Understanding Closing Costs in Ontario

Explore the world of closing costs in Ontario - from land transfer taxes to legal fees and more. Learn what to expect, how to reduce costs, and make informed decisions when purchasing your home in Ontario.

5/21/20236 min read

Understanding Closing Costs in Ontario
Understanding Closing Costs in Ontario

If you're on the exciting journey to becoming a homeowner in Ontario, you're likely aware of the importance of understanding closing costs. These costs are a crucial aspect of any real estate transaction, and being prepared for them is essential to ensure a smooth and successful home purchase. In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive deep into the world of closing costs in Ontario, exploring what they entail, how much you can expect to pay, and who is responsible for covering these expenses.

The Value of Knowing Closing Costs

Closing costs are a combination of various fees and expenses that go beyond your down payment, deposit, and mortgage costs. They are an integral part of the home buying process, ensuring that all legal and administrative aspects of the transaction are taken care of. Let's take a closer look at what you need to know about these costs:

How Much Are Closing Costs?

Closing costs in Ontario can vary widely, making it challenging to provide an exact figure for each homeowner. However, experts generally recommend budgeting between 1.5% and 4% of the home's purchase price. To put it into perspective, if you're purchasing a home for $500,000, you should prepare to allocate anywhere from $7,500 to $20,000 for closing costs.

To obtain a more precise estimate tailored to your situation, you can utilize our free online closing cost calculator. These user-friendly tools typically require you to input specific information, including the home's purchase price, your down payment percentage, the property's location, and its classification.

Common Closing Costs for All Home Buyers in Ontario

Certain closing costs are standard for all home buyers in Ontario, regardless of the type of property or location. These include:

1. Land Transfer Taxes (LTTs):

All real estate transactions in Ontario are subject to land transfer taxes, which vary based on the purchase price of the home. Additionally, some municipalities, such as Toronto, have their property transfer taxes, making it essential to consider both the provincial and municipal taxes if you're buying in these areas.

2. Legal Fees:

Legal fees are among the most common closing costs. When purchasing a home in Ontario, you'll need a real estate attorney to assist with various legal aspects of the transaction. This includes reviewing important documents like the purchase agreement, conducting a title search, and registering the title in your name. Legal fees can vary, so budgeting appropriately is crucial.

3. Appraisal Fee:

If you're financing your new home with a mortgage, you'll likely need to cover the appraisal fee. Lenders often require an appraisal to determine the property's market value, which helps them determine the loan amount. The cost of hiring a professional appraiser typically falls to the buyer.

4. Home Inspection Fee:

While not mandatory, a home inspection is highly recommended for home buyers. Hiring a professional inspector ensures there are no major issues or necessary repairs before closing. The cost of a home inspection is usually the buyer's responsibility.

5. Title Insurance:

Title insurance is typically required by mortgage lenders to protect against property ownership disputes that may arise after the purchase. The cost of title insurance may be included in your closing costs.

6. Property Survey Fee:

In some cases, mortgage lenders may require a property survey to assess the land and its structures. The cost of a property survey can vary based on location and property size.

Specific Closing Costs for Some Buyers

While the above-mentioned closing costs are standard, some buyers may incur additional expenses based on their specific circumstances. These include:

1. CMHC Mortgage Default Insurance:

Buyers with a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price may need to pay for mortgage default insurance, often referred to as CMHC insurance. This insurance protects the lender in case the borrower defaults on their mortgage payments. The cost varies but is typically between 2.8% and 4.0% of the mortgage amount.

2. New Home Warranties:

If you're purchasing a brand-new home, you may be required to pay for a new home warranty. In Ontario, this warranty covers material and building defects and varies in cost.

3. Property Tax Adjustments:

If the seller of the home prepaid property taxes, you may need to reimburse them for the portion covering the period from your closing date to their last payment.

4. Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST):

Non-resident buyers and foreign corporations purchasing residential properties in certain regions of Ontario, including the Greater Golden Horseshoe, are subject to NRST in addition to other transfer taxes.

5. Interest Adjustments:

Buyers whose first mortgage payment is due after the closing date may incur an interest adjustment to cover the accrued interest between the two dates.


