Buyer’s Guide – Your New Home

Completing Your Purchase

The Contract of Purchase and Sale, which you signed, will state the completion day for the transaction. On that day, legal ownership will transfer from the old owner to you in exchange for the purchase price of the property. You will be able to move in on the possession date stated on your contract. The completion and possession dates are not necessarily on the same date.

Do you need legal assistance to complete the purchase?
It is normal practice for the buyer to engage a lawyer or notary public to prepare the documents necessary to transfer the legal ownership. Among other things, he or she will protect your interests by:

  • searching the title in the Land Title Office registration system to find if anyone other than the seller has any legal rights to the property and to see if there are any registered easements or restrictive covenants
  • preparing the documents to transfer ownership from the seller to you, including the property transfer tax return
  • ensuring that the seller’s old mortgage has been properly discharged, if this is required
  • confirming that all payments for which the seller is responsible have been made
  • arranging for you to sign the transfer documents
  • preparing a Statement of Adjustments outlining all monies owed by you and the funds you will need to complete the transaction
  • delivering the final amount due to the seller and ensuring you are registered as the owner in the Land Title Office

The day has arrived!! You have signed the documents, turned over your cheque, and received the keys. The home is yours!

Moving In

Moving is probably the worst part of the whole process. The only good part about it is, that you are moving into your new home. This section outlines ways to make this last part of the procedure a little bit easier.

Interviewing Professional Movers
The challenge is to find the right company to trust with moving your valuables. Here are some good questions that will help you learn more about the companies you’re considering.

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • How long has the salesperson or estimator you are speaking with been in the industry?
  • Is your moving agent certified?
  • Have complaints been filed against the company? If so, what were they and what measures have they taken to rectify the situations? Check with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Does their van line have a formal quality ratings program? If so what are the scores and can you see them?
  • Is there a third party service provider that will be involved in moving specialty items like a pool table, piano or grandfather clock? If so who are they?

First impressions really do count
Judge your estimator on their professionalism, attention to detail and responsiveness to your inquiries. Also make sure they give a thorough explanation of their pricing and process. For example, if the estimate is binding or non-binding. These things can tell you a lot about the company philosophy and how comfortable you’ll be in working with them.

Moving Long Distance

The reputation of a moving company is one of the biggest factors in selecting a mover, but for long distance moves, it should be the biggest factor. Consider the care and effort that movers must apply. Experience and capability should take precedence over price. Long distance and commercial move charges are based mainly on the weight of your items and the distance they need to be moved. Because weight is perhaps the biggest determinant of price for a long distance move, here is something you must know. The weight of your items is actually measured on a scale. Only, the scale is for the truck. Before the move, the weight of the truck without your goods is measured. This is called the “empty weight”. The scales are usually located at the nearest truck stops or at the moving company’s facilities. Your are allowed to accompany the driver to the scale during the weigh-in to ensure that everything is in order. Make sure that your mover provides you with an “empty weight” receipt. In order to avoid additional charges during the move, you must:

  • Know if the area will accommodate the size of the truck being used.
  • Know the layout of your new community.
  • Know about walkway and elevator access.

The moving company will have no knowledge of this information, so it is up to you to provide it to the best of your knowledge. In addition make the movers guarantee the time of arrival- tell them to provide you with two time slots- one being the anticipated time of arrival and the other factoring in unforseen difficulties such as weather, traffic, flat tires, etc. For the duration of the estimated time slots, have someone available at your new destination to receive your items, otherwise, the items will be placed in a storage facility. This means you will have to pay for a number of extra costs such as:

  • The effort it took to place your items in storage.
  • The renting of the storage space
  • The time, truck and manpower that it will take for them to deliver them back to your home.

Avoid this nightmare by being at your new destination before your mover. Have the time frame to work with them.

Moving Day

To keep moving day as hassle-free as possible, try to follow this task list. Many of the items can be done ahead, so do yourself a favor and get organized the day before. Come moving day, you’ll be read to supervise the whole affair, without worry or distraction.

Task One: Clearly Mark and Set Items You Don’t Want Loaded
This will remind you to tell the driver what not to load as you conduct your preload walkthrough. Make sure your important paperwork pertaining to the move doesn’t get packed and shipped with your household goods.

Task Two: Pack Special Items for the Kids
Have the kids pack a box of their “special” items, things that they’ll want to have nearby as soon as you all arrive at your new home. Point this box out to the driver so it’s one of the first to be unloaded. NOTE: You may want to arrange for someone to take care of the kids (and pets) while the movers are packing and loading your items. Have the caregiver bring the kids back home prior to the truck leaving as it is important for young children to understand where their belongings are going.

Task Three: Remove Trash and Flammable Items
Eliminate as much trash as you can before moving day. Last-minute garbage will inevitably build up the day prior to and the day of loading. Try making a deal with the neighbour to use their trash container for your last minute debris. Many items that are considered flammable are not going to be loaded by the driver crew. Understand what these items are so that you are not stuck with trying to get rid of them on day of loading. If you are uncertain what items can’t be loaded, ask your estimator for a list. Because movers can’t transport most household cleaners, they will be available for you throughout the day. Please take care of the environment and dispose of any hazardous materials through the proper channels and don’t forget to recycle.

Task Four: Reserve a Parking Space for the Moving Truck
If you live in a congested area, recruit some friends and park all of your vehicles one after another in a space close to your home and do not move them until the truck arrives. The closer the truck can get to your home, the better your chances are of not incurring any additional charges.

