Tag Archives: selling

How Do Canada’s New Marijuana Laws Impact Buying A House?

Canada’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana use has made a huge impact on the world stage. In fact we are only the second country to do so after Uruguay in 2013. While I don’t partake myself I am in favour of this legislation. Alcohol is actually a far more harmful drug despite being legal for decades. But what about marijuana and home ownership? How do Canada’s new marijuana laws impact buying a house?


Legal Marijuana Production For Personal Medical Or Recreational Use

I’m fairly certain that the new and existing medical marijuana laws already on our books will have zero impact on home ownership. The 4 plants per household limit for recreational users represents zero risk to the health and integrity of a home. But complex rules allow a medical user to grow more. However, the number of plants allowed is nowhere near enough to damage a property in any way.

Criminal Marijuana Production

Criminal marijuana cultivation is a whole other matter. If a home is being used for this purpose and the police get involved it can be almost impossible to get financing. If the property is declared a grow-op this dubious status is actually registered as an instrument on title. Typically an inspection by the state is mandatory and if necessary, remediation and rehabilitation.

But even if this work is completed and the instruments pertaining to the criminal activity are removed from title they still show up in a ‘deleted instruments’ search. This is usually the point where you are turned down for financing or insurance, especially if the grow-op was large or relatively recent. Read about this from a lawyer’s perspective.

In my opinion marijuana grow-ops are certainly something to stay clear of. But buyers willing to assume the risk can often get a former grow-op at a substantial discount. It’s not impossible to get financing, just difficult. Many alternative lending sources are willing to do so at higher rates. And the impact of prior criminal activity will lessen given enough time.

The Final Word

To summarize, it’s clear that Canada’s new marijuana laws won’t affect buying a house in any way whatsoever. And you shouldn’t be concerned if you see a few plants when shopping for a home. But criminal enterprises like grow-ops are something else entirely. My advice is to simply stay away from these properties. They aren’t worth the headache for the vast majority of buyers.

Agreement of Purchase and Sale

The Agreement Of Purchase And Sale (AOPS) is the primary document used to purchase a property. It’s equally important to both buyer and seller. An AOPS is almost always drawn up by an agent for a buyer client. Thus it’s crucial that the listing agent carefully scrutinize a contract that they have had no part in writing.

I can’t stress enough how important the AOPS is. Once signed it’s a binding contract between buyer and seller. It’s one of the key documents your Real Estate Lawyer works with. The AOPS is also forwarded to your lender..

I can write an agreement of purchase and sale in a half hour or so. But it often takes me just as long to explain the details of the contract to my clients. There are no shortcuts to the process and I never pressure my clients to hurry through the AOPS. After all there are 28 separate clauses and Schedule A to contend with as well as data such as names and price.

In today’s post I’ve shared a YouTube video taking you through the AOPS from start to finish. Just a warning, it’s long! But 15 minutes would be almost unacceptably quick if I was actually reviewing the document with real clients.

I’ve also included the 7 pages I used to make the video which you can review while watching.


agreement of purchase and sale

agreement of purchase and sale

agreement of purchase and sale

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November House Price Numbers

November house price numbersWe’re pretty much at the end of the month so I’ve been busy cranking out the November house price numbers for Waterloo Region, Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo. You’ll probably notice that the numbers I use in my graphs are lower than what you’ll see in the media over the next week or so. Don’t worry things are good, my numbers are the median prices, not the average prices and they normally sit a bit lower.

Why do I do this? From a math standpoint it’s simple. There is a floor price for homes, in the sense that they don’t sell for less than zero, while on the upper end the sky is almost the limit. Averages can be skewed by outliers. Imagine a large home selling for $4.3 million in a small neighborhood where most of the homes are selling for $500k. The average price will be skewed upward way higher than what a typical home will actually sell for. In comparison the median price is the mathematical point where 50% of the homes sold for more and 50% sold for less. Makes sense, eh?

Here’s an article from Realtor.com that sums it up: median vs. average

Here’s link to my numbers
My House Prices Page

Here’s both the median and average prices for November:

Waterloo Region average price all types Nov 2017 $440,004
Waterloo Region median price all types Nov 2017 $413,500
Waterloo Region average price detached Nov 2017 $507,700
Waterloo Region median price detached Nov 2017 $466,250

Cambridge average price all types Nov 2017 $412,473
Cambridge median price all types Nov 2017 $390,000
Cambridge average price detached Nov 2017 $474,631
Cambridge median price detached Nov 2017 $457,000

Kitchener average price all types Nov 2017 $418,941
Kitchener median price all types Nov 2017 $395,000
Kitchener average price detached Nov 2017 $501,212
Kitchener median price detached Nov 2017 $465,000

Waterloo average price all types Nov 2017 $468,658
Waterloo median price all types Nov 2017 $450,000
Waterloo average price detached Nov 2017 $511,565
Waterloo median price detached Nov 2017 $482,450

What is it about open houses?

Real estate is a very personal business despite my ability to buy and sell homes without ever having met the agent or clients on the other end of a deal. The people I have as clients need to like me, trust me and believe in my ability to get the job done for them, and that only gets established face to face, often at open houses I’m holding.

I mostly meet new clients from referrals, door knocking and open houses and these 3 activities are a critical part of my business. In the latter two cases I need to bring value to the people I’ve just met or I’ll be discounted as simply some other person trying to sell something.

Open houses are a chance to demonstrate many of the skills a great Realtor has, such as local market information, an eye for value and pricing, neighbourhood awareness, and general knowledge of housing types and condition.

I bring a lot of information of this sort to my open houses for the simple fact that 99% of the people that come through won’t buy the house I’m showing. After all, if they aren’t buying what reason would a visitor have for any further interaction with me?

Great open houses are busy, but not too busy. New guests every 10 or 15 minutes or so is ideal timing and gives everyone a chance to have a quick chat and have a look, and also keeps the seller happy. Even at this pace I often miss out on connecting with some of my guests because someone else has my attention.

In any event, I always want my guests go away with something of value such as print material, website links, or my contact info, even if I haven’t been able to chat with them as much as I’d have liked.

The guest registry is the final way to turn an initial conversation and meetup into a relationship where like, trust and a belief in my ability to help a client is established. Sellers also like the registry as an indicator of open house performance and as a way to keep track of all of the complete strangers walking through their house.

I’ll definitely call or email you a couple of days after the open house to see if you’ve got any interest in the property, or any others for that matter. If so I’ll suggest ways we can work together, and if not we’ll go our separate ways, and maybe bump into each other again at another open house on some other weekend.