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The Hidden Costs of Buying a Home in Canada


The hidden cost fo buying a home in Canada image
Reading Time: 4 Min

Securing a new home is exhilarating, but staying mindful of the incognito charges that follow the acquisition is critical. These sneaky expenses, also called closing costs, can reshape your fiscal strategy, influencing your upfront payment and the scope of your mortgage approval. Within this piece, we aim to unpack the diverse hidden fees you may encounter when investing in a Canadian home, bestowing you the crucial know-how to proceed confidently in your home-buying journey.

Conduct a Home Inspection to Spot Hidden Issues

It’s wise to engage a certified home inspector before you bid on a home. Although it’s an extra expense, this step could shield you from unforeseen, costly fixes afterward. The inspector will meticulously evaluate the home’s vital systems, such as electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and structural integrity. Additionally, they’ll scrutinize the home’s exterior to spot any concealed problems.

Schedule the Property Appraisal – Confirming Your Future Home’s Value

When seeking a home loan, expect the institution lending you money to insist on a professional assessment of the home’s worth. This evaluation is carried out by a certified appraiser who examines the home’s quality and aligns it with local market comparisons. Remember to account for this appraisal expenditure in your overall settlement costs.

Obtain a Property Survey to Determine the Exact Boundaries

A real estate survey maps out the confines of your estate and flags any constrictions or trespasses that have the potential to impact its market price. Some mortgage providers could stipulate a fresh survey before greenlighting a loan, even when it’s not required. If the real estate you aim to buy needs an up-to-date survey, it might be necessary to commission a skilled surveyor to carry out this task.

Secure Title Insurance – Defending Your Property Claim

Title insurance offers a safety net for you and your mortgage provider against ownership disputes concerning the property. It guards against threats, including deed scams, land use noncompliance and outstanding debts. While not mandatory for purchasers, your attorney might suggest an owner’s title insurance plan to lessen possible hazards.

Purchase Property Insurance – Protecting Your Estate’s Value

Insuring your property is crucial to home ownership, offering protection from unforeseen mishaps such as flames or burglaries. Your home loan financer will mandate that you acquire property insurance before the home purchase completion. Ensure that you choose a policy that provides for the total replacement value of your dwelling and its contents. 

Invest in Mortgage Protection Plans – Mitigating Life’s Uncertainties

Life’s unforeseen circumstances may affect how you manage your home loan repayments. It’s a voluntary yet prudent decision to consider securing mortgage life, critical illness, disability, or unemployment coverage. Such insurance plans safeguard you financially if struck by severe health issues, the loss of a loved one, unemployment, or a disability, providing serenity by guaranteeing financial stability for your loved ones in challenging periods.


Closing Day: Fees, Taxes, and Mortgage Default Insurance


Land Transfer Tax Obligation – Understanding Your Payment Duties

Acquiring a home entails settling the land transfer tax enforced by the state. In Canada, each province prescribes distinct protocols and scales for tax assessment. Also, select urban centers, including Toronto, charge an extra municipal land transfer tax. Rebates might be accessible for first-time property buyers in specific regions, for instance, British Columbia.

New Property Taxation: Unpacking GST/HST on New Homes – What Homebuyers Should Know

Freshly built or heavily remodeled homes might attract GST/HST charges. When buying one of these houses, you might be eligible for a rebate on new housing, potentially reducing the tax burden.

Reimbursing Prepaid Property Taxes, Utilities, and Condo Dues – Buyer’s Rights and Obligations

If the property’s seller has covered expenses like property taxes, utilities, or association dues ahead of time, you, as the purchaser, will need to pay them back for any part of those expenses that fall beyond the settlement date.

Mortgage Default Insurance: Protecting the Lender

Securing mortgage default insurance becomes necessary when your initial payment on a home is under 20% of its cost. If you can’t pay back your debt, it protects your lender. Insurance costs, usually wrapped into loans, depend on your initial payment.

Legal Fees and Disbursements: Navigating the Legal Process

Finalizing your home’s purchase requires the expertise of a property legal advisor. Included in your settlement charges are the attorney’s remuneration and other expenditures. Attorney fees include evaluating contractual documents, thorough property title assessments, and coordinating the property rights handover. Expenditures, or disbursements, are costs the legal advisor incurs on your behalf, like the fees for registering the property and conducting title inquiries.

Settling In: Making the Most of Your New Home Post-Closing

Cheers to you! Your new dwelling’s keys are now yours to hold. Upon the sale’s completion, expect a comprehensive report of the transaction and all pertinent legal files from your legal advisor. Embark on the delightful journey of being a proud homeowner.


When purchasing a property in Canada, there’s more to consider than the sticker price. Remember the often-overlooked expenses like charges for property inspection, terrain mapping, ownership assurance, and mortgage guarantee insurance. Being informed about these costs is pivotal for effective budget management. Anticipating these costs is the secret to a hassle-free and economically responsible home purchase.

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Author Bio

Mohamed Konate

Mohamed Konate is a personal finance expert, blogger, and marketing consultant based out of Toronto. He is a former financial services professional who worked for many years at major Canadian financial institutions where he managed the marketing strategy around various financial products ranging from credit cards to lines of credit. Mohamed is passionate about personal finance and holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Quebec (Montreal) and a Master in International Business from the University of Sherbrooke (Quebec).He is also the author of the Canadian Credit Card Guidebook. Read his full author bio