Home Purchase Costs and Definitions
Buying a home costs more than the offer you make. There are numerous other expenses that will add to the amount that you'll need to spend. This purchase price checklist outlines all the costs you can expect. Please note that they can vary by province and are subject to change.
- Purchase Price
- Land Transfer Tax
- Lawyer's Fees
- Registration Fees
- High Ratio Insurance
- Compliance Letter
- Tax Certificate
- Provincial "New Home Warranty Program" premiums — New Homes Only!
- Mortgage Appraisal and Application Fees
- Home Inspection
- Land Survey
- Title Insurance
- Connection Charges
- Property Tax and Prepaid Utilities Adjustments
- Interest Adjustment (IA)
The starting point in your calculations... if you're like most first-time home buyers, you'll need a mortgage for the majority of this!
A tax payable to the provincial government by the purchaser upon the transfer of title from a seller. This tax is usually not expected by most homeowners. It can be sizeable. The amount varies from province to province and is generally a percentage of your purchase price.
Although fees vary across the nation, it can cost you up to $1,200 depending on whether you are re-mortgaging your existing home or buying new. Contact us or your realtor to help with this process.
Fees paid to the provincial government for recording a title transfer, mortgage registration or other instrument such as an Assignment or Lien with the local authorities.
Must be purchased if you are buying a home for less than 20% down. A sliding fee scale applies, depending on the percentage of the purchase price required in a first mortgage (some minor exceptions).
Obtained by your lawyer and required in many municipalities throughout Canada before a property transfer can take place. This is an acknowledgement from the building department that the property either has, or is clear of, outstanding work-orders. Work-orders are specific clean-up or fix-up requirements that the owner is legally required to do, and which must be completed before ownership can be transferred.
Obtained by your lawyer at the time of sale to confirm that local taxes have been paid up to date. If they are not up to date, the seller is required to pay them from the proceeds of the sale. If there are insufficient proceeds, then you may be legally required to pay the outstanding taxes. If, on the other hand, taxes have been prepaid, you may have to compensate the seller for them.
A third party (provincial) warranty program between a builder and a buyer. With the exception of Ontario and Quebec, membership in such a program is voluntary for the builder. Through these programs, your home is guaranteed against defects for at least one year. All homes with a high-ratio insured mortgages (with greater than 80% loan to value) must be enrolled in such a program.
An appraiser offers their professional opinion on the current market value of a property. The lender will use this information when deciding if the land and building in question are suitable as security for a mortgage. An appraiser will not typically do a detailed examination of the condition of the building and its systems (like heating and plumbing) – you’ll need a home inspector for that.
A report commissioned by a property owner or purchaser, usually to verify the condition of a property prior to the "firming up" of a real estate transaction. The scope and detail may vary, but most reports indicate the specific problem and the cost to repair. Unfortunately, no licensing is required, and this service is not specifically regulated other than by general consumer protection legislation. The best safeguard against inadequate work is to ask for the resume of the inspector, and if possible check references from previous customers.
The legal written and/or mapped description of the location and dimensions of the land. The survey should also show the dimensions and placement on the lot of any structure, including additions such as pools, sheds and fences. An up-to-date survey is often required by a lender as part of the mortgage transaction.
Title insurance can be purchased by home buyers to protect against loss or damage resulting from defects in title (Title is the legal term for the right of ownership of property). These defects could include fraud, zoning infractions, irregularities not revealed by a property survey, errors or omissions in deeds, or liens by contractors or for unpaid taxes.
Some local utility companies (hydro, gas, oil) charge a fee on closing to connect new buyers up to their service. More common, however, is an extra charge on the first billing.
If the previous owner prepaid property taxes or other utilities, they will be credited the prepaid portion on closing.
If you arrange to make your mortgage payments monthly on the first day of the month, and your transaction closes after the first day of the month, your lender will charge you interest on closing to the next interest date, called the Interest Adjustment Date (IAD), when your payment cycle will commence. This can be a sizeable amount, but it is the correct interest you should pay. For example, close on June 15th, pay 15 days interest on closing and start payments on August 1st.