Our First Home: Additional fees to consider when buying a home

Our First Home: Additional fees to consider when buying a home

Getting a mortgage and down payment sorted out can cover the cost of buying your home, but there are additional fees. These additional fees almost always catch buyers off-guard, and many forget to budget for these costs in case they have to pay them. Many of these fees are tax-deductible or even tax-refundable, but planning for unexpected expenses can save you time and worry about greater expenses in the future. Listed below are some common additional fees most Canadians pay when buying their homes.

Appraisal Fees

Your lender will first pay, and then ask you to reimburse them, this fee so that an appraiser can assess if you’ll have overpaid or underpaid the sales value of your home. You’ll have to pay for and have an appraisal done even if you don’t need mortgage default insurance.


An appraisal is completed when an appraiser compares your home’s value to other properties in the immediate area. They will take many variables, including upgrades, renovations, etc. into consideration. This service can cost you anywhere between $375-600+ with tax.  


To find an appraiser near you, searching the database of the Appraisal Institute of Canada is a great start. Your lender may arrange the appraisal process or may ask you to do so.


Property Survey Fees

The seller of your home may or may not cover the cost of getting your home’s land surveyed. What a survey involves is determining the boundaries and measurements of your home along with any overground and underground structures that are around, in or next to your property.


While expensive ($1500-2000), surveys can tell you a lot about what’s on your property. This can come in handy if you and your neighbours ever come to a land disagreement.  


New-Build Home Warranty

If you bought a new construction home or condo in nearly all of Canada’s provinces, getting an insurance warranty on a recently-built is essential and in most cases, required.


This warranty protects you from taking on costs for unexpected repairs or construction defects. This may come up within the years that the warranty is valid. In some provinces, such as Ontario, down payments are covered as well.


Prepaid Utility Bills and Condo Fees

This may seem like an obvious point, but putting a few hundred dollars in a special savings account to have your home ready for the first night in is a good idea. If you’ve bought a condominium unit, your first couple monthly maintenance fee payments might also be asked for in advance.


If you’ve bought a home, you’ll still have to take care of gardening, landscaping, appliance repairs and maintenance. So be sure to have $1,000 – $3,000 reserved for this purpose just in case.


Remember that some household utility companies may require the first month’s payment up front in addition to a set-up fee. Make sure to check beforehand and arrange appointments!


Moving Costs

Whether you arrange for a U-Haul truck or hire professional movers, the process of moving can be exhausting and expensive if you don’t plan for it a few weeks beforehand.  Getting a couple estimates, moving your things during off-peak hours/days, and using local services can help make the process run more smoothly.


See? That wasn’t so bad! Affording your new home is easy when you plan wisely. Rest assured that every loonie has been well-spent once you move in.


Speak with one of our Mortgage Specialists for more information.



A Maryland native and Toronto-area transplant/graduate of the University of Toronto, Christine is a content writer at Loanerr. When not writing articles, she's an avid swimmer, cat lover, violinist in a indie band, and a humble food aficionada.