Just bought a new home? What happens next?
Buyers are always asking: We just bought a new home, what happens after the sale is ‘final’? What do we need to do to ensure a successful and happy move? Let’s take a look: So let’s assume that your offer has been accepted, and all conditions, such as financing and home inspection, have been satisfied. The deal is DONE, and the home is yours. Possession date is about 2 months down the road. What do we need to do next?
Contact your lawyer
Odds are that your real estate agent has already forwarded the entire deal to your chosen lawyer. For now, just pick up the phone and call your lawyer and make sure that he/she knows that you just bought a new home. Your lawyer may ask you for more information, such as who your mortgage provider is, who your home insurance company is, etc.
Call your Mover
If you’re going to use a professional moving company, call them and arrange an estimate of the move. More reputable movers in Winnipeg will agree to give a written estimate, and perhaps even a guaranteed cost (if you chose to ask for that option). Careful here….. any hobo with a flatbed can call himself a Mover and there are a lot of fly-by-nite outfits around. For a referral to a reputable mover, contact me.
Call your Home Insurance Company
If you’ve just bought a new home and you’re getting a mortgage for a house, home insurance is required. Mortgage Lenders will not advance money unless their investment (your house) is fully insured. No harm in calling them early, and giving them all the particulars of your new home. Advice: have the home insured a couple of days BEFORE you take possession. The cost for the extra day or two is minimal, but could prevent problems on possession date. If you’ve bought a condo, especially a high-rise or townhouse, chances are that the building itself is already insured, and you may only need content insurance. Speak to your insurance provider about this. Many people chose to go with an Insurance Broker, who can give home owners several options. Call me for a referral!
Contact a Life Insurer
Especially if this is your first home, you should consider insuring your investment in the case of your sudden demise. If something happens to you, will your spouse and/or family suddenly be homeless? Mortgage lenders often offer ‘Mortgage Insurance’, which is NOT the same as (and many people think inferior to..) Life Insurance. Read here about the differences between Mortgage Insurance vs. Life Insurance. Don’t know a good Life Insurance Company? Call me for a referral!
Contact your Landlord (if you’re currently renting)
Don’t forget to let your landlord know that you’ve just bought a new home. You should have already made certain that you are able to get out of your lease!?! Notify your landlord as soon as the purchase of your new home is final, and all conditions have been removed.
Create your own Neighbourhood Report !
This is a very new and really cool service I offer to my buyers! Go to Neighbourhood Reports and enter your new home address and create your own Neighbourhood Amenities
2 – 3 Weeks Before Possession
Contact your Lawyer again
If you have not already made an appointment, now is the time to contact your lawyer and arrange for an appointment. He/She will want to wait until your mortgage lender has sent over the funds, but you should set an appointment soon. Your lawyer will ask you to bring a cheque for the outstanding funds, which include the rest of the down payment, the land transfer tax (yikes) and his legal fees. The amount will be a figure which is larger-than-necessary, and you will most likely receive a refund after all payments have been dispersed by your lawyer.
Notify the Utility Companies
Let the ‘Utilities’ know that you are either moving, or starting a new account. These will include:
Manitoba Hydro (for Gas and Electricity): Call (204) 480-5900 or try https://www.manitobaaddresschange.ca/
Telephone Service; Either MTS by going to https://www.mts.ca/mts/myaccount/sign+up or Shaw at https://shaw.ca/contact-us/personal/?vid=contactus
Cable TV connection or Satellite Dish service
City of Winnipeg Water & Sewer by going to https://www.winnipeg.ca/waterandwaste/billing/accounts.stm
Change of address with Canada Post
Contact Canada Post, perhaps by attending the local postal outlet, and arrange for a temporary transfer of mail. Then attend at the local postal outlet which serves your new home, and register for a super mailbox. Most likely you will not be simply taking-over the same mail box which the previous owner had. Canada Post will issue you with a new box and key. The seller will attend and turn in their key and relinquish their box.
Day Prior to Possession
Get the Key
Quite often, your lawyer will meet with you the day BEFORE possession date and actually hand you the key. He/She will give you clear instructions that you may NOT ENTER the home until the time and date specified in the original Offer to Purchase. So if for example, the offer states “Possession at 09:00 am of the 18th day of June, 2014”, you may only enter at that time or later. In the interest of expedience, many lawyers like to hand over the keys earlier, as they may not be able to meet the buyer ON the possession date.
Check the Property
In Winnipeg, we do not have a ‘Holdback Provision’, where the lawyers hold back a certain amount of money, pending your examination of the property. All money is released to the seller at the same time as when the buyer receives the right to enter. This makes it very important for the buyer to have a quick look around the home to make sure that everything appears to be ok. Are the curtains, which were included in the deal, still there? Did the seller remove door knobs or light fixtures? (Don’t laugh,…it HAS happened). Are all the appliances there? If anything is missing, first call your real estate agent, who may be able to offer help in correcting the situation. If nothing else works, call your lawyer immediately.
Read the meters
On that first day, read the Hydro, Gas and Water meters inside and around the home, and call in the readings to the appropriate agencies. The seller will have done the same, and the utility companies should receive the same (at at least very similar) readings. In the cases of highrise condos, notify the management company or the caretaker, as they will have to read some or all of those meters for you, since they may not be located in an open and accessible room.
Any other tips?
If there are any other tips you’d like to pass on, please help me to round out this article, and submit your comments here.
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