Closing Costs When Buying a House or Condo

There is nothing worse than surprise costs when buying a house or condo. Knowing all the up-front fees and costs will help you determine what you can truly afford and avoid any last-minute panic.

The costs to be aware of during the home buyer process include:

Property Appraisal

A property appraisal will generally cost $400 in Victoria, and is paid by the buyer or lender to verify the properties value. Although an appraisal is not always required for purchase, some lenders will ask for one. Since some lenders may cover the cost of this, ask your lender or broker before proceeding.

Home Inspection

Approximately $500 paid to a home inspection company.

Lawyer or Notary Fees

Legal fees are approximately $1200 for completion of purchase. BC requires you have a lawyer or notary act for you in the purchase of your home to transfer title and aid in the completion process.

Not sure whether to use a lawyer or notary, check out this previous blog on that topic.

Statement of Adjustments

In some cases, the previous owners have pre-paid for utilities and property taxes. In that case, you may have to pay the seller for the portion starting from when you own the home. For example, if the seller paid their property taxes on April 1 for the full year, and you move on May 1, you may need to reimburse the seller for the cost they paid past the closing date. Your lawyer will determine this for you.

Property Transfer Tax

Property transfer tax (PTT) is a one-time cost based on the purchase price of the home in BC. Buyers can be exempt from paying the PTT through programs such as, first time home-buyer PTT exemption and Newly Built Home PTT exemption.

The PTT is calculated as follows:

  • 1% on the first $200,000.
    • 2% on the value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000.
    • 3% on the value greater than $2,000,000.

Have a home in mind you are looking to buy and wondering what the exact PPT is? Use the following calculator to determine the PTT based on the purchase price.

Title Insurance

Title insurance provides protection against fraud, and is an optional expense that could prevent headaches down the road.

Property Survey

A lender may require a property survey, which can cost $500, if a survey certificate is not available. This only applies to detached homes and not strata properties.


GST is only applicable when you purchase a new home. This can include a new build or a pre-sale condo unit. The actual GST cost works out to 5% of the purchase price, and is due at the time of completion of sale.

You may be lucky and qualify for one of two GST rebates, so check to see if they apply to you.

  • Full GST New Housing Rebate: 36% of the 5% GST for new homes in BC under $350,000. Applies only for primary residences.
  • Partial GST New Housing Rebate: If the purchase price is between $350,000 and $450,000 you may be eligible for a partial rebate.


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