Buying a home for the first time can be a stressful experience. Purchasing a cottage or country home for the first time is no exception. Learning the real estate lingo for cottage country is a great first step at making the process of buying or selling your country home a little easier. Below I have compiled a list of terms and what they mean:
Land Value – the value of a property including the land and any improvements that have been made to the land. Example: a well or drainage system
Access – How accessible is the property? Is it seasonal or year round? Is the road privately owned? Who maintains the road? What is the annual cost?
Shore Road Allowance – a strip of land 66’ around some lakes and rivers that was meant to function as public roads to allow access to the waterway. Dates back to the 19th Century.
Zoning – Municipal laws that control the use of land within a jurisdiction.
Encumbrance – anything that affects or limits the fee simple title to a property such as mortgages, leases, easements or restrictions
Encroachment – an improvement that intrudes illegally on another person’s property
Easement – a right of way giving persons other than the owner access to or over a property
Deed – A legal document that transfers ownership of a property
Fee Simple – An old term meaning complete ownership of real estate. Owners with fee simple have no legal restrictions on their freedom to sell the property, give it away or bequeath it.
Offer to Purchase- A legal document offering to buy the seller’s property.
Conditional Offer – Conditions listed in the Offer to Purchase. Example: home inspection, financing, and/or the sale of the buyer’s existing property. The property cannot be sold until the conditions have been fulfilled.
Closing Costs – The expenses associated with buying a property – over and above the purchase price. Costs can include legal and notary fees and disbursements, land transfer taxes, or adjustments for property taxes. They are due on closing day
Appraisal – Estimating the value of property for lending purposes. This value may differ from the purchase price of the home.
Assessed Value – the value placed on a property by a public tax assessor for the purposes of taxation
Clear Title – a title that is free of liens or legal questions as to ownership of the property
If you have any questions about any of the above terminology or any other questions about real estate terms you think you should be aware of before you start looking for the perfect recreational home in cottage country, feel free to email me or give me a call and I can help you make sense of all the jargon.