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|
|CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance||0%||CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Table|
|Total borrowed, incl CMHC premium||$296,000.00||CMHC Premium Calculator|
|Downpayment amount||$74,000.00||Including $1,000 paid as deposit|
|PST||8.00%||Only applies to SK, QC, ON, MB|
|PST on CMHC premium||$0.00|
|Provincial Land Transfer Tax||$4,025.00||Land Transfer Tax Calculator|
|Less Provincial Rebate||-$4,000.00||2 purchasers @ $2,000 each|
|Municipal Land Transfer Tax||$0||eg. Toronto|
|Less Municipal Rebate||$0||eg. Toronto|
|Home Appraisal||$350.00||Some lenders may cover this fee|
|Register Transfer & Charge||$150.54|
|Legal Fees & Disbursements||$875.75|
|Closing Adjustments||$1,110.62||Portion owed to previous owner|
|Utility hook ups||$300.00|
|Total moving expenses||$1,128.44|
|Total one time costs||$79,181.28||Money 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 We funded this through a combination of savings kept in a high interest account and money withdrawn from our RRSPs through the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP).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||$1,418.68||See basic calculator on downloadable worksheet below|
|Property Taxes||$358.00||Paid in 2 installments per year – I’ve prorated monthly here|
|Education Levy||$38.81||Paid in 2 installments per year – I’ve prorated monthly here|
|Water & waste||$83.33||Paid bi-monthly – I’ve prorated monthly here|
|Internet & TV||$62.09||Teksavvy|
|Total monthly operating costs||$2,222.16|
Estimated annual maintenance costs
|Annual maintenance costs|
|Misc. outdoor||$500||eg. landscaping, yard issues, cleaning eavestroughs, gardening|
|Plumber/Electrician/Appliance Repair||$350||Factor in one service call per year, more for an old house / old appliances|
|One MAJOR item (see below) per year||$5,000||Assumes 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||$4,000||Depends on house|
|Replace a major appliance||$800||Washer, dryer, dishwasher, fridge, stove, water heater (if not a rental) … each of these has a “real” life of 5-7 years|
|Replace furnace||$5,000||Plan for this if yours is >15 years old|
|Paint exterior / siding repair||$2,000||Every 5-10 years, places can quickly look tired with our winters|
|Paint interior||$1,000||Can do a lot of this yourself|
|Flooded Basement||$4,000||If you are planning for this, then buy something else|
|Furniture (year one) / basic reno (following years)||$5,000||Small, 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||$7,500||Every 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.