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Closing Costs

When you buy a home, you need to determine the additional costs of the home-buying process. According to most lenders you should have at least 1.5% - 2.5% of the purchase price for closing costs.

The costs vary across provinces, and for that matter, cities. Below you will find a brief explanation of these costs, though it may not include all items specific to your property, or the area in which you have purchased. This is a guideline. If you need a more accurate amount,contact the Wise Move team and we will help you calculate your estimated closing costs.

Home Inspection Fee

A professional inspection of the home, top to bottom, is for the benefit of the buyer. Therefore, it's the buyer who absorbs the cost. A typical home inspection can cost anywhere from $400 and up (plus HST), but it's our opinion that they are well worth the investment. When hiring a home inspector, make sure the inspector has liability insurance, just in case a mistake is made.

Appraisal Fee

The appraisal provides the lenders with a professional opinion of the market value of the property. This cost is normally the borrower's responsibility and it ranges from as low as $200 for a drive-by appraisal to as much as $300 for a full appraisal, and the average being $250, plus applicable taxes. Occasionally, the costs could be slightly higher for larger, custom-built homes, or homes in remote areas.

Fire Insurance

All mortgage lenders will require a certificate of fire insurance to be in place from the time you take possession of the home. The amount required is generally at least the amount of the mortgage or the replacement cost of the home. This cost can vary on the property size and extras being insured, as well as the insurance company and the municipality.

Land Survey Fee or Title Insurance Fee

A recent Survey of the property is usually required by the lender, and if one is not available, a new one normally costs anywhere from $600-$1,200. In lieu of Survey, most lenders today will accept title insurance, at a much lower price. You can get an estimate from your lawyer.

Legal Costs and Disbursements

A lawyer or notary will charge a fee for their professional services involved in drafting the title deed, preparing the mortgage, and conducting the various searches. The disbursements, on the other hand, are out-of-pocket expenses incurred, such as registrations, searches, supplies, etc., plus HST.

Land Transfer Tax

Most provinces charge a land transfer tax, payable by the purchaser, and the amount varies from province to province. This tax is based on the purchase price.  

Mortgage Application and Processing Fee

On a high-ratio insured mortgage (mortgages above 75% of the purchase price), the mortgage insurer (CMHC or Genworth) may charge a fee for applying and processing the file, as well as appraising the property.

Closing Adjustments

An estimate should be made for closing adjustments for bills that the seller has prepaid such as property taxes, utility bills, and other charges. Any bills after the closing date are the purchaser's responsibility. Your lawyer/notary will let you know what they are exactly once the various searches have been completed.


As of July 1, 2010, the Harmonized Sales Tax will come into effect (combining the GST and PST into a single tax). The HST will affect a variety of real estate related services; including legal fees, commission, chattels, home inspection fees, moving costs, appraisal fees, surveys, title insurance, among others. Please ask you Wise Move Agent about your specific situation.

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