The costs of buying a home

Aside from than the home’s selling price, the buyer should expect several other fees and charges related to the transaction. Here is a list of the costs of buying a home:

Down payment

  • The down payment on a house is the amount your financial institution will require to grant you a mortgage loan.
  • The minimum required down payment for an individual house, a divided co-ownership or a duplex is 5% of the value.
  • The minimum increases to 10% for a triplex or for a building with more than 4 dwellings.
  • For an undivided co-ownership or for a property that will not act as your primary residence, the down payment is 20%. Difference between divided and undivided property.

Mortgage insurance

  • A buyer is required to take out mortgage insurance if they are making a down payment of less than 20% of the property’s asking price.
  • The cost of this insurance varies from 0.5% to 2.90% of the total amount of the mortgage loan. The lending institution (your financial institution) will manage the mortgage insurance.
  • The rate for the mortgage insurance is generally added to the amount of the loan and is paid with the monthly mortgage payments or can be paid in full at the time of the property transfer.

The deposit on the property

A deposit is not required to purchase a property in Quebec. The buyer and seller can agree on a deposit when an offer is made or when the conditions of an offer are removed.

When both parties agree on a deposit, the amount is clearly indicated in the offer to purchase. Lawyers and notaries recommend that the deposit be made "in trust" and not made out to the seller.

Property transfer duties (so-called welcome tax)

A few weeks or months after the bill of sale is signed, the municipality collects the property transfer duties. These vary by property type.

The amount is always based on the higher of two amounts: either the final sale price of the property or the property’s municipal assessment:

For all cities except Montréal

  • 0.5% on the first $52,800
  • 1% on the amount on the $52,800 to $264,000 bracket
  • 1.5% on the amount in the $264,000+ bracket*

Here’s an example for a property of $330,000:

  • $0 to $52,800 = 52,800 x 0.5% = $264
  • $52,800 to $264,000 = $211,200 x 1.0% = $2,112
  • $264,000 to $300,000 = $66,000 x 1.5% = $990
  • Total: $264 + $2,112 + $990 = $3,366 payable

* Municipalities have the power to set a higher amount than 1.5% (to a maximum of 3%) on any bracket over $500,000. Since many cities have opted to do so, it’s best to check your municipality’s website or contact them to find out the calculation that applies to your situation.

For the city of Montréal

  • 0.5% on the first $52,800
  • 1% on the amount in the $52,800 to $264,000 bracket
  • 1.5% on the amount in the $264,000 to $527,900 bracket
  • 2% on the amount in the $527,900 to $1,055,800 bracket
  • 2.5% on the amount in the $1,055,800 to $2,041,900 bracket
  • 3% on the amount in the $2,041,900+ bracket

Here’s an example for a property of $650,000:

  • $0 to $52,800 = 52,000 x 0.5% = $264
  • $52,800 to $264,000 = $211,200 x 1.0% = $2,112
  • $264,000 to $527,900 = $263,900 x 1.5% = 3,958.50
  • $527,900 to $650,000 = $122,100 x 2% = $2,442
  • Total: $264 + $2,112 + $3,958.50 + $2,442 = $8,776.50 payable

Pre-sale home inspection fee

  • Most buyers will request a pre-sale home inspection from a qualified home inspector as a condition of the sale.
  • The cost can vary by property type, size and the age. The buyer should set aside at least $500 for the home inspection.
  • Before choosing a home inspector, the buyer should check that they are a member of an association and have professional insurance to protect the buyer from errors and omissions.

Home appraisal cost

The buyer may want to request a home appraisal to be sure they are paying a reasonable price for the property. In some cases, financial institutions providing mortgages may require a home appraisal. If neither is the case, the homeowner is generally responsible for the cost of the appraisal.

A professional evaluation will cost at least $350. A certified home appraiser will visit the home and inspect the dimensions, materials, condition, age, etc. They will also take into account the location, property type and economic situation to assess its value.

Notary fees

In Quebec, a notary is required to finalize a real estate. The notary prepares the bill of sale, the mortgage deed and registers the sale at the land registry office.

The buyer chooses the notary and should expect to pay at least $1,200 in legal fees.

In Quebec, notary fees can vary by region.


Both GST (5%) and QST (9.975%) apply on the purchase of a new home or a property owned by a company.

Adjustment and designation of school and municipal taxes

The buyer will have to pay property tax, municipal taxes and school taxes on the date of the transaction. The notary will calculate these amounts.

Other fees and costs

The buyer should also keep in mind moving expenses, service connection fees, the cost of renovations or repairs, title insurance and property insurance.

Your financial institution may require water tests if the property relies on well water. This analysis will cost around $75.

Other analyses include a certificate of location cost, ground analysis, pest control, condo fees, new appliances, etc. The costs of these inspections vary according to the level of expertise required.