The following is an estimate of the costs involved in the normal operation of a home in the Toronto area. Costs vary from one area of the city to another so these figures should be used only as a guide.
Property owners have the option of paying their property taxes in eight installments over the course of the calendar year. Mortgage companies may insist that they pay the property tax and collect it with your monthly mortgage payment. Realty taxes range from $1,800 to $6,000 a year and up depending on the size and location of the property. These figures are available on each property listing.
Home heating will usually be provided by natural gas, oil or electricity. Costs vary depending on the type of fuel, size of the home, amount of insulation, exposure and usage. The average cost of heating a home with gas or oil is $75 to $200 per month and up. Electricity is usually more expensive. Costs vary greatly depending on use, but the average monthly expense for a four-person family is $75 to $150 and up. Billing is generally every two months.
Insurance is essential for all homeowners and is required by your mortgage company before it will release the funds to close the deal. Premiums are based on the replacement cost of the building and start at around $550 per year.
Water & Sewage
Most properties in Toronto are now on water meters and are billed according to usage. Some older parts of the city are still on a flat rate and property owners pay approximately $400 a year for both services.
Mortgage Loan Insurance
Typically, lenders require mortgage loan insurance for loans made to anyone that wishes to purchase a home with less than 20% of the purchase price. The Canadian Bank Act prohibits most federally regulated lending institutions from providing mortgages without mortgage loan insurance for amounts that exceed 80% of the value of the home or purchases with less than 20% down payment. Through your lender, CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance enables you to finance up to 95% of the purchase price of a home.
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Additional Costs of Buying
A home inspection is strongly recommended for most residential properties and will usually be a condition of the offer. Your agent can assist you in choosing a home inspector. The cost will vary depending on the value, age and use of the property but will usually range from $350 to $600.
You may wish to hire a termite inspector as well as a home inspector if you are buying in an area of the city where termites are known to be a problem. This could add another $250 and up to the cost of your inspection.
When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will want to see an appraisal on the property to ensure that the price you are paying falls within the accepted range of value for that type of property and that area of the city. The fee for this is usually $235 and up.
When you make an offer on a freehold property you will usually ask the vendor to provide a copy of the survey for the property. The purpose of this survey is to show the boundaries as well as the footprint of the building on the site. If there is no survey available, you may wish to hire a surveyor to prepare one at a cost of approximately $1000.
Title insurance is relatively new in this country although it has been widely used in the United States for some years. It provides insurance against the future costs of remedying most problems with the title on your property. Ask your agent to explain the benefits and the cost of this service ($250 and up).
Land Transfer Tax
See the Land Transfer Tax Calculator to calculate the cost based on the property price.
The Seller is required to pay the HST on the real estate commission.
Lawyer Fees - You will be required to hire a lawyer to close the transaction on your behalf. Lawyer fees vary and it is suggested that you contact a few as recommended by your agent, friends or family that have experience in dealing with real estate transactions and discuss your requirements. The costs can vary from $800 & up plus disbursements, depending on the complexity of the transaction, type of property and area.
Purchasers are responsible for paying applicable taxes on appraisal services, land survey, home inspection, termite inspection, lawyer’s fees, and on the premium charged on CMHC loans.