Closing Costs

Your mortgage isn’t the only expense when buying a home. There are also closing costs that could include appraisal fees, lawyer’s fees, insurance and more. On average your combined closing costs represent between 1% and 3% of the purchase price. These will vary by province and city, and are often linked to the price of the home. Your mortgage broker, lawyer, or real estate agent can help you estimate them.

Real Estate Lawyer

A real estate lawyer plays a very important role in the home buying or selling process. You will want to select an experienced lawyer who specializes in real estate to represent you and look out for your legal interests to make sure all documents are legally binding and accurate to ensure the transaction closes. Your lawyer makes sure all transactions and paperwork are filed accordingly and all payments have been made in full and on time. Having an experienced lawyer will save you time and money!

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What are Closing Costs?

Closing costs will vary by province and city and are often linked to the price of the home. Your real estate lawyer can help you estimate your final closing costs which will include the following:

Land Survey Fee or Title Insurance – The lender usually requires a recent survey of the property or title insurance. In Canada, title fraud has become a major problem. Title Insurance is the only way to protect you and your property from this risk. The insurance costs approximately $165 to $225 and is a one-time payment.

Fire Insurance – Mortgage lenders want you to protect your home and their mortgage collateral against fire and weather related damage so it’s necessary to purchase fire insurance. This can cost up to $800 annually.

Appraisal Fee – The cost for an appraisal to determine the value of the property can range from $100 to $500 depending on the type of appraisal required and location of the property. Your mortgage lender may require an appraisal to determine whether the selling price is reasonable for that market. If your mortgage is high ratio, insured by CMHC or Genworth, they will pay this fee for you.

Home Inspection Fee – This covers the cost of a professional inspection of your home. It is recommended before finalizing an offer to purchase because it may reveal areas where repairs are required. A home inspection can cost $150 to $500.

Legal Fees – Legal fees include fees for the professional services provided by your lawyer or notary, costs involved in conducting a title search, drafting the title deed and preparing the mortgage, as well as registration fees and other disbursements. Legal fees typically start at $400 and go up from there.

Closing Adjustments – The seller may have prepaid some bills before the closing date, which you will have to cover. All taxes, utility bills, and other charges incurred after the closing date become your responsibility. These costs can vary.

Land Transfer Tax – This tax is applicable in most provinces and is usually a percentage of the purchase price from 0.3% to 3.0%.

GST – You pay GST only on the purchase price of a newly constructed home, rebates are available on lower priced new builds.

Estoppel Certificate – This is only required if you are purchasing a condo. It outlines a condominium corporation’s financial and legal state of affairs.

Tax Adjustment – The taxes on property will be adjusted as of the possession date, so they are shared between the buyer and the seller. If the seller has already paid them with a closing after June 30th as buyer, you must come up with your share in one lump sum. This can add an extra $1000 to $2000 to the cost of your purchase.

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