Home Buying Costs

Since I’m in home buying mode, I will share with you some expenses involved with purchasing a home. A lot of young readers here don’t own homes yet, so this may help with the planning.


In Newfoundland, purchasing a home with a mortgage requires that you pay a “mortgage tax” which works out to be about 1% of your mortgage balance. In other provinces, there is a “Land Transfer Tax” (if you have an existing home to sell). On top of that, you’ll have to pay the lawyer fee which around here works out to be $500 + title search. For me personally, my legal fees for purchasing only will work out to be around $2500.

Survey Costs:

If the home that you are purchasing does not have an updated survey, the lawyer will require that you get one. This should cost around $300 + tax but can sometimes be split between the buyer/seller.

Home Inspector:

A home inspector is essential when purchasing a home, especially if it’s an older home. These will cost you around $300 + tax, but worth it in my opinion.

Real Estate Agent:

A buyers real estate agent “should” be free of charge. They get their paid by splitting the vendor agents 5% – 6% commission.

Moving Costs:

This cost can vary as it depends on your circumstance. If you move a long distance, then a mover can cost a pretty penny (cost depends on distance). For a local move around here, they charge around $80-120 / hour. To save a few dollars, you may decide rent a U-Haul and move everything yourself.


If appliances do not come with the home that you are purchasing, you’ll have to go out on your own and find some. The best bet is to shop around and compare prices. When looking for the best deal, make sure to read over their warranty and their cost of shipping the items. Another thing, make sure that they insure their movers so that you are covered in case they damage your floors while moving the appliances.

Fridge: $550-$3,000
Range: $450-$2,000
Microwave: $50-$650 (over the range)
Dishwasher: $250-$1,700


If this is your first home, you may have to purchase all of your furniture. May I suggest though that instead of purchasing everything all at once, purchase things over a span of time. When we purchased our first home, we purchased our bed and bed frame,TV,dining room table, washer/dryer, sofa/love seat all at one time ($6500 – all new).

As time passed, we purchased window coverings, coffee table/end tables, lamps, receiver, and speakers. To this day, we still don’t have a bedroom set. :) If you are diligent, you can find some good used stuff in the newspaper and during moving sales.

Final Thoughts:

As you can see, it’s not cheap to purchase a home, but it’s well worth it if it’s a good move for you and your family. Remember, cash is king. If you are planning on moving in the near future, save some cash to avoid purchasing everything on credit.

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Frugal Trader


FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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Foreclosure » Home Buying Costs
13 years ago

[…] net1506 wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptSince I’m in home buying mode, I will share with you some expenses involved with purchasing a home. A lot of young readers here don’t own homes yet, so this may help with the planning. Legal:. In Newfoundland, purchasing a home with a … […]

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13 years ago

[…] Broke Ass Student (love the name) has hosted the 108th Carnival of Personal Finance. Another week of great articles, one of which was my article on Home Buying Costs. […]

Broke-Ass Student » Blog Archive » Welcome to the 108th Carnival of Personal Finance
13 years ago

[…] ¤ Million Dollar Journey presents a helpful article for the first time home buyer on Home Buying Costs […]

13 years ago

Know your rights as a consumer, i.e., you don’t need an agent in order to buy nor sell a house.

However, an agent can be useful:
1) in order to market your home (listing on MLS, open houses, etc),
2) deal with the paperwork, followup, etc (e.g., if it’s a conditional sale then the agent can deal with the home inspectors/ appraisers so you don’t have to leave work to open the house to the inspection)
3) buying a house in a city you are unfamiliar with (the agent can drive you around showing you neighborhoods, houses, etc). Also, since they have realtime access to MLS they get notice of listed properties before the public (i.e., there is a lag before it appears on http://www.mls.ca)
4) determining an accurate and current market value price of a property. Agents have easy access to MLS so they can see the history of a house, recent sale prices in an area, etc.

disclaimer; I am neither a lawyer nor realtor. I have moved numerous times across various provinces.

13 years ago

FB: Unless you are actually getting money back in the form of commission, then it is not income. What I am suggesting is buying at a lower price (in a way that the seller still nets the same amount). However, when you sell it would add to your capital gain – that’s not an issue if the house is your primary residence.

FT: Yes, I have represented myself. Legislation varies so it’s best to get advice from a lawyer in your area.

Thicken My Wallet » Blog Archive » Buying a New Home? Watch Out for Those Hidden Costs
13 years ago

[…] More importantly, there are a myriad of hidden costs to purchasing a new home or condo which the developer tends to gloss over during the sales period which are not found in pre-existing home.  Suddenly, your affordable new home or condo comes with a lot of financial strings attached. This post dove-tails with Million Dollar Journey’s post about the costs of buying any home; I would suggest that you read his post first since I am going to avoid over-lap as much as possible. […]

The Financial Blogger
13 years ago

Kevin, by doing so, do you have to count your 3,5K as a commission revenue? do you have to declare it as an income for representing yourself ?
Thx for the tips !

13 years ago

The thing to remember about real estate is that you don’t actually need an agent, but you do need a lawyer.

A buyer may purchase a home without a buyers agent. In that case the ignorant buyer may end up paying the sellers’ agent both commissions (via a more expensive house). However, a knowledgeable buyer can submit an offer where the seller still nets the same amount but the house price is lowered by buyer’s commission amount.

listed price = $100k.
Normally both agents might get $3.5k. Seller nets $93k.
Buyer without an agent submits an offer-to-purchase for $96.5 and in the offer states he is representing himself and the seller agent will get 0 commission for the buy side. The seller still nets approximately same amount.

The selling agent has a fiduciary obligation to act in the best interest of his client. If it is the best offer then the agent should not impede the sale (although I am a realist and know it happens).

The offer-to-purchase is quite a generic fill-in-the-blanks document. You need a lawyer anyway, so why not get her to help you fill it out? You may end up paying the lawyer a bit extra but likely less than the commission a realtor would get.

Mr. Cheap
13 years ago

Mike: They talk tough, but if you basically say you’re going with someone else if they insist, they’ll work with you without a signed buyers agreement (this is different then a contract with a SELLING agent, obviously they’d want a signed contract there).

G416: Again they’d be dumb then. If I had a bunch of offers to present, and they all had buyers agents except one, I’d definitely want the sellers to accept the offer without a buyer’s agent! Even if I had to drop my commission to get it through (I’d rather get 3.5% of a sale then 2.5%).

FT: Yes, I agree, but its unfortunately not a given… its only at the 11th hour where its make-or-break that a commission reduction comes into play. It’d be nice if it was standard operating procedure (“oh, you don’t have a buyer’s agent? I’ll reduce my commission to 3.5% then”).