The costs of buying a home
Other than the sales price of the home, a home buyer should expect several other fees and charges related to the transaction. Here is a list of the costs of buying a home:
Down payment on a house
The down payment on a house is the amount your financial institution will require in order to grant you a mortgage loan.
The minimum required down payment for an individual house, a divided co-ownership or a duplex is 5% of the value.
The minimum increases to 10% for a triplex or for a building with more than 4 dwellings.
For an undivided co-ownership or for a property that will not act as your primary residence, the down payment amount is 20%.
A buyer is required to contract mortgage insurance if he/she is making a down payment of less than 20% of the property’s asking price.
The cost for subscribing for this insurance varies from 0.5% to 2.90% of the total amount of the mortgage loan. The lending institution (your financial institution) will manage the mortgage insurance.
The rate for the mortgage insurance is generally added to the amount of the loan and is paid with the monthly mortgage payments or can be paid in full at the moment of the property transfer.
The deposit on the property
A deposit is not required for the purchase of a property in Quebec. The buyer and seller can agree on a deposit when an offer is made or when the conditions of an offer are removed.
When both parties agree on a deposit, the amount is clearly indicated in the offer of purchase. Lawyers and notaries recommend that the deposit be made "in trust" and not made out to the seller.
Property transfer duties (or duties on the transfer of immovables)
The municipality, a few weeks or months after the bill of sale is signed, collects the property transfer duties. They vary according to the property type.
The amount is always based on the higher of two amounts: either the final sale price of the property or the value as estimated by the municipal evaluation. It is calculated as follows:
- 0.5% on the first $50,000
- 1% on the amount from $50,000 to $250,000
- 1.5% on the amount from $250,000 and above*
Here is an example of the calculation for a property worth $280,000:
- $0 - $50,000 = $50,000 x 0.5% = $250
- $50,000 - $250,000 = $200,000 x 1% = $2,000
- $280,000 - $250,000 = $30,000 x 1.5% = $450
- Total: $250 + $2,000 + $450 = $2,700 in property transfer duties
* For attached properties in Montreal, calculate 2% on more than $500,000
Pre-sale home inspection fee
Most buyers will request a pre-sale home inspection from a qualified home inspector as a condition of sale.
The cost can vary per type of property, its size and the age of the house. The buyer should set aside at least $500 if not more for the home inspection.
Before choosing a home inspector, the buyer should ensure that he/she is a member of an association and has professional insurance protecting the buyer from errors and omissions.
Home appraisal cost
The buyer may want to request a home appraisal to be sure that he/she is paying a reasonable price for the property. In some cases, financial institutions providing mortgage loans may require a home appraisal. If neither is the case, the homeowner is generally responsible for the cost of the appraisal.
A professional evaluation will cost at least $350. An accredited home appraiser will visit the home and inspect the dimensions, materials, its condition, age, etc. He/she will also take into account the location, property type and the economic situation to evaluate its value.
In order to conclude a real estate transaction in Quebec, you will need the assistance of a notary. He or she will prepare the bill of sale, the mortgage deed, and will register the sale at the land registry office.
The buyer chooses the notary, and should expect to pay at least $1,200 in legal fees.
In Quebec, notary fees can vary by region.
Both GST (5%) and QST (9.975%) taxes apply for the purchase of a new home or a property owned by a company.
Adjustment and designation of school and municipal taxes
The buyer will have to pay property tax, municipal taxes and school taxes at the date of the transaction. The notary will calculate these amounts.
Other fees and costs
The buyer should also keep in mind moving expenses, as well as service connection fees, the cost of renovations, repairs, title insurance and property insurance.
Your financial institution may require water tests if the property is on well water. This analysis will cost around $75.
Other analyses include a certificate of location cost, ground analysis, pest controls, condo fees, new appliances, etc. The costs vary on the level of expertise required for each inspection.