Costs of Buying a New Home

We love to share relevant industry articles and this is from the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association. The Association’s mandate is to help you buy, build or renovate your home with confidence. That being said, enjoy this read on the true costs of buying a new home.


The key cost consideration for any home purchase is the price of the home itself. When you buy a brand new home from a builder, the cost typically includes the base price of the home (and lot) plus the price of any upgrades you choose, from fireplaces to additional landscaping.
As well, there are other costs that you should be aware of right from the start, from legal fees to mortgage insurance premiums, which can apply to a home purchase.

GVHBA believes it is a good idea to consult with your professional new home builder and your mortgage lender early in the buying process about the specific items and typical costs that will apply to your situation. That way, you can easily budget for them and proceed with confidence, knowing that you will not be faced with unexpected last-minute expenses.

Sales Tax
When buying a newly built home up to $350,000, purchasers are entitled to a rebate of 36% of GST, up to $8,750. Between $350,000 and $450,000, the rebate is reduced on a sliding scale, and there is no rebate on homes above $450,000. The rebate can be assigned to the builder at the time of purchase, or you can claim it directly afterwards. Practices vary, so find out up front if prices quoted by your new home builder are inclusive or exclusive of tax and the rebate.

Mortgage Insurance
A high-ratio mortgage (75% or more of the total purchase price of the home) must be insured against default. There is a small application fee as well as an insurance premium ranging from 0.5% to 3.75% of the total purchase price. The premium is based on the size of your down payment and can be paid up front along with your property taxes or added to the mortgage amount.

Your mortgage lender may require a property appraisal, depending on a number of factors. For instance, for a brand new home that’s already built, an appraisal is normally needed.

Your lender may also require a property survey to verify boundaries, measurements and structures, and to identify any easements, rights-of-way or encroachments. Your builder may be able to provide you with survey documents at no cost. Alternatively, title insurance can satisfy the lender’s requirements and it will also protect you against title defects.

Water Certification
If your new home comes with its own well rather than being hooked up to municipal services, your lender may require the flow and quality of the water to be tested and certified.

Legal Services
The purchase of real estate requires the services of a lawyer (or notary) to search the title, draw up mortgage documents, register new ownership and liens and look after other closing details such as disbursement of funds. You may also want your lawyer to review the contract between you and the builder (Agreement of Purchase and Sale) before you sign it. Legal costs vary considerably, depending on lawyers’ practices and the complexity of your transaction. Get recommendations and spend a little time comparing firms to ensure you get the best value for your money.

Land Transfer Tax
The B.C. government taxes the transfer of real estate, calculated at 1% of the purchase price up to $200,000 or 2% of the price exceeding this amount.

Home Insurance
Your home must be fully insured before mortgage lenders can release the funds for your purchase. This protects both you and the lender.

Moving Costs
Determine the amount of work you are willing do yourself, from packing to unloading and setting up in your new home. Contact several moving companies to get an idea of prices and levels of service available. For a more accurate estimate, you can ask a representative to come to your home.

Appliances, Furniture, Drapery
Does the home come with appliances or will you need to invest in new ones? Will you need new blinds and drapery for the whole house? Would this be a good time to upgrade your living room set? It’s a good idea to budget for these things in advance. Talk to your lender about financing options that can help you afford the things you need to get started in your new home.

Home Maintenance Equipment
Do you have the equipment you need to maintain your home properly? Consider your needs throughout the seasons, from lawnmower to snowblower. Will you be able to purchase equipment as the need arises? Can you include it in your initial investment in your home, or will you require additional financing?

Contact us if you have any questions or comments on this post, were happy to help!

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