Costs to expect when buying a home


Buying a home is probably the largest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime. It’s important to plan carefully so you can avoid unpleasant surprises and enjoy your new home. Here’s a list of costs to consider when buying a home (over and above your down payment).

Before you move

You should plan to spend between 3% and 5% of the purchase price of your new home on one-time costs such as:

  • building inspection and/or appraisal costs
  • land transfer tax
  • notary or lawyer fees
  • property and school tax adjustments
  • mortgage insurance premium
    • If your down payment is between 5% and 20% of the purchase price, you’ll have to take out mortgage insurance from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) or Genworth Financial Canada1.
  • moving expenses
  • service hook-up fees (electricity, gas, phone/internet, etc.)
  • furniture, appliances and home decorating costs (window coverings, light fixtures, etc.)
  • landscaping costs

After you move

Once you’re settled in, you’ll need to update your budget. Experts recommend spending no more than 32% of your gross income on annually recurring fixed costs. These include:

  • your mortgage payment
  • utilities (electricity, internet, cable, etc.)
  • insurance (home, life, disability, etc.)
  • property/school taxes
  • condo fees, if you’ve purchased a condo
  • RRSP repayments, if you withdrew funds under the Home Buyers’ Plan

With proper planning, you’ll be able to enjoy your new home for many years to come, and create lasting memories.

1 You’ll have the option of paying your mortgage insurance in a single lump sum or rolling it into your mortgage payments.