When building a new home in Ontario, buyers should be aware of GST/HST, which may be included in the purchase price or paid separately at closing, depending on the builder's policies.

Additional Costs to Consider

In addition to the closing costs mentioned above, there are other expenses to keep in mind when buying a home in Ontario:

- Down Payment:

Buyers are required to make a down payment, with the amount based on the purchase price and property type.

- Home Insurance:

Most mortgage lenders require proof of home insurance, which covers your property and its contents. Shop around for the best coverage and rates.

- Moving Costs:

Don't forget to budget for moving expenses, which can vary based on factors like distance and whether you hire professional movers.

Tips to Reduce Closing Costs in Ontario

Closing costs can add up, but there are strategies to minimize these expenses:

  • Compare Legal Fees: Contact multiple real estate attorneys to find the best fees.

  • First-Time Homebuyer Incentives: Explore incentives for first-time buyers.

  • Tax Deductions: Take advantage of tax deductions related to homeownership.

  • Higher Down Payment: Aim for a down payment of at least 20% to avoid mortgage default insurance.

  • Home Insurance Discounts: Install safety features to lower insurance costs.

  • Government Programs: Utilize government programs that offer tax rebates and incentives.

By understanding closing costs and taking proactive steps, you can navigate the home buying process in Ontario more confidently and economically.

For expert guidance on closing costs in Ontario and other aspects of homeownership, contact me today. I'll be happy to provide you mortgage assistance tailored to your needs.

Case Study: Closing Costs for a $500,000 Home Purchase in Ontario

Scenario: John and Sarah are first-time homebuyers in Ontario. They have found their dream home with a purchase price of $500,000. They want to calculate their estimated closing costs to plan their budget effectively.

Closing Costs Breakdown:

  1. Land Transfer Taxes (LTTs):

    • Ontario Land Transfer Tax (LTT): Varies by purchase price.

    • Toronto Municipal Land Transfer Tax (if applicable): Varies by purchase price.


    • Ontario LTT for $500,000: Approximately $6,475

    • Toronto Municipal LTT (if applicable): Approximately $6,475

  2. Legal Fees:

    • Legal fees for a real estate attorney can vary. Typically, they range from $1,500 to $2,500.


    • Estimated legal fees: $2,000

  3. Appraisal Fee:

    • Appraisal fees vary but can be around $300 to $500.


    • Estimated appraisal fee: $400

  4. Home Inspection Fee:

    • A home inspection can cost around $400 to $600.


    • Estimated home inspection fee: $500

  5. Title Insurance:

    • Title insurance costs can vary but may be approximately $250 to $500.


    • Estimated title insurance cost: $375

  6. Property Survey Fee:

    • Survey fees can range from $1,000 to $2,000 or more.


    • Estimated property survey fee: $1,500

  7. CMHC Mortgage Default Insurance (if applicable):

    • CMHC insurance cost varies based on the down payment. If the down payment is less than 20%, it's required.

    • For a 5% down payment, it could be around $12,500.


    • Estimated CMHC insurance cost: $12,500

  8. Interest Adjustments:

    • These depend on the mortgage terms and closing date. Estimations can vary.


    • Estimated interest adjustments: Can vary.

  9. GST/HST (for new construction):

    • GST/HST in Ontario is 13%. Ensure if it's included in the purchase price or separate.


    • Estimated GST/HST: Can vary.

Total Estimated Closing Costs:

  • Land Transfer Taxes: $12,950

  • Legal Fees: $2,000

  • Appraisal Fee: $400

  • Home Inspection Fee: $500

  • Title Insurance: $375

  • Property Survey Fee: $1,500

  • CMHC Mortgage Default Insurance: $12,500 (if applicable)

  • Interest Adjustments: Can vary

  • GST/HST: Can vary

Grand Total (Including CMHC Insurance): $30,825 (Approximately)

Grand Total (Excluding CMHC Insurance): $18,325 (Approximately)

This case study provides an estimated breakdown of closing costs for John and Sarah's $500,000 home purchase in Ontario. Please note that these figures are approximate, and actual costs may vary based on specific circumstances and location within Ontario.

Contact me today and I can give you a better idea about the Closing Costs in Ontario