The terms below are costs that apply to mortgage and property purchase transactions. Note that not all costs apply in all circumstances, but are listed here for information.

Property Transfer Tax

This is a provincial tax charged every time a property changes hands. The cost is 1% on the 1st $200,000 of value, and 2% thereafter. If you are a first time homebuyer, there is a program to provide full or partial relief from this tax under specific conditions. We can help you find out if you qualify.  BC Property Transfer Tax


If you are buying a newly subdivided lot or a new home, GST will generally be charged at 5% on the full amount of the purchase (though there are often government rebates that reduce the net GST charged).


Most lenders will require an appraisal of the property to support the lending value of the property. Fees are higher for revenue properties or more complex purchases. Commercial appraisals are significantly more expensive and more time consuming to prepare given the complexity of the appraisal required.

Property Inspection

An inspection is a thorough evaluation of the structure, systems and components of a home. The inspection report is usually multi-paged, and comments on the condition of, but not limited to: foundations, electrical, plumbing, heating, water heaters, appliances, fireplaces, drainage, roof, walls, floors, attic, crawl spaces, patios, etc. The inspection is usually performed a day or two before the market value is determined by the property appraisal. An inspection can cost anywhere between $300-$500 but the cost is well worth identifying any major cost repairs required.

Title Insurance

To protect the lender’s interest in the mortgaged property in the event there is some discrepancy on title that would create a legal problem, many lenders require title insurance. Title insurance is often a less expensive and acceptable alternative to getting a survey prepared for the property.


Lenders may require a survey to support the transaction. A survey is a drawing by a certified surveyor of the property lines and where the building sits on the property. This is done so that the lender can verify exactly what and where they are lending on, and to provide some assurances that the buildings are not illegally encroaching on neighbouring properties, etc. The cost of the survey varies for size/complexity of the property but standard neighbourhood lots have a survey cost of about $270.

Mortgage Insurance

The term Mortgage Insurance is used in two different ways, and each have different and specific purposes:

  1. Life/Disability Insurance – This insurance is often recommended by lenders to ensure that you are able to meet the mortgage payments should you or your co-borrower become disabled or die during the term of your mortgage. Rates and Coverage vary widely, so let us help you make sure you are getting the most coverage for your money.
  2. Default Insurance – Default insurance is usually required on loans where the borrower is borrowing more than 75% of the value of the property. Genworth and CMHC provide this insurance and the cost varies with the amount borrowed relative to the property value. There is a $165 application fee for these programs.
Realtor Commissions

If you are purchasing and use a Realtor to help you, the seller will pay for their Realtor and yours. If you are selling, fees vary, but are often 6 or 7% on the 1st $100,000 and 3 or 4% thereafter. There are a number of lower commission Realtors, and their fees will vary. GST at 6% of the commission payable is also charged to the seller.

Legal fees

If you are selling a property, you will be responsible for legal fees regarding clearing the title for the purchaser. If you are the purchaser, you are responsible for conveyance fees, preparation of statements of adjustment, and mortgage registration.

Interest Adjustments

This is the interest that you will pay for receiving the mortgage funds for periods outside of standard payment periods. For example, if your completion date was on the 23rd of a 30 day month, you owe 8 days interest for those days before normal payment cycles commence.

Property Tax Adjustments

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 from January 1st to completion day. You then are responsible for the entire amount to be paid to the municipality on July 1st. If you purchase a property after July 1st, you will pay the seller for the days you own the property from completion day to December 31st, as they will already have paid the entire amount to the municipality on July 1st.

Rental Deposit Adjustments

If the property has a rental suite the vendor must transfer the tenant’s security deposit to the purchaser. If completion takes place mid-month, adjustments must also be made for rent collected by the vendor and pro-rated payment made to the purchaser.

Property Insurance

If you have a mortgage on a property, almost every lender will want to make certain that you have adequately insured the property for loss from fire, flood etc. Note that the insurance must be for the full property value rather than just the mortgage amount. In the event of a loss, it is standard practice mortgaged property generally notes the financial institution as the payee. There is a fee of about $35 for the insurance company to confirm coverage in this manner and is often referred to as a “binder.”