What are the costs involved in buying real estate in British Columbia?
In addition to the purchase price, there are a number of other costs you need to keep in mind.
GST: 5% GST applies on all new home sales. There is no tax on resale housing. Here are some helpful tax calculators.
Property Transfer Tax: (First-time buyers may be exempt from paying this tax)
- 1% on the first $200,000,
- 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000, and
- 3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000.
- If you’re a foreign national or foreign corporation and the residential property is located in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, you also pay the additional property transfer tax of 20% on the fair market value of your proportionate share.
Prepaid property taxes or utility bills: You will have to reimburse the sellers for any prepaid property taxes or utilities. Generally property taxes for the calendar year are paid at the beginning of July. If you purchase a property before July 1st, the seller will be paying you for the days they owned the home after January 1st. If you purchase a property after July 1st, you will pay the seller for the days you own the property before December 31st.
Mortgage loan insurance: If you get a high-ratio mortgage (less than 20% down payment) you will have to buy mortgage loan insurance from CMHC or a private company. The insurance premium usually gets added to your mortgage.
Mortgage application fee: You will also have to pay an application fee. CMHC's standard fee is $235. CMHC also offers a basic service for a $75 fee but it must be accompanied by an appraisal.
Property appraisal: Before your lender approves your mortgage, you may be required to have an appraisal done. Sometimes your lender covers this cost otherwise you are responsible for covering this cost. The fee ranges from $350 to $500.
Survey certificate: Your lender may require an up-to-date survey of the property. If the seller did not provide you with one, you will have to pay to have one done. The fee ranges from $400 to $500. Surveys are not necessary if the purchaser is buying a strata property. Ask about Title Insurance as an alternative.
Home inspection: Most REALTORS@reg; recommend that you get a home inspection by a certified home inspector. It will cost you around $400 to $500 for a smaller house. Large houses may cost more.
Legal fees: Lawyers or Notaries will cost you approximately $850 for a purchase, and $550 for a sale.
Disbursements to the Land Titles Office: These fees are approximately $300. Your lawyer or notary will arrange this payment.
Other costs to consider:
- Home insurance
- Moving costs
- Renovations or repairs
- Strata fees
- Gardening expenses