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Alberta closing costs

Last updated: May 25, 2022

What are Alberta closing costs?

You must pay closing costs in Alberta at the end of your home buying process in addition to your down payment. These costs can consist of various taxes and fees such as land or property transfer taxes, HST/GST, title insurance and more. A common mistake that many people make is overlooking closing costs which can result in a hefty fee that they’re not prepared for. Average Alberta closing costs will come up to 3-5 % of the purchase price of a home but this can vary. It’s a good idea to get an estimate of your costs before your closing date so that you don’t run into any difficulties later on as they have to be paid upon the closing of the home and often cannot be rolled into your mortgage.

For example, 3% in Alberta closing costs on a $300,000 home will be around $9,000 that you will have to pay upfront before you actually own the property.

What is considered a Alberta closing cost?

Alberta closing costs can include but are not limited to:

Land or property transfer taxes

In Alberta, there is no land transfer tax or property transfer tax for homebuyers. There are still other Alberta closing cost fees you must pay to the government. This includes the land title transfer fee.

Legal fees

Buying a home in Alberta is a very big decision that involves a lot of money, so it requires some legal guidance along the way. It is mandatory to have a real estate lawyer or notary act for you in the purchase and mortgaging of your property since only a lawyer can register a legal charge on the property which confirms your ownership. The legal fees will vary depending on the amount and difficulty of the work required.

Inspection fees

Home inspection fees are optional but highly recommended. It may be a good idea to get a home inspection as a condition of your Offer to Purchase. This will ensure that your new home is properly inspected for things such as water damage or structural integrity before moving in and could minimize costly repair fees down the line. It will be done by a home inspector and the price of this fee will depend on the complexity of the inspection and can range from $500 to $800 or more.

Appraisal fees

An appraisal is an Alberta closing cost that will give you an unbiased estimate of your property’s market value and can vary depending on the home’s location, size and condition. The costs can range from $300 – $500 for a single family home and are typically requested by the lender. The buyer typically pays for the appraisal.

HST/GST

If you are purchasing a resale home in Alberta, you likely won’t need to worry about this expense. For a newly built home, you will need to pay a 5% GST tax if you are buying a new or substantially renovated property. This can include presale high-rise condos or a newly built home.

Title insurance

When a property is transferred from one owner to another, title insurance can provide protection against any financial losses resulting from fraudulent activities. It is an optional expense but might save you from more fees and complications later on. It is an closing cost that is recommended but not mandatory.

Interest adjustments

You pay interest on your mortgage after it’s been incurred, it is not a prepaid expense. If you have elected to pay semi-monthly or monthly, there will be gaps between your closing date and your payment dates. That gap is typically filled with an interest adjustment amount which is an interest-only payment and may be deducted at closing or paid by you when due (your lawyer would confirm).

For example, let’s say you opted for monthly payments on the 1st of each month and your closing was on January 10th. Here’s the schedule for your first few payments

  • Interest payment on February 1st for mortgage amount between Jan 10th and Jan 31st
  • Full mortgage payment (principal + interest) on March 1st for mortgage amount between Feb 1st to Feb 28th.

After March 1st, you would then simply make your monthly payments now that your payment schedule is lined up on the 1st.

Statement adjustments

Some owners pre-pay for services such as utilities, property taxes and other bills. This means that you might have to pay the seller for the portion of the utilities they have paid where you will be owning the home. For example, if the seller paid for 4 months of property taxes and you were to move in 1 month later, you’d pay them ¾ of that property tax bill since you will be living in the property for the remaining 3 months.

How do closing costs in Alberta compare with the rest of Canada?

Closing costs for buying a home in Alberta are among the lowest compared to the rest of Canada. In Alberta, you don’t need to pay land or property transfer tax, which allows buyers to save their tax dollars and keeps the Alberta closing costs low.