PREPARE YOUR FINANCES: some things to consider.
• "Discharge" your mortgage. Many people use the proceeds from the sale of their home to "discharge" or pay off their mortgage. If you have an "open" mortgage, you can pay it all off without any penalties. With a "closed" mortgage, be prepared to pay a penalty. The penalty amount depends on several factors, including how much time is left on the mortgage term.
• Is you mortgage "portable"? A "portable" mortgage means you can take your mortgage money with you and buy a new home without penalty- a real bonus if you mortgaged at low interest! If your new home is more expensive, you'll have to borrow the additional money at the current market rate.
• Can the buyer "assume" your mortgage? Your mortgage may have a feature that allows the new buyer to take it over. If the interest rate is lower than existing rates, this can be a very enticing selling feature for your home.
• If you find your dream home before you've started to sell you current home. Talk to your mortgage lender about "Bridge Financing". This is when your lender (the bank) is confident your existing home will sell quickly, and agrees to lend you the down payment for the new home.
• Capital gains tax. If the home was your primary residence, you will not have to pay taxes on any capital gain (the increase in the value of your home). If you had tenants living in part of your home, such as the basement, you will pay capital gains tax on a portion of your profits. You may also owe capital gains tax if you're selling a vacation or investment property. This is an important conversation to have with your accountant.