Do your home­work

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

In On­tario, real es­tate sales­per­sons or bro­kers must be reg­is­tered with the Real Es­tate Coun­cil of On­tario (RECO). RECO ad­min­is­ters the Real Es­tate and Busi­ness Bro­kers Act, which reg­u­lates real es­tate bro­ker­ages, bro­kers and sales­per­sons.

A reg­is­tered real es­tate pro­fes­sional has de­posit in­sur­ance. This in­sur­ance pro­tects con­sumers from los­ing their de­posit money if the bro­ker­age or sales­per­son com­mits fraud or has fi­nan­cial trou­ble. In these cases, con­sumers may be cov­ered up to $100,000 per claim. This in­sur­ance is ad­min­is­tered by RECO.

Real­tors have met ed­u­ca­tional stan­dards set by RECO and must fol­low laws and a code of ethics. If you have a com­plaint about a bro­ker or sales­per­son, RECO will in­ves­ti­gate and take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion. Be­fore work­ing with a real es­tate agent or bro­ker:

Ask for ref­er­ences or rec­om­men­da­tions;

Con­firm that they are reg­is­tered by us­ing RECO’s reg­is­trant search;

Make sure you read and un­der­stand the con­tract you are sign­ing with them.

Choos­ing a builder

In On­tario, all builders must be reg­is­tered with Tar­ion War­ranty Cor­po­ra­tion. Tar­ion is re­spon­si­ble for en­forc­ing the On­tario New Home War­ranties Plan Act, which reg­u­lates new home­builders. Tar­ion also ad­min­is­ters a war­ranty pro­gram for newly-built homes. Builders must also en­rol a new home or con­do­minium with Tar­ion be­fore they be­gin con­struc­tion. Tar­ion in­ves­ti­gates illegal builders and ven­dors who are not reg­is­tered and/or do not en­rol new homes. Reg­is­tered builders have com­pleted tech­ni­cal tests based on the On­tario Build­ing Code and meet fi­nan­cial qual­i­fi­ca­tions set by Tar­ion. You should al­ways re­search a builder be­fore buy­ing a newly built home. You can use Tar­ion’s On­tario Builder Di­rec­tory to check:

If a builder is reg­is­tered with Tar­ion;

How many homes they have built and where these homes are;

If Tar­ion has had to re­solve war­ranty claims for a builder in the past 10 years.

If you buy a home from an un­reg­is­tered builder, you are putting your­self and your in­vest­ment at risk.

Illegal builders may not have enough tech­ni­cal knowl­edge to be reg­is­tered, may not meet Tar­ion’s fi­nan­cial qual­i­fi­ca­tions, are part of the un­der­ground econ­omy, and can be sub­ject to in­ves­ti­ga­tions and crim­i­nal charges. Con­tact Tar­ion if you have a com­plaint about a builder. Tar­ion does not in­spect homes to see if they meet On­tario’s Build­ing Code. Your mu­nic­i­pal­ity is re­spon­si­ble for en­forc­ing the Build­ing Code in your area.

War­ranty

When you buy a newly built home or condo in On­tario, it comes with a war­ranty. You are en­ti­tled to this war­ranty by law.

Newly built homes have oneyear, two-year and seven-year war­ranties. They cover bad work­man­ship, wa­ter pen­e­tra­tion and ma­jor struc­tural de­fects. The war­ranty also cov­ers de­layed clos­ing and de­posit pro­tec­tion. The war­ranty takes ef­fect on the date of pos­ses­sion. It stays in ef­fect even if the owner sells the house or condo unit be­fore the end of the war­ranty pe­riod. Cov­er­age may vary depend­ing on the type of home you buy. For ex­am­ple, homes built on ex­ist­ing foot­ings or foun­da­tions are not cov­ered.

Home in­spec­tion

A good home in­spec­tion help home buy­ers make in­formed de­ci­sions. In­spec­tors can help you un­der­stand a home’s con­di­tion. If you are selling your home, an in­spec­tion can help you de­ter­mine its value. A home in­spec­tion is an on-site, in-per- son ex­am­i­na­tion of a home’s con­di­tion and struc­ture. It is a vis­ual in­spec­tion of ma­jor el­e­ments and sys­tems, like the foun­da­tion, the elec­tri­cal and plumb­ing sys­tems, the at­tic ven­ti­la­tion and the roof. A home in­spec­tion is not a pass or fail test. It doesn’t as­sess if a home meets zon­ing or build­ing codes.

A home in­spec­tor will typ­i­cally ex­am­ine the foun­da­tion, doors and win­dows, roof, ex­te­rior walls, at­tics, plumb­ing and elec­tri­cal sys­tems, heat­ing and air con­di­tion­ing sys­tems, ceil­ings, walls and floors, in­su­la­tion, ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems, drainage away from build­ings, slopes and nat­u­ral veg­e­ta­tion, over­all as­sess­ment of struc­tural in­tegrity of the build­ing, com­mon ar­eas in a con­do­minium.

Home in­spec­tors com­plete a re­port of the prop­erty’s con­di­tion, as ob­served at the time of in­spec­tion. It will nor­mally show the con­di­tion of ev­ery ma­jor sys­tem and com­po­nent of the home, ar­eas or parts of a home that are un­safe, need to be re­paired or re­placed, or may need to be re­paired or re­placed in the near fu­ture, if some­thing is not work­ing prop­erly, is un­safe, or needs to be changed any ev­i­dence of past prob­lems.

Af­ter get­ting the re­sults of a home in­spec­tion, a buyer may de­cide to ask the seller to make cer­tain re­pairs, ac­cept a de­fect and deal with its con­se­quences, ask for a price ad­just­ment, not buy the home. Some sellers may have an in­spec­tion done be­fore selling a home. Although see­ing a cur­rent in­spec­tion re­port can be help­ful, buy­ers should have their own home in­spec­tion done too. It is im­por­tant for a home buyer to be present dur­ing an in­spec­tion. This gives them a chance to ask ques­tions and see any is­sues first hand. You should also keep in mind that in­spec­tors can­not see ev­ery­thing. For ex­am­ple, they may not find mould nor be able to be able to in­spect a roof that is cov­ered with snow.

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