Buying your first home: Three steps to successful mortgage shopping

-Table of contents 

Step 3: Make the right decision for your needs

Other costs to consider

Closing costs

Closing costs are upfront costs that you must pay when you purchase a home, usually before you move in. Your lawyer can help explain these costs. In addition to your down payment, you must have funds available to cover these extra costs.

They usually range from 1.5% to 4% of the purchase price of the home. For example, if you buy a $300,000 home, your closing costs could range from $4,500 to $12,000.

Closing costs may include, but are not limited to:

  • legal fees (or notary fees in Quebec)
  • land registration fees (sometimes called a land transfer tax, deed registration fee, tariff or property purchase tax)
  • township or municipal levies (may apply to new homes in subdivisions)
  • mortgage default insurance premium (if paying premium up front instead of adding it to mortgage loan)
  • provincial sales tax on premiums for mortgage default insurance (applicable in some provinces)
  • appraisal fee
  • home inspection fee
  • title insurance
  • property tax and utility adjustments (to repay the seller for prepaid bills)
  • interest adjustments (for the period between your purchase date and your first mortgage payment)
  • survey or Certificate of Location cost
  • estoppel certificate (for condominium units)
  • water tests
  • septic tank tests (if applicable).

For more information on closing costs, visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s website at, or call them toll-free at 1-800-668-2642.

Other upfront costs

Before moving in, you may have to pay for:

  • moving costs
  • storage costs
  • real estate costs for selling your home (if applicable)
  • redirecting mail.

Costs you may have shortly after moving in can include:

  • utility hook-up fees
  • basic furniture and appliances
  • painting and cleaning.

Ongoing costs related to owning a home

Ongoing costs related to owning and maintaining a home will probably be the largest part of your monthly budget once you’ve settled in. These can include:

  • mortgage payments
  • condo fees (if applicable)
  • property taxes
  • utilities
  • property insurance
  • renovation costs
  • landscaping
  • maintenance and repairs.

Planning ahead

For a list of costs that can apply before you buy and after you’ve moved in, see Buying and maintaining a home: Planning your housing budget.

Plan for these expenses by including them in your budget. For more information on making a budget, see Making a budget and sticking to it.

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