Buying a Home: What Expenses to Expect

Budgeting for a new home can be tricky. Not only are there mortgage installments and the down payment to consider, there are a host of other—sometimes unexpected—expenses to add to the equation. The last thing you want is to be caught financially unprepared, blindsided by taxes and other hidden costs on closing day.


These expenses vary: some of them are one-time costs, while others will take the form of monthly or yearly installments. Some may not even apply to your particular case. But it’s best to educate yourself about all the possibilities, so you will be prepared for any situation. Use the following list to determine which costs will apply to your situation prior to structuring your budget:

  1. Purchase offer deposit.
  2. Inspection by certified building inspector.
  3. Appraisal fee:  Your lending institution may request an appraisal of the property. The cost of this appraisal is your responsibility.
  4. Mortgage application at your lending institution.
  5. 5% GST: this fee applies to newly built homes only, or existing homes that have recently undergone extensive renovations.
  6. Legal fees: A real estate lawyer should be involved in the real estate transaction to review all paperwork. Experience and rates offered by lawyers range quite a bit, so shop around before you hire.
  7. Homeowner’s insurance: Your home will serve as security against your loan for your financial institution.
  8. Moving expenses.
  9. Service charges: Any utilities you arrange for at your new home, such as cable or telephone, may come with an installation fee or if you have not had utilities before, they may require a deposit to be paid.
  10. Renovation of new home: In order to “make it their own,” many new homeowners like to paint or invest in other renovations to their new home. If this is your plan, budget accordingly. Then budget for going over your budget!
  11. Maintenance fees or condo fees: if you are moving to a condominium, you will likely be charged a monthly condo fee which covers the costs of common area maintenance.
Data supplied by CREB®’s MLS® System. CREB® is the owner of the copyright in its MLS® System. The Listing data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by CREB®.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.