Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board’s tips for home buying
PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX
When a residence is purchased a Property Transfer Tax (PTT) is applied. The tax is calculated at one per cent on the first $200,000 and two per cent on the remainder. The First-Time Home Buyers’ Program offers an exemption to the PTT if the fair market value of the residence is $425,000 or less. In all regions there is also a proportional exemption for first-time buyers of homes with a fair market value up to $25,000 above the thresholds. This means in the Greater Vancouver area, homes valued up to $350,000 ($325,000 threshold + $25,000 proportional exemption) will be charged a pro-rated PTT. For more information please visit: www.rev.gov.bc.ca/rpt/ptt/ptt.htm
PREPAID PROPERTY TAXES OR UTILITY BILLS
You will have to reimburse the sellers for any prepaid property taxes or utilities.
Mortgage loan insurance and application fee – If you get a high-ratio mortgage (a mortgage where you pay less than a 20 per cent down payment) you will have to buy mortgage loan insurance from CMHC or a private company. If you qualify for a vie per cent down payment, CMHC charges an insurance fee that equals 3.25 per cent of the mortgage. If you put 10 or 15 per cent down, your insurance fees will decrease to two per cent and 1.75 per cent respectively. The insurance premium usually gets added to your mortgage.
You will also have to pay an application fee. CMHC’s standard fee is $235. CMHC also offers a basic service for a $75 fee but it must be accompanied by an appraisal.
DISBURSEMENTS TO LAND TITLES OFFICE
These fees are approximately $300. Your lawyer/notary will arrange this payment.
Before your lender approves your mortgage, you may be required to have an appraisal done. Sometimes your lender covers this cost otherwise you are responsible for covering this cost. The fee ranges from $150 to $350.
If you buy a newly constructed home, you must pay the 5 per cent GST. However, if your house is less than $450,000 you may be eligible for a rebate. For more information, please visit www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/business/topics/gst/construction/menu-e.html
Your lender may require an up-to-date survey of the property. If the seller did not provide you with one, you will have to pay to have one done. The fee ranges from $150 to $350.
HOME INSPECTION FEE
Most REALTORS® recommend that you get a home inspection by a certified home inspector. It will cost you from $150 to $350 for a smaller house. Large houses may cost more.
Lawyers/Notaries fees for closing the sale range according to the complexity of the deal but they should range from $600 – $1500.
© The Vancouver Sun 2008