There’s more to consider when purchasing a home than just the purchase price. This video and blog post goes over some of the most common additional costs you should always consider and what you can afford when deciding on a home you are going to purchase.
Land transfer tax – When a home changes hands, many provinces charge a property transfer tax or title transfer fee. First-time home buyers qualify for rebates or exemptions in some provinces.
Appraisal fee – Your lender may ask you to have a home appraised to confirm its market value. Fees vary depending on a property’s value and complexity, but are typically around $300.
Legal fees – A lawyer or notary will help protect your interests by reviewing your purchase agreement, searching the property title, and ensuring that all documents are completed properly. Basic legal fees start between $800 and $1000, plus disbursements, with added services as needed.
Home inspection – An inspection can help make you aware of issues related to a house’s structure and systems, such as plumbing and electrical, and recommended or necessary repairs. Fees range from about $350 to $450.
Home/fire insurance – Your lender will require proof that the property is insured in case of fire and other damage. Insurance costs vary, depending on the coverage needed, but budget for at least $500 a year.
Mortgage default insurance – If you have less than a 20% down payment, your lender will require that you obtain mortgage default insurance. You can roll the cost into your mortgage payments.
Title insurance – Title insurance can safeguard you against fraud and problems with your property title or survey. Fees range from $150 to $350.
Costs for newly constructed homes – If you’re buying a brand-new home, be prepared to settle any items not quoted in the original price, including upgrades. New homes are also subject to GST or HST, although this is sometimes included in your purchase price. A federal rebate may be available.
Prepaid costs – If the seller has paid property taxes, water bills, or utilities in advance, you’ll need to reimburse these at closing. This can add hundreds to your upfront costs, but means these bills will be paid for your first months in your new home.
Moving-in costs – Before the big day, budget for all those last minute things: $100 or more to rent a van or a few hundred for professional movers, $50 to $60 for a locksmith to rekey your locks, and cleaning supplies. Such incidentals can easily come to $500 or more.