Here is a list of some of the important costs and fees you need to be aware of if you are a new or resale home buyer.
Property Transfer Tax. The property transfer tax is payable on any property purchase in Canada and is dependent on the jurisdiction where you are buying. The good news is that in some provinces, you may be eligible for a rebate if you are a first time buyer, but this rebate is governed by the net purchase price.
Legal Fees and disbursements. A disbursement is any cost or fee that your lawyer charges you while working on your purchase transaction. These charges are the result of any fees incurred by your lawyer for property searches and registrations and office costs such as courier or photocopying costs.
Title Insurance. When you purchase a property in Canada, the title – its legal ownership – is transferred to you. Title insurance provides coverage for any issues affecting your property’s title such as liens or charges. It would also protect you against any error that might affect your ownership. This insurance is optional in Canada, but ensure you fully understand the benefits and/or drawbacks of such protection.
Land survey fee. A land survey provides information on the property’s boundaries and shows where the buildings are located. Most Canadian mortgage lenders will require an up to date copy of this document. This document is not needed if you are buying into a strata development as all this information is included on the strata plan for the property.
Appraisal fee. The appraisal report provided by a qualified appraiser confirms to the lender that the property is worth the amount of funds they are being asked to invest in it and is usually based on the recent sale prices of similar properties in the area.
Home inspection fee. A home inspection, performed by a duly licensed property inspector, is a recommended, but not mandatory, cost when buying a home in Canada. Any defects discovered by the inspector may have some impact on the final agreed price you are prepared to pay for the property you are looking to buy.
Default insurance costs. If your down payment is at the lower threshold allowed by your jurisdiction, you may be required to pay mortgage default insurance. The amount of this insurance premium depends on the amount of the down payment and in Canada is usually obtained from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and this amount is usually added to your mortgage payment.
Property Insurance. If you are getting a mortgage, you will need property insurance before you complete the purchase of you new home. Even if you are purchasing the property without a mortgage, property insurance is still important. The types of coverage you should purchase will vary depending on the type of property you are buying. Single family property coverage is different to strata property insurance or divided interest properties for example.
Adjustments. Usually the biggest issues here are created by payment of property taxes, utility payments, mortgage interest adjustments and maintenance fees (if applicable).
This is only a brief overview of the fees and costs you will see when you are at the lawyer or notary’s office. Ensure you understand your obligations during this process and discuss them in full with your Realtor or mortgage specialist before you are ready to “sign on the dotted line”