top of page

Real Estate

Whether you are building a new home, purchasing, selling, refinancing, rolling over farmland or leasing, we would be glad to assist you.

Purchasing a home is often the largest transaction people make and their first contact with a lawyer.  


We know that buying and/or selling a home is exciting, but the process can also be complex, confusing and overwhelming.  At Bortnick Law, we pride ourselves on educating and navigating our clients through the various legal processes involved in such a transaction.  Whether you are building a new home, purchasing, selling, refinancing, rolling over farmland or leasing, we would be glad to assist you.


We work as a team with your realtor (if applicable), your financial institution (if applicable), your accountant (if applicable) the Land Titles Office and the buyer/seller's lawyer.  Every member of the team has a different job to do.  The team approach is designed to be efficient and to provide great service .  As your lawyer, we are responsible for the legal conveyancing of title and mortgage financing (if applicable).

Image by Camylla Battani

Tips and Traps when purchasing and/or selling a property

  1. You will need a current Real Property Report with compliance/non-conformance if you are buying (this is a standard requirement of your lender if you are obtaining mortgage financing). Title insurance may be an option, but it is always best to have the Real Property Report;

  2. If you are selling a house or a bareland condominium, you will have to provide a current Real Property Report with compliance/non-conformance to a buyer, so make sure you obtain one when you are listing your property for sale. It typically takes several months for the preparation of the Real Property Report and for the municipality to perform their compliance review . Failure to undertake this process at the outset can result in surprises and additional costs at closing.  The requirement to provide the same is standard in every purchase contract;

  3. If your situation is a co-incidental closing (that is, you are buying a home and selling your previous home at approximately the same time) special arrangements may have to be made if you are unable to receive the money from the sale by the time you need it to complete the purchase. You will likely need to obtain bridge or interim financing from your lending institution;

  4. There will be an adjustment on the purchase price for property taxes.  Property taxes are levied and are due and payable on the property on certain dates. Depending on where you live. For instance, in the Cities of Edmonton and Leduc, property taxes are due and payable on or before June 30th of each year for the entire calendar year (January 1st - December 31st).  In Wetaskiwin County, property taxes are due and payable on of before August 31st for of each year for the entire calendar year (January 1st - December 31st). In the Town of Ponoka, property taxes are due and payable on of before July 31st for of each year for the entire calendar year (January 1st - December 31st)  This means that, unless you pay your taxes monthly, a portion of the year is paid in arrears and the other is paid in advance on your municipality's due date.  Often times purchasers are surprised by the requirement to pay either the entire year's property tax bill to a municipality when is it due and payable in the middle of the year or provide a credit to the seller if the same was paid in full by the seller prior to possession;

  5. If you are buying or selling property where there are no municipal services, you will need to obtain/provide a water potability certificate, confirmation that the water flow is adequate and a septic tank certificate. Failure to obtain the same as a seller, or failure to receive these items prior to removing conditions on a purchase, can result in surprises and additional costs at closing;

  6. If you are purchasing a home from a builder, you will be responsible to pay GST on the purchase.

  7. If you are purchasing a home from a builder, ALWAYS bring a qualified home inspector with you to inspect the property at your pre-possession and/or possession walk thru.  It is well worth the $500 - $1,000.00 extra to pay a trained professional to inspect the property with you and the builder's representative to ensure all items not in plain view are done properly.  I cannot count how many calls our office receives where months or a year or two after moving into a newly built home a family discovers a major problem with improper venting or plumbing issues resulting in mold and/or substantial damage.

What is a Real Property Report ("RPR") and why do I need one?

Alberta Land Surveyors produce a "Real Property Report".  A Real Property Report is a legal document that clearly illustrates the dimensions of your property and the location of buildings and improvements on the property relative to property boundaries. A Real Property Report is necessary to determine compliance with municipal bylaws.  Compliance Certificates are prepared by the municipality where your home is located. These Certificates are based on the RPR and confirm: (a) whether or not the use of the property disclosed on the RPR is a permitted use under the existing land use by-law, and (b) whether or not the building(s)/improvement(s) is/are located on the property in compliance with the by-law.


Our strong recommendation is that any Buyer, whether paying cash, assuming existing financing, or obtaining new mortgage financing, should obtain a new RPR and Zoning Compliance Certificate. It is the only way you can be certain of your building location and compliance with municipal by-laws. Further, the trend in Real Estate contracts is to require a Seller to provide a current RPR and Zoning Compliance. If you do not settle these matters when you are a Buyer you will be uncertain when you sell.


Please note, that a Real Property Report is a snapshot of the property on the date of the survey.  If you make changes to the property (i.e., fences, decks, driveways, sheds, etc.) you may be required to provide an updated or new Real Property Report at the time of any sale.   Please further note, that title insurance is not transferable to future owners so, should you choose to sell the property in the future, you may be required to obtain a Real Property Report/Compliance or offer to pay for a title insurance policy in favour of any potential purchaser(s). 

I am purchasing a condominium where the Condominium Corporation has property and liability insurance, why do I need to obtain my own insurance as well?

Although you are theoretically covered by the Condominium Corporation's insurance policy, you want to ensure that you obtain an additional policy of insurance for liability, improvements and contents, should the Condominium Corporation be "under insured" and to protect yourself from personal liability for injuries to visitors to your unit or for damage you or your visitors accidentally cause to other property, including that of other unit owners.




6B Village Drive, Westerose, Alberta, T0C 2V0

2nd Floor -The Village of Pigeon Lake, Westerose, Alberta

Tel:  (780) 559-2643

Fax:  (780) 670-0102


Click Here to Find Us

For any general inquiries, please fill in the following contact form:

bottom of page