Buying Costs

“Did you know that it doesn’t cost you anything to work with a Realtor when purchasing a home?”

Yes, that’s right!  You do not pay any commission to the Buyer’s agents. They are compensated from the commission paid by the seller of the house.

The following is a basic outline of Taxes and Fees associated with purchasing a home in in British Columbia. Please note that all prices are approximate.


Property Transfer Tax is the responsibility of the buyer on the purchase of a property in BC and it is due on completion and registration of the property transfer.  It is calculated as follows:

1% on the first $200,000, 2% on the balance up to $2,000,000, 3% on the balance up to $3,000,000 and 5% on balance.

Use the calculator ( estimate your applicable property transfer tax. (Note that the calculator shouldn’t be relied on for legal purposes. Always consult with a legal professional to ensure you pay the correct tax amount)


There are some exceptions for first time home buyers and buyers of newly built homes who will use the properties as a principal residence. And if you qualify, you may be eligible for either a full or partial exemption from the property transfer tax.

First Time Home Buyer Property Transfer Tax Exemption:  With certain requirements met, first time home buyers are exempt from property transfer tax for purchases under $500,000 and partially exempt up to maximum of $860,000.

Newly Built Home Exemption: With certain requirements met, full exemption available for buyers purchasing a newly built home with a fair market value up to $1,100,000, and partial exemption up to $1,150,000.

To learn more and find out if you qualify for exemptions, check out Property transfer tax exemptions by the Government of British Columbia.


Property Tax Adjustment taxes are traditionally due on or before July 1st of each year. Property taxes are adjusted to the exact day the property is transferred. 


If you’re not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, within specified areas* of B.C., you must pay an additional 20% Property Transfer Tax on the purchase price of the property.   

* Metro Vancouver Regional District, Regional District of Central Okanagan, Regional District of Nanaimo, Capital Regional District, Fraser Valley Regional District

In some circumstances, you may be exempt from the foreign buyer’s tax. Please get in touch for details and exemptions.


For new construction/developments, buyers pay 5% of purchase price as GST. There is a potential rebate on the GST. If Owner occupied rebate of 36% of that portion up to $350,000 phased out up to $450,000.


If your down payment is less than 20% (known as a high-ratio mortgage), your mortgage provider will require mortgage default insurance. The amount is usually added to the mortgage, but may also be paid in full upon closing. It usually costs homebuyers 2.8% to 4.0% of their mortgage.

LEGAL FEES: $1500 – $2000

The transfer of the home ownership from the seller to the buyer is recorded at Land Title Office and buyers typically want to have it processed by a notary public or lawyer. Legal fees include preparation of documents, review of the contract, mortgage and other document, Land Title Office registration fees, title Searches and other miscellaneous charges.

INSPECTION FEES: $500 – $900

Buyers may choose to hire an expert to identify and prepare a report on any major issues with the home before closing. The home inspection fee varies depending on the size, type and the condition of the home.

APPRAISAL FEES: $200 – $450

Lenders may require an appraisal for both a conventional mortgage (more than 20% down payment) and a high ratio mortgage (less than 20 % down)
to confirm the market value of the property before approving your mortgage

SURVEY CERTIFICATE (For house) $300 – $500

A survey certificate is a professional document used in British Columbia to determine legal boundaries of a property.  A professional surveyor will be required to obtain a survey.  The Sellers may be in possession of this certificate and will normally provide these to a buyer. It is not needed for strata buildings. (Strata plan is used). 

FORM A (For Strata) $50

Required by the Strata Act to show vendor does not have any outstanding strata fees.


An insurance binder is a document that can temporarily serve as proof of insurance while you wait to receive your actual policy documentation. It is necessary to show the mortgage lender the property is sufficiently insured.

Please note that we can provide you with a list of qualified professionals you can choose from for everything from finances, inspectors and notary/lawyer.