All the Costs to Buy & Maintain a House in Canada


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The following is a list of all the expected and unexpected fees we incurred during the home buying process and the exact amounts we paid for each.

While the exact numbers are based on our experience buying in Belleville, ON, you can use the spreadsheet template available to download at the bottom of the page to keep track of your own estimates, quotes and local fees and the calculations will work no matter where you are in Canada.

I’ve broken down the fees into 3 sections:

One-time fees & closing costs to buy a house

Cost of the house
Purchase price$370,000.00
Downpayment Amount$74,000.00
CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance0%CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Table
Total borrowed, incl CMHC premium$296,000.00CMHC Premium Calculator
Closing costs
Downpayment amount$74,000.00Including $1,000 paid as deposit
PST8.00%Only applies to SK, QC, ON, MB
PST on CMHC premium$0.00
Provincial Land Transfer Tax$4,025.00Land Transfer Tax Calculator
Less Provincial Rebate-$4,000.002 purchasers @ $2,000 each
Municipal Land Transfer Tax$0eg. Toronto
Less Municipal Rebate$0eg. Toronto
Home Appraisal$350.00Some lenders may cover this fee
Home Inspection$439.57
Title Insurance$282.00
Register Transfer & Charge$150.54
Closing Holdback$100.00
Legal Fees & Disbursements$875.75
Closing Adjustments$1,110.62Portion owed to previous owner
Utility hook ups$300.00
Lock changes$100.00
Total moving expenses$1,128.44
Total one time costs$79,181.28Money needed to close and move in

While the downpayment was $74,000, we needed a total of almost $80,000 in funds available on or before the closing date. We funded this through a combination of savings kept in a high interest account and money withdrawn from our RRSPs through the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP).

Total closing costs (payments made in cash when the home closes) were $6,231 (including $1,000 deposit) or 1.68% of the purchase price, which is in keeping with 1.5% to 4% that is recommended to have on hand to cover these fees.

The closing adjustments are the portion of the property taxes, utility bills and other fees that has been prepaid by the previous homeowner for time/usage after ownership will have been transferred and the buyer is living in the home. They are determined by the lawyer and added to the amount paid in trust to the lawyer. In our case the total was $1,110.62.

Property taxes are calculated as a percentage of the municipalities’ assessed value of your home. The property taxes in Belleville are steep – 1.485% municipal and and additional 0.161% education levy. The assessed values are typically years behind the current market value of the home. In our case their stated value was $289,250 while we bought the home for $370,000.

Our lawyer fees and disbursements cost a total of $1,445.57 including HST (includes “Register Transfer & Charge” and “Closing Holdback”). Disbursement fees included search costs ($118), Executions Certificate ($59), photocopies ($5), postage ($5), couriers ($65), faxes ($5), long distance phone ($5), software transaction ($20).

Title insurance was a one time fee for $282.

A home appraisal can cost $250 to $350, but the buyer’s mortgage lender will often cover the fee.

DIY moving expenses were: a cube van from Discount Truck Rental ($482.37 rental, $37.01 gas) for Kitchener to Stouffville and Uhaul ($300.31 rental, $133.76 gas) for Stouffville to Belleville and a hotel when we got there for $175. These can be tax deductible.

Ongoing operating costs

Ongoing operating costs
Mortgage$1,418.68See basic calculator on downloadable worksheet below
Property Taxes$358.00Paid in 2 installments per year – I’ve prorated monthly here
Education Levy$38.81Paid in 2 installments per year – I’ve prorated monthly here
Home Insurance$102.41
Water & waste$83.33Paid bi-monthly – I’ve prorated monthly here
Internet & TV$62.09Teksavvy
Total monthly operating costs$2,222.16

Estimated annual maintenance costs

Annual maintenance costs
Misc. outdoor$500eg. landscaping, yard issues, cleaning eavestroughs, gardening
Plumber/Electrician/Appliance Repair$350Factor in one service call per year, more for an old house / old appliances
One MAJOR item (see below) per year$5,000Assumes at least one of the major items below needs doing per year
Estimated annual maintenance costs$5,850
Monthly (annual lump sum costs / 12)$488
Potential upkeep expenses
New Roof$4,000Depends on house
Replace a major appliance$800Washer, dryer, dishwasher, fridge, stove, water heater (if not a rental) … each of these has a “real” life of 5-7 years
Replace furnace$5,000Plan for this if yours is >15 years old
Paint exterior / siding repair$2,000Every 5-10 years, places can quickly look tired with our winters
Paint interior$1,000Can do a lot of this yourself
Flooded Basement$4,000If you are planning for this, then buy something else
Furniture (year one) / basic reno (following years)$5,000Small, simple renos are not required of course, but you’ll want to slowly improve things, adds to property value and makes for a nicer place to live
New windows / exterior door$7,500Every 10-20 years, depends on how old they are when you buy the place

What to read next

Over to you

We want to continue improving the worksheet and keep it up-to-date. The best way to do this is by adding details reported from readers across Canada like you.

If you’ve bought a house recently or paid for some maintenance, let us know in the comments below what you had done, how much it cost and what city/province you’re in and we’ll add it here.

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