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Lately we’ve had a bunch of people asking us (especially first time home buyers!) what kind of fees they can expect to pay in addition to the purchase price of the house. Well we have put together a comprehensive list so everyone can get an idea of what they’re looking at in terms of total costs of buying a house.  Most people say to save roughly 1.5% of the purchase price of the house for closing costs. We think it’s probably a little bit safer to budget for 2%.  Here’s a breakdown:

-Lawyer: You’ll need a lawyer to take care of all the legal documents, transfer of ownership and disbursements needed to close the deal. A lawyer will also search title for you to ensure it is clear and free of encumbrances. If you’re buying a condo, it is also up to a lawyer to review the status certificate to make sure the condo corporation is in good standing. Budget $1000 to $1200 depending on area and whether or not you’re buying a condo. Your lawyer may also charge you another $150-200 to register your deed/mortgage.

-Home inspection: You’ll almost certainly want to have a home inspection (we would never advise our clients to go without one). During the home inspection, you’ll be able to determine the condition of the house you are buying and most of its elements.  As an additional benefit, you’ll also learn a ton about your future home and its inner workings! Budget $300-$450 depending on the size of the subject home.

-Land transfer tax: Land transfer tax will be payable in almost all cases when buying a resale property. To figure out your land transfer tax, just use our calculator. Keep in mind that first time buyers will receive a rebate of up to $2000 on that amount.

-Hiring movers/Moving expenses: To hire a team of movers with a truck, you will be looking at roughly $800 to $1200, depending on the amount of things that you have needing to be moved and the distance of the move. If you prefer to do the move yourself, budget $50-$100 for a truck rental and a similar amount for beer/pizza for your friends!

-Status certificate: Only applicable to condo type properties. In some cases the seller will have to pay this expense, in others it will fall on the buyer. This will all depend on the contract your Realtor has prepared for you and your leverage in negotiations. Budget $100-$150 if the onus falls on you.

-Survey/Title insurance: While in many cases purchasing title insurance will eliminate the need of having an up-to-date survey, there are still times when it is required. For more about title insurance, read our previous article: Budget $250-$350 for title insurance. For an up-to-date survey, $500-$1000 is reasonable. Like a status certificate, the survey may be provided by the seller, this again will depend on negotiations by your Realtor and your leverage in the transaction.

-CMHC insurance premium: If you are putting down less than 20% of the purchase price of your home, you will be subject to a mortgage insurance premium of roughly 2.5-3% of the mortgage amount + PST.  This can be payed up front or added to your mortgage balance. For a CMHC calculator, please visit: To be noted: For a more complex or risky transaction your insurance might fall to another company and be slightly higher.

Obviously, the lower the cost of your home, the more of a % the closing costs will represent. Keep these in mind when shopping for your next property and budget accordingly.

Next time we discuss closing costs for sellers. Stay tuned!