4 Pre-Construction Closing Costs Homebuyers Should Be Aware Of

Published October 2, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

Sanierung EinfamilienhausThere’s no debating that buying a home during a pre-sale or even further in advance of construction beginning has many benefits. In addition to more agreeable pricing as the first buyer, your clients will also have more in the way of options for customizing their home, modifying it to accommodate a mortgage-helper suite if need be, etc. etc. As well, presale buyers will often have a grandfathered-in clause allowing them autonomy over whether or not they choose to rent out their unit, independent of complex-specific rental restrictions.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online lead generation system for realtors in Canada has been so especially well received by realtors coast to coast, and we believe that helping you have further success with the increased opportunities it’s providing for you is beneficial for one and all. A knowledgeable realtor is always one held in high regard by prospective clients, so this week we’ll yet again share information on a subject yours may well want to know of – pre-construction closing costs.

They tend to be rather unexpected surprises for many a buyer, and you’ll be fostering better relations between them and yourself if you can make them better aware of these costs long before they near their closing on purchasing a home.

A Few Last Pricey Hurdles

It’s easy to get caught off guard with closing costs when buying a pre-construction home. They’ll vary depending on the value of the home, the municipality in which it’s located, and whether you’re a first-time home buyer or not.

As a general rule of thumb, advise your clients to have 2 – 4% of the purchase price earmarked for closing related costs.

Some of the most common of these added closing costs are:

  1. Development Charges

Pre-construction properties most often have development levies at the insistence of the city. The property developer will almost always pick up the lion’s share of them, but a portion of these costs are still passed on to the individual or couple purchasing the home. These development levies are very necessary; they go towards capital and operational expenses for the city, like building new schools, maintain utilities infrastructure, or funding new transit initiatives.

Clients considering buying a pre-construction home should aim to be very clear on whether or not there’s a cap on development charges, unless they’d like to be surprised at closing perhaps. Low rise homes will have their own specific charges, for benefits such