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Purchasing a home: 11 fees to keep in mind besides your mortgage

published on November 27, 2014


​To make sure you don’t forget anything when drawing up your budget for purchasing a home, we’ve put together a list of essential elements to include.

​According to Jonathan Haziza, a product manager for mortgage solutions at National Bank, the scale of the costs linked to buying a property tend to be underestimated by first-time buyers. So without further ado, here are some expenses to keep in mind for a realistic portrait of what lies ahead.

Appraisal fee

Your financial institution may ask for an evaluation of the property’s market worth. This happens when the cost is steep or the property contains various risk factors. Requesting an appraisal is a means of protection: either to ensure that payments won’t be above your means, or to verify that the property is truly worth what you’re about to pay. You’ll therefore need to hire an appraiser to produce the necessary documents. 

Inspection fee

Hiring a building inspector to check for hidden defects in pre-existing houses is crucial. This will help you avoid bad surprises that could cost you a lot; you’ll have peace of mind knowing that everything is as it should be.

Notary fee

In Canada, any mortgage deed requires the services of a notary. The cost of this transaction varies depending on a number of criteria.
Maître Pascale Gagnon, notary, says that: “The type of building, the number of buyers, and the number of separate accommodations, to name only a few, are some of the factors that could impact a notary’s rate. The best way to gauge fees is to directly contact a notary, who will evaluate your case taking into account all of your future residence’s parameters.”


As a home owner, here are the five most important taxes you’ll need to keep in mind:

  • Welcome tax, which municipalities apply whenever a property changes hands;
  • Sales tax, including GST and QST if you’re buying a new home;
  • CMHC tax (9% of premium value);
  • Municipal tax;
  • School tax.

These taxes vary per municipality and according to property value. When preparing your budget, note that municipal and school taxes are recurring and need to be paid year after year, whereas the others only apply once, when you move.


If your down payment is smaller than 20% of the cost of your home, you’ll need to take out mortgage insurance. This insurance does not cover your assets, but rather your mortgage payments. Your financial institution may request that you take out mortgage insurance even if your down payment is bigger than 20% of your property value. A financial advisor can let you know whether mortgage insurance will be requested of you.

Electricity, television, and Internet connection fees

Electricity connection fees are often forgotten by first-time buyers, as well as fees related to opening new Internet and television accounts. Contact your suppliers to check service availability in your new neighbourhood. If you’re moving into a new development, you may need to pay additional fees to connect your neighbourhood to various networks.


Keep some money aside for renovations. Take time to walk through your future dwelling to pinpoint improvements and repairs you’d like to take on.

Furniture and appliances

Your current furniture and appliances might not fit in your new home, or you might simply need to buy more.

Moving costs

Whether you hire professional movers or decide to do everything yourself, you’ll certainly need to take on a few moving-related expenses. Don’t forget to include them in your budget.

Cohabitation fees

If you’re buying a condo, you’ll need to pay cohabitation fees, which include communal expenses such as interior and exterior maintenance, snow removal, etc.


Since it’s impossible to plan for everything, we recommend keeping some money aside for emergencies. National Bank’s Jonathan Haziza’s advice is to set aside at least 2 or 3% of your property value in case anything unexpected happens.

With this list, you can now draw a more accurate portrait of all the expenses associated with purchasing a home. But the best tool to help you figure everything out remains the experience of a financial advisor. Consult our branch locator to find an advisor who can suitably guide you.

Source: ClearFacts by National Bank

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