home can be a daunting task, but there are several options available. The traditional method is to go through a mortgage lender, where you borrow money to purchase the house and pay it back with interest over a set period. Weigh the pros and cons of each before making a decision. You may want to reach out to a mortgage broker for assistance in evaluating all your lending options, understand borrowing trends and interest rates.

Closing the Deal – Legal Formalities

Closing on a house involves a lot of paperwork and legal formalities. This involves verifying the seller’s title to the property, settling fees, finalizing the mortgage agreement, and clearing any contingencies. Before signing any agreement, it’s important to have a real estate lawyer review the clauses and ensure that all conditions are favourable. Closing can take time and patience, so it’s best to stay on top of deadlines and have answers to any questions you may have.

Moving In – Setting Up Your New Home

Congratulations on closing the deal! This is a momentous occasion and marks the start of a new chapter in your life. Now it’s time to set up your new home. This involves packing, transporting, and unpacking your belongings. It’s an excellent time to set up utilities, such as electricity, gas, and water, and to get familiar with your new community. Be sure to organize everything to avoid any unnecessary stress.

Buying a house can seem like a daunting task, but by taking the proper steps, it can be a life-changing and rewarding experience. Ensure that you analyze your finances first, research the market, and explore various financing options. Review every legal document with a real estate lawyer before signing and close the deal on time. Finally, make your new house a home by staying organized and settling in comfortably.

We hope this blog post has given you a better understanding of what to expect when buying a house. Best of luck in your house hunting and remember to take it one step at a time.

When it’s time to look for a real estate lawyer to assist you with the legal closing of your transaction, reach out to us and we would love to help!

Completing Your New Home Purchase

Congratulations on your recent Real Estate purchase! Buying a home is an exciting time, to ensure closing your property goes smoothly there are some important matters to attend to prior to your possession date.


If you are placing a new mortgage on your newly purchased home, it is important to ensure that all conditions of the mortgage are satisfied promptly. In the event these conditions are not met in a timely manner, interest costs may be incurred or possession may be delayed until all conditions are met to the satisfaction of the lender. 

If you are purchasing your new home with proceeds sourced from the sale of an existing property, and the possession of your new home is on or before the date for the possession of the property that you are selling, it may be necessary to arrange “bridge” financing. Your mortgage broker will be able to arrange this for you. 

Don’t forget to book your appointment 1-2 weeks prior to your closing date.


It is important to properly budget for legal fees as part of your closing costs. Ensure your lawyer is open with you about what fees are, and are not, included in the fee quoted, as well as what ‘surprise’ charges you may incur

At Summit Legal Group we strive to deliver the best possible legal service for reasonable and competitive fees. To avoid any unpleasant ‘surprise’ charges, we offer flat rate legal fees for Real Estate transactions which are inclusive of all regular disbursements and GST where applicable.

Included in our basic fees are the following:

  • Receipt of conveyancing and mortgage instructions;

  • Order Title and Tax searches;

  • Comprehensive review of existing Land Title;

  • Preparation of relevant transfer and mortgage documents;

  • Contact and meet with you to review and execute all documents;

  • Submission of executed documents to Land Titles office for registration;

  • Receipt and review of registered documents;

  • Receipt and forwarding of trust funds;

  • Forwarding of reports to you and your mortgage company.

If your transaction poses unexpected and extra time consuming difficulties, additional costs may result. Usually, such difficulties include Real Property Report non-compliance issues, such as encroachments or development permit applications. Title insurance may be required by your lender with associated costs.

YOUR APPOINTMENT (1-2 Weeks Prior to Close)

Once your lawyer has received all necessary documentation from you, your realtor and mortgage company, they will schedule your signing appointment. Any cash shortfall, funds required in addition to your initial deposit and mortgage proceeds will be due at this time.


Release of Keys:

On the day of possession, your real estate agent may offer a walk-through of your new home to ensure it is in good condition. Keys will be provided to you at this time. If you discover any significant damage to the property, I strongly recommend that you contact your lawyer immediately to discuss legal remedies.


You will need to arrange connection of the various utilities and related services by contacting the relevant providers of cable, electricity, gas, telephone, television, water and sewer. You may also wish to have your mail redirected to your new address.


To arrange for the appropriate insurance to be placed on the home your insurance company will require the date of possession, legal description of your property and an ownership description.

Property Taxes and Community Association Fees:

Your lawyer will adjust all real property taxes, community association fees and condo fees (if any), as of your possession date. If you wish to register for the monthly Tax Instalment Payment Plan (T.I.P.P.) with the City of Calgary, you may do so by calling 311 or 403.234.7480 or by requesting a T.I.P.P. application online via


It is likely that the purchase contract required the seller to provide a current Real Property Report to the buyer. The Real Property Report is a one-page survey of the lands, indicating the legal boundaries and any improvements on the land including the home, decks, air conditioning units and fences. We strongly recommend that you store this document in a safe place, as you may need it in the future should you decide to sell or refinance your home.