Typical expenses

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Current Rates:

Dominion Lending Center Rates
Mortgage Type Rates
 Variable  2.95%
1 Year 3.49%
 2 Year  3.54%
 3 Year  3.44%
 4 Year  3.64%
 5 Year  3.59%
 7 Year  4.04%

Prime: 3.95%


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Closing Costs

Its easy to count your available cash, but remember that all of these cash savings cannot be used as your down payment.  There are last-minute costs such as taxes, legal fees, appraisal fees, moving expenses and house insurance to pay before you are finally in your new home.   

The time to budget for those end expenses is NOW.  You must be prepared to pay most, and perhaps all, of the following closing costs. 


Taxes & Fees

  • Property Purchase Tax

    The British Columbia Provincial Government imposes a property purchase tax, which must be paid before any property can be legally transferred to a new owner.  The tax is 1% on the first $200,000 of the property value and 2% on any value over $200,000.  Ask us about the special regulations for first time buyers in B.C.

  • Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)

  • If you purchase a newly constructed home, you may be subject to a 12% HST on the purchase price. There are many rules governing the HST, its rebates and Thresholds. You sould contact an Accountant or Laywer to get the best advice. Here's a Shelter Tax Calculator.

    Property Tax

    If the current owners have already paid the full years property taxes to the municipality, you will have to reimburse them for your share of the years taxes.  Property taxes are calculated from Jan Dec and are paid at the end of June.

    Appraisal Fee

    When the lending institution requires an appraisal of the property before approving your loan, it may be your responsibility to pay the appraisers fee.

    Survey Fee

    The lending institution may also require that a survey certificate be presented to them.  The purpose of the survey is to formally establish the boundaries of the property and to ensure that all buildings are within those boundaries.  If the current owner cannot provide a recent survey certificate, it will be your responsibility to pay the surveyors fee.

    Mortgage Application Fee

    Lending institutions may charge a mortgage application fee.  This application fee may vary between lending institutions.

    Mortgage Default Insurance

    This type of insurance is required on all mortgage loans in excess of 75% of the appraised property value.  Its purpose is to insure that the lender will not lose any money if you cannot make your mortgage payments and the value of your property is not sufficient to repay your mortgage debt.  The insurance premium is paid to the lender and ranges from % to 3.75% of the loan value; however, in most cases this premium is added to the loan amount, and paid for over the term of the loan.

    Life & Disability Mortgage Insurance

    At your option, you may purchase insurance that will ensure that your outstanding mortgage balance is paid if you die or become disabled.

    Fire & Liability Insurance

    The mortgage lender will insist that you purchase an insurance policy which guarantees that, in the event of fire, the lender will receive the balance owing on the mortgage loan before you receive any insurance proceeds.

    Legal Fees

    The transfer of property ownership from the seller to the buyer must be recorded in the Land Title Office in order to protect the new owners interests.  You will probably want to engage a lawyer or notary public to act on your behalf during the completion of your purchase.  The legal fees for this service will include payment of a registration fee.  If you are financing your purchase with a new mortgage loan, there will be a further fee to prepare and register the mortgage documents.

    Do you need a list of legal counselors who specialize in real estate? Check out our Links Page.


Other Things To Consider

Hire A Professional Home Inspector To Give You A Report

Please remember that it is ultimately YOUR responsibility to ensure all of your questions have been answered to your satisfaction since it is could potentially be your future home.  What other questions should you ask?

Is A Property Condition Disclosure Statement Available?

In British Columbia, sellers may be asked to complete a Property Disclosure Statement in a prescribed form.  This statement provides information about the state of the property to all potential purchasers.  It is a good idea to peruse this document carefully as it may provide pertinent information about the condition of a potential home. 

What is the zoning on this property?

The zoning on a property is established by the local government.  Zoning sets the type of buildings which may be built on any particular piece of property and how those buildings may be used: single-family residential, duplexes, multi-family residential, commercial, or industrial.  You may also wish to ask about the zoning on the surrounding properties to determine if, for instance, a factory or a park could suddenly appear nearby.  You should contact the municipality because they have this type of information. 

Are there any restrictive covenants?

A restrictive covenant places a specific limitation on the owners use or occupancy of property.  Such things as a prohibited type of exterior finish, the minimum size of the structure, or the maximum height of the structure are only a few examples of the type of restrictive covenant you may encounter.  The act of purchasing a property that has a restrictive covenant compels you to abide by it.

Are there any easements?

An easement is a right or privilege one party has to use the land of another for a special purpose.  Examples are: easements given to telephone and electric companies to erect poles and run lines over private property, easements given to people to drive or walk across someone elses land and easements given to gas and water companies to run pipelines to serve their customers. 

Is a copy of the State of Title available?

A copy of the State of Title will allow you to see who is registered as the current owner of the property and if there are any registered mortgages, easements, restrictive covenants, right of ways, etc., which may affect the use or value of the property. 

How much are the property taxes?

The amount of property taxes payable will figure in the calculation of how much money you can borrow to finance your purchase.  Ask us about the BC Homeowners Grant. 


Other Expenses

Realtor's Fees are paid by the vendor and are negotiable between 3 and 7% of the home's market value. As a rule of thumb, Realtors often charge 7% on the first $100,000 of the sale price and 3% on the remainder. HST of 12% is also applied to the Realtor's commission and is payable by the vendor.

Appraisal Fee Your lender may require a property appraisal at your expense. The cost is between $150-$250.

Survey Fee Your lender will require an up-to-date survey. If the Seller does not have one, you will have to pay to have one done. This can be approximately $150-$350.

Lawyer's Fees Lawyers review the Offer to Purchase, search the title, draw up mortgage documents and tend to the closing details. The fee will be approximately $500-$800. This amount varies between Provinces depending on the complexity of the sale and the type of property.

Home Inspection Fee is usually around $450. This is the equivalent of a survey in the UK and other countries and is carried out at the purchaser's request.

Property Insurance which covers the replacement value of the structure of your home and its contents.

Service Charges can be in the region of $35-$50 to hook up new services and utilities.

Condominium (Strata) Fees are charged monthly and cover building insurance and maintenance. The building’s property manager will provide you with the fee.  For a newly built condo worth $250,000, expect to pay approximately $200 per month (this varies from building to building).


Here's a condensed list. Home Purchase Costs.






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