Closing costs, ranging from 1.5 to 4%1 of selling price, are the legal and administrative costs you will need to pay when your house closes. In addition to closing costs, there are other expenses and/or events that may require a cash outlay before, on or after your house closes. We will outline these in detail to ensure these often unexpected costs do not sneak up on you.
Cash outlays required before your mortgage closes
- Home Inspection Fee. It is highly recommended that you contract a home inspection as a condition of your Offer to Purchase. A home inspector will assemble a report on the condition of the home for a fee of around $500, depending on the complexities of the inspection.
- Deposit. A deposit that counts towards your down payment is required when you make an Offer to Purchase. The deposit may amount to 5% of the purchase price, which is the minimum down payment percentage in Canada.
Calculated as a percentage of the purchase price of your home, all provinces have a Land Transfer Tax (LTT) payable on closing, with the amount varying in each province. Some cities, such as Toronto, also have a municipal LTT.
You can expect to incur a minimum of $500 (plus GST/HST) on legal fees, which account for the preparation and recording of official documents.
Today, most lenders require title insurance to protect against losses in the event of a property ownership dispute. This is purchased through your lawyer/notary and costs $100 – $300.
- Property Insurance. Property insurance, which covers the cost of replacing your home and its contents, must be in place on closing day. This insurance is often paid in monthly or annual premiums.
- Prepaid Utility Bills. You may need to reimburse the previous owner of your property for prepaid costs such as property taxes, utilities and so forth.
- Property taxes. Property tax is calculated as a percentage of your home value, varies by municipality and must be paid each year. The residential property tax rate in Toronto for example is 0.83%, and on a $400,000 home, would be equal to $3,320 per year. You may need to reimburse the previous property owner if he/she has already paid property taxes for the full year. You are also given the option to set-up an automatic payment plan with you lender. Your lender will set up an account for you, collect an additional $277 per month ($3,320 / 12 months) and then pay property taxes on your behalf. Though by no means necessary, some homeowners find this service extremely valuable for budgeting purposes.