6 Hidden Fees

When you’re buying a property, you need to think about more than just the listing price. Today, we’re breaking down six fees you may not know about, but should definitely be budgeting for.

Hidden fee 1: the inspection

Before you make an offer on any home or property, you’ll want to hire a professional that understands building conditions in Montreal, knows how foundations work, and can make sure that electrical, plumbing, and roofing systems are up to scratch.

Basically, someone who can sniff out anything that may cause an issue down the road. If there are glaring issues with the home, you can either ask the current owner to fix them or ask for a price adjustment.

Hidden fee 2: the notary

In Montreal, a notary is the legal person who is going to process the transaction. In other Canadian provinces, a lawyer performs this duty. In the US, it’s a title company.

But in Montreal – and the entire province of Quebec – we use notaries. They’re going to be responsible for making sure that the property you’re buying is completely debt free, and that the person selling you the property is in fact allowed to sell you the property (i.e. a succession).

Finally, the notary will actually register the sale from the seller to you, the buyer.

Hidden fee 3: adjustments

There will need to be adjustments for any prepaid expenses or prepaid revenue on the property. Typically, this refers to municipal taxes and school taxes, which are prepaid throughout the year. The notary is going to adjust it based on the exact date of the transaction.

Then, you have revenue. If you’re buying a multiplex, the rent was collected on the first of the month. So, if you’re halfway through the month, there will need to be an adjustment in your favor so that you’re collecting what belongs to you.

Hidden fee 4: mortgage insurance tax

As the name says, this is an insurance fee. In Quebec, any time you take on insurance, there’s a 9% tax associated with it. You’ll want to make sure you have that money saved up so that it’s not a surprise at the time of the transaction.

Hidden fee 5: welcome tax/land transfer tax

When you take possession of a property, there is a tax you have to pay that’s based on either the sale price or the municipal evaluation – whichever one is higher.

It’s a sliding scale, depending on the price. The higher the price goes, the more tax you’re going to pay. It’s a bit of a luxury tax, if you will. You’ll have to be ready for it, because it’s a pretty significant amount.

Hidden fee 6: moving fees

A lot of people don’t think about this from a financial standpoint, but you’re about to move from one property to another. You’re going to have to hire a moving company, rent a truck, or pay for food and beer if you’re getting your friends to help out. 

If you’re moving into a condo tower, you may also get hit with a $200 to $400 fee simply for reserving the elevator.

These are the six hidden fees that typically surprise buyers – our job is to make sure you know these things before it’s “go time” so that your transaction is as smooth as possible. If any questions pop up along the way, we’re only ever a phone call or message away!

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