How much does it cost to own a home in Vancouver?
How much does it cost to OWN a home in Vancouver/Langley/Lower Mainland?
The answer is of course ‘it depends’. However there are some basic costs to consider if you’re thinking about making a purchase.
Property taxes are calculated based on the assessed value of your property. The tax rate applies to each $1,000 of net taxable value. There are home owner grants issued for the elderly, disabled and some others and also there is a general homeowner grant
$570 for properties located in the Capital Regional District, the Metro Vancouver Regional District and the Fraser Valley Regional District. For all other areas of the province the amount is $770. So in this case of an average $1 million home you could expect to pay approximately $2900 in Vancouver, however in Langley, or anywhere in the Fraser Valley the tax rate is higher and you would pay closer to $3500.
Vacancy Tax: Here in BC we also have another lovely little tax for any properties left vacant for more than 6 months of the year.
Properties deemed or declared empty will be subject to a tax of 3% of the property’s 2021 assessed taxable value. So save an additional $2500 – $3500.
In 2021, the home owner grant threshold of assessed or partitioned value is $1.625 million. The grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 above the threshold.
Home Insurance: $800-$1200 (annually)
Utilities – Hydro, electricity, gas, water, cooling: $100
Repairs and maintenance: If you buy in a strata you will have ongoing maintenance/strata payments anywhere from $100 – over $500/month and often if there are big jobs like a new roof, you may have an ‘assessment’ designed to raise the extra funds required. These can often run several thousand dollars so you might want to set some money aside for a rainy day. Strata fees will not cover appliance repair or any internal maintenance.
If you don’t buy a strata you’ll have all the some other costs over the years; landscaping/snow removal; gutter cleaning; roof repair; deck maintenance; exterior maintenance etc.
When it comes to the purchase, you’ll have some closing costs to keep in mind. On an average Vancouver/Langley home in the $1 million range you would expect to pay:
Downpayment: Cash upfront for the purchase of the home – usually 20% minimum
Deposit: usually 5% of the purchase price of the home to be paid upon accepted offer and held in trust with the seller’s agent’s brokerage until completion at which time it is then added to your downpayment upon completion. (When Title is changed to your name.)
Home Inspection: $500- $800 (depends on size of home)
Legal fees: $1000- $1500
Property Transfer Tax: *see details below
Adjustment costs: count on up to $500 (pay back seller for your portion of paid property taxes)
Mortgage costs: If your downpayment is less than 20% of the agreed purchase price then you’ll have to pay for mortgage default insurance; you may be required to pay Title Insurance, and/or Appraisals if the lender requires. But talk to your lender – most of these costs will be baked into your mortgage.
Expect to pay $25,000 – $35,000 overall with downpayment.
Moving costs: These will vary but count on $500 – $1500 ($150/hr roughly)
One fee you won’t pay is your Realtor commission which is covered by the Seller.
These are the major costs you should be considering when making a purchase.
Did you know that real estate is considered one of Canada’s main economic drivers over oil and gas and manufacturing?
There is A LOT of real estate being bought and sold across the country and a big part of that economic contribution is derived from the Property Transfer taxes.
*Here in BC every time you purchase a property you will pay the PTT calculated as such: (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/property-transfer-tax)
1% of the fair market value up to and including $200,000 (which is VERY rare since most properties especially here in the lower mainland are well over $200,000)
2% of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000
3% of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000
If the property has residential property worth over $3,000,000, a further 2% tax will be applied to the residential property value greater than $3,000,000.
If the property is mixed class (such as residential and commercial), you pay the further 2% tax on only the residential portion of the property.
Property Taxes (https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/residential.aspx)