The feeling of buying your first home is unlike anything else. You’ve worked very hard to get to this point, and it’s worth celebrating. But, there are some things you may be unaware of as first-time buyer when it comes to the total cost of homeownership. While you are likely well prepared for the down payment and your monthly mortgage payments, there are more fees you should be aware of before you sign anything, especially in this market where housing prices are constantly increasing all around Canada.
There are a variety of inspections, appraisals and surveys you’ll need to pay for before you finish the buying process. While the prices vary from province to territory, the average price of a home inspection is around $500, while a property appraisal could run you $200 and a property survey could cost anywhere from $750 to $1,000.
Taxes and Legal Fees
There is no getting around the taxes and legal fees required when purchasing a home. While the land transfer tax varies depending on which province and city your new home is located in, it is usually based on the purchase price of your home. While most homes will have a provincial tax, homes in certain cities will have a municipal tax as well. If you are buying a new construction, you will also have to pay the Good and Services Tax (GST).
The lawyer and notary service fees can vary anywhere from $500 to $1,500—when you get your quote be sure to ask if it includes additional expenses rather than just the legal fees.
There is a variety of insurance you may want to purchase once you own your home. If you put less than 20 per cent down on your home, you will be required to purchase high ratio mortgage insurance, which is usually a one-time payment of between .5 and 4.5 per cent of your mortgage value. You will also want home insurance to protect your home and everything in it from fire, flood, theft and extreme weather damage. Title insurance and mortgage life insurance aren’t required, but are also good ideas if you want to protect yourself and your family.