Task Five: Clear Walkways
Make it safe and easy for your movers to get in and out of your home by removing all obstructions:

  • Move potted plants and planters from the front porch, walkways and driveways.
  • Remove all door and floor mats.
  • Remove all rugs. The crew will protect the floors with a specially designed floor covering that does not slip.
  • Remove low hanging items such as wind chimes or hanging plants
  • Disconnect the spring on the screen door so that it stays open during the loading process
  • If you had the moving company pack for you, work with them to keep the walkways clear for the driver and crew.

Task Six: Point Out Special Items
Set aside these items the day before the move. Then, when the movers get there, point out items that are most special to you during the walkthrough. All your items will be handled professionally but take a moment to show them which ones need the most special care. Also, point out the boxes you would like to have unloaded first, if they are not going into storage. These boxes may contain kitchen and bathroom, or your children’s toys.

Task Seven: Take Care of Your Driver and Crew Members
Consider the needs of your driver and crewmembers! It is no necessary to prepare an elaborate meal, as this is the last thing you will have time for. Still, run out and get some breakfast rolls or cookies and order pizza for lunch. It’s a nice gesture and will be warmly received. Keep water and soft drinks on hand for yourself and the crew. These men and woman work hard, handling your most important possessions. A cool drink can really help. Advise the driver and crew where to locate the drinks and food so that they do not have to ask each time. Advise the driver and crew which washroom you want them to use.

Task Eight: Decide on Tipping
Should you? It’s completely up to you. Many individuals do tip the driver and let him disperse the portion to the crew that they think is appropriate. You decide!

Task Nine: Before the Driver Leaves
Make sure you understand all the paperwork before the driver departs for your new home. If there is something confusing to you ask your driver to explain it before you sign it. Provide the driver with your destination contact information. Take down any information the driver can provide such as his cell phone, pager and satellite tracking information. Ask the driver if your shipment is the last he/she will be loading. Find out when the last shipment goes onto the trailer. This will give you an indication as to when they will be departing for your new home.

Task Ten: Scheduling the Delivery
Ask the driver about his/her plans for delivering your items. Find out as many details as you can prior to the driver leaving your residence. If the driver attempts to give you a delivery date and time, keep in mind that it is really only an estimate at the time of loading. Many factors can change the schedule for the driver, so try and remain flexible. Ask the driver to call you with changes so that you can adjust your plans accordingly. If you have a delivery spread (a sequence of two or more days that your shipment can be delivered on and still be considered on time) understand that you can am bay be delivered on any one of those days.

Take one last sweep of the house before the driver leaves. Look through all the closets, shelves, in the garage, attic, crawl space, storage unit, under the stairs, on the walls and any place else things may be hiding. You do not want to find out after the driver has left that something was left behind.

Moving Yourself

If you plan to move yourself, here are some handy tips:

  • Determine the size of the vehicles you’ll need to move. Don’t underestimate how much stuff you have accumulated
  • Determine what equipment and supplies you will need – hand truck, furniture pads, tarp, boxes, bubble wrap, tape, etc.
  • Reserve the rental truck and other equipment well in advance of your move. Availability can be an issue.
  • The cost of a rental truck is usually determined by the hourly rate, miles driven and other materials rented or purchased if the move is local – less that 50 miles in the same province.

If you have to Store Possessions
Storage can be used for many different reasons. If you’re trying to sell your home you may want to free closets and rooms of extra clutter so that the place shows better. Maybe you have too much furniture for your new home; the kids have moved out but you can’t part with all their childhood memorabilia; you want to store items for different seasons; you have stacks of documents that you need to keep but don’t want them to take up living space.

Here are some of the details to check on when you select a unit: what size storage is available, rental costs, access hours, safety from water and heat damage, risk of insect infestation, secure, adequate room for parking, and distance from your car/truck to the unit.

Once you’ve located a storage facility, it’s important to plan how to best place your items. Follow these tips to make your storage experience hassle-free.

  • Don’t stack boxes too high so that getting what you need becomes dangerous or overly time consuming.
  • Create aisles with box labels facing out
  • Make sure that the secure lock on your storage is sturdy
  • Get a contact name at the storage facility. The storage manager may also be helpful in giving your instructions on how to unload your belongings.
  • Read your agreement for termination and payment regulations
  • Ask if they have any access charges
  • If you’re using a professional mover and have some items dropped off at your storage facility directly, make sure boxes are clearly marked to avoid confusion.
  • If you use a professional storage facility (where your things are packed tightly in a crate and loaded in a warehouse) remember that they hold a maximum of 1,100 pounds and often have an access charge.

Adjusting To Your New Environment

The psychological effects of moving are often underestimated. Moves can be difficult for children and adults. Meeting neighbours and creating ties to the community are not easy. The following are some suggestions:

  • Push yourself to meet people. This can be as simple as walking your dog daily in a park with other pet owners
  • Community service and volunteerism is a good way to meet new people. Community centers, garden clubs, churches, and schools offer this opportunity.
  • Join a club. Resume activities you enjoyed before moving. Meet people with common interests.
  • Look for common interest support networks
  • Explore your new town = museums, theatres, restaurants will offer you opportunities to meet people
  • Try something new. Did you always want to take cooking classes? Community colleges offer a wide variety of classes that are fun and inexpensive.

Keep in mind the pressure the move can have on your children. Give them special attention until they’ve made friends and adjusted to their new home and neighbourhood.


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