By: Nick Mirijello

PSA - Look beyond just the sale price of a home - there's more to it

Tags: before you buy, Vaughan By-Laws, Driveway Widening, Curb Cutting

While there are countless reasons why you should use a Realtor when you look to purchase a home, I'm going to touch on one reason that can save you both money and headaches in the future.

You've gone over what you want in a home -3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, granite counters,etc. You found the perfect home and you're ready to make an offer. This is where your emotions take over and you forget that while this home has everything you want, you may be unintentionally setting yourself up for future legal obligations and costs.

Many homes in the Vaughan area are fairly new, and the developer has more than likely squeezed the most number of homes that were allowed to be built in that area-limiting the amount of parking spaces available to homeowners. While you drive up and down these subdivisions you'll notice people have taken it upon themselves to sometimes extend their driveway to allow for more space to park. But your concern should be whether the extensions fall within the by-laws of the city, and if not, was the owner issued a variance and permit. What looks to be an added benefit can cost you time and many in the end.

A competent Realtor should be aware of these potential pitfalls and provide you with guidance before you make a committment to buy. For instance, if you purchased a home with a widened driveway and it falls outside the rules of your city by-laws, you are now responsible to fix it, or apply to get an approval for a variance to allow for the change through the city's committee of adjustments with costs starting at $290 just to file the application.

For the city of Vaughan - check out the following website for guidance on what is accepted for driveways and how to apply to have your curb cut.