When parents help with the downpayment – Whose home is it?

First time home buyers will sometimes get a little help from family members in coming up with their downpayment. A recent report prepared for the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals found that there has been a significant increase in the number and size of parental contributions being made towards their children’s down payments for new home purchases.

The scenario sounds easy enough, but legally, it can be more complicated. For instance, are the parents going on title and co-signing the mortgage? Are they simply acting as a guarantor on the mortgage? Is the money actually an unsecured loan that is supposed to be repaid over time?  Or, are they contributing funds towards a downpayment as a gift? This may be the most important question. If the parties aren’t clear on how this is going to be classified there may be considerable confusion down the road – particularly if there is a breakdown of the child’s marital relationship or the child’s relationship with the parents.

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Tis the Season

With a population approaching 600,000, Brampton is a thriving center for growth. That growth brings a wealth of diversity amongst the residents who call Brampton home. It is truly a multi-faith community, and our clients are no exception in reflecting the city’s diversity. We view the Holiday Season as a great opportunity to celebrate with all of our clients. We welcome wishes of Happy Holidays, Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, or any of the other traditional greetings shared by our clients at this festive time of year.

We do wish all of our friends, colleagues and clients a Happy Holidays! (though, we will try to be more specific if we see you in person) and of course, a safe and Happy New Year!

Photo credit: <a href=””>Olivia Ortiz Asenita Fernandez</a> / <a href=””>Foter</a> / <a href=””>CC BY</a>

Solicitor’s Accounts

Lawyers sell an expensive service. Of that, there is little doubt. Lawyers have a duty to charge fees that are fair and reasonable, and clients have a duty to understand that “fair and reasonable” does not mean “inexpensive and cheap.” Rather, the fairness and reasonableness of a lawyer’s bill is an issue that is evaluated in consideration of a nebula of factors.

It would be difficult to list all of the factors that go into the fairness and reasonableness of an account.  However, it is safe to say that there are 9 key factors that are always considered:

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The Kiwanis Celebrity Clowns

Supporting the Celebrity Clown Program

I have had the pleasure over the years to support the Kiwanis Celebrity Clown program, both as a sponsor and as an event participant. For over 10 years, business people and community leaders have been donating money for the privilege of leading the Brampton Santa Clause Parade down Main Street, dressed in full clown regalia. The proceed go to support worthy causes, and well, the clown get up warms the hearts of the children all along the parade route.

This year, I will once again be making a donation, wearing the make up and and the suit and supporting the Kiwanis Club of Brampton. In addition, I would like to up the ante. I want to bring in 2 more clowns, and increase my donation above the minimum. I need your help. In the coming months, I will be developing and posting a pledge form, all pledges will be donated to Celebrity Clown program in addition to my own entry fee, which I will be paying directly. Any support you care to offer will be greatly appreciated. In addition, I ask that you pass this link on to anyone in charge of charitable giving in your workplace.

Dog Bite Liability – getting bitten

Yawning wolf

Leash free dog parks are a fun and relaxing way for dogs to get exercise and socialize with other dogs. They can also be the place of rapidly changing circumstances, where the large number of dogs can trigger otherwise unobserved pack behaviors that you may not normally see in your dog. This author’s dog was, quite recently, the unfortunate recipient of a puncture wound at the back of his neck in just such a scenario.

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Buying Real Estate: Why so much?

moving day

There are plenty of expenses when you buy a home. Fees, commissions and charges quickly add up. For some, the extra costs may not be revealed until it is too late; the purchaser is already committed and must pay the fees or lose their deposit.

The largest expense is Land Transfer Tax. The best way to know this amount is to use an online calculator, and there are several if you use Google to find one. The next most obvious cost is the Lawyer. The fees they charge you will be for investigating title to the property you wish to buy, and for time spent reviewing the survey and drafting the appropriate paperwork to protect your interests.