13 Extra Costs Before Buying a Home

1. Appraisal Fee Your lending institution may request an appraisal of the property which would be your responsibility to pay for. Appraisals can vary in price from approximately $350-$500.

2. Property Taxes Depending on your downpayment, your lending institution may decide to include your property taxes in your monthly mortgage payments. If your property taxes are not added to your monthly payments, your lending institution may require annual proof that your taxes have been paid.

3. Survey Fee When the home you purchase is a resale (vs a new home), your lending institution may ask for an updated property survey. The cost for this survey can vary between $1000-$1200.

4. Property Insurance Home insurance covers the replacement value of your home (structure and contents). Your lending institution will request proof that you are insured as it protects their investment on the loan.

5. Service Charges Any new utility that services your hook up, such as telephone or cable, may require an installation fee.

6. Legal Fees Even the simplest of home purchases should have a lawyer involved to review all paperwork. Shop around, as rates vary greatly depending on the complexity of the issues and the experience of the lawyer.

7. Mortgage Loan Insurance Fee Depending upon the equity in your home, some mortgages require mortgage loan insurance. 

8. Mortgage Brokers Fee A mortgage broker is entitled to charge you a fee in order to source a lender and organize the financing. However, it pays to shop around because many mortgage brokers will provide their services free to you by having the lending institution absorb the cost.

9. Moving Costs The cost for a professional mover can cost you in the range of:  $125-$175/hour for a van and 3 movers, and • 10-20% higher during peak demand seasons.

10. Maintenance Fees Condos charge monthly fees for common area maintenance such as groundskeeping and carpet cleaning in hallways. Costs will vary depending on the building.

11. Water Quality and Quality Certification If the home you purchased is serviced by a well, you should consider having your water checked by your local experts. Depending upon where you live, determines whether or not a fee is charged, to certify the quantity and quality of the water.

12. Local Improvements If the town you live in has made local improvements (such as the addition of sewers or sidewalks), this could impact a property’s taxes by thousands of dollars.

13. Land Transfer Tax This tax is applied whenever property changes hands and the amount that is applied can vary.

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Recent Blog Posts

In the dynamic real estate landscape of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), potential home buyers are facing challenges and opportunities. Let's dive into the interesting trends that came out in October 2023.

  1. Price Resilience Amid Borrowing Costs. The real estate market is witnessing an interesting phenomenon - the unwavering resilience of home prices, which are consistently above last year's levels. This intriguing trend finds its roots in the intense competition among buyers, which is acting as a formidable force that effectively offsets the potential impact of the higher borrowing costs currently being experienced. The market, it seems, is navigating these challenges with a vibrant spirit, creating a beneficial environment for both current homeowners and potential buyers alike. This not only shows that the housing market can handle pressure but also highlights the power of buyer competition in shaping and influencing pricing dynamics. In the face of higher borrowing costs, it seems like a big deal, the market stands as proof of its ability to adapt, showcasing the strength that exists within the real estate sector.


  1. Affordability and Market Dynamics. In the dynamic world of GTA real estate, the issue of affordability has grabbed everyone's attention, especially those aspiring to own a home. However, here's the intriguing part – despite these challenges, the market has proven its resilience. In October 2023, there were a total of 4,646 transactions, indicating a 5.8% decrease compared to the previous year. Unlike in the past, when there were many offers, today's homebuyers have the opportunity to make more informed decisions. This change emphasizes a positive aspect, encouraging a thoughtful and balanced approach to the homebuying process.


  1. Borrowing Costs and Buyer Behavior. As borrowing costs have risen and there is some uncertainty about interest rates, many people thinking about buying a home are taking a cautious approach, a sort of wait-and-see strategy. Experts, including TREB President Paul Baron, predict that in the second half of 2024, there could be a significant increase in home sales when mortgage rates start to go down. Currently, people are in no hurry, but if mortgage rates become more affordable, there's a belief that more homes will be sold out faster.


As we navigate these market dynamics, it's crucial to stay informed. Our commitment is to provide you with insights and support tailored to your real estate journey. Whether you're considering buying, selling, or renting, we're here to guide you.

For more in-depth analysis and personalized advice, feel free to get in touch with our team. Your dream home in the GTA might be closer than you think.

Julia Petritchkovitch 

Your Trusted Partner in Real Estate


The Homebuyers’ Guide to NEW HOMES

1. Get in Touch with Your Agent. Before you visit your first model home, sit down with your agent and do your homework. You’ll want to be prepared so that you can determine a comfortable price range for your new home. Determine a Comfortable Price Range If you own a home, you’ll first need to know the net proceeds from its sale in order to determine how much cash you’ll have to work with. Don’t simply estimate this but carefully calculate every possible selling cost.

2. Sellers’ Agents Versus Buyers’ Agents. Here’s a good point to remember. The sales agent in the model home represents the builder, not you. They are known as sellers’ agents. As a buyer you can work with a buyers’ agent at no additional cost.

3. A Builder For All Reasons. Like all tradesmen, builders vary in their fields of expertise. For example there are builders who specialize in craftsmanship, others who are known for their innovative use of space, and those who offer below-market financing or customer attention during construction and after move-in. Determine your own specific needs or preferences then shop around for a builder that will best address your requirements.

4. Get the Facts About Your Builder. Before making a final decision, it is wise to check out the reputation and financial strength of the builder. Get “spec sheets” on home features covering everything from floor plans to energy efficiency, including lot availability and delivery of your home.*

5. Check Out the Neighborhood. Find out from local land-use officials what else is planned or could be constructed in the area, especially where vacant land is applicable. Review the rules for the homeowner’s association, or find out if one will be set up. Think of how you will be affected by commuting routes and times.

6. Be Sure the Contract Works in Your Favor! When spelling out the particulars of an agreement with your builder, ensure you protect yourself by having safeguards written into the agreement.

7. Financing — What’s Best for You? Some builders, especially in high-volume communities that place large numbers of loans, can offer special financing packages. However, because “home loan” lending is highly competitive, you have many financing choices other than those being offered by the builder. Shop around for everything, from rates to lender fees. Appraisals, inspections, surveys, attorneys and closing fees can vary as well.

8. Just Because it’s New… Doesn’t Mean it’s Perfect. Yes it’s new and typically it’s built with modern materials that are durable, low maintenance, stronger, quieter, and safer. But because nothing is perfect, even if it’s new, consider hiring a reputable, licensed home inspector. Consider budgeting for items to be modified or added later on.


1. You may be able to get your lender to help you with your down-payment and closing costs. Even if you do not have enough cash for a down-payment, if you are debt-free, and own an asset-free and clear (such as a car), your lending institution may be able to lend you the down-payment for your home by securing it against this asset.

2. You may be able to get your lender to help you with your down-payment and closing costs.

Even if you do not have enough cash for a down-payment, if you are debt-free, and own an asset-free and clear (such as a car), your lending institution may be able to lend you the down-payment for you.

3. You may be able to find a seller to help you buy and finance your home. Some sellers may be willing to hold a second mortgage for you as a “seller take-back”. 

4. You can buy a home even if you have problems with your credit rating. If you can come up with more than the minimum down payment or can secure the loan with other equity, many lending institutions will consider you for a mortgage. Alternatively, a seller take-back mortgage could also help you in this situation.

5. You can, and should, get preapproved for a home loan before you go looking for a home. Preapproval is easy and can give you complete peace of mind when shopping for your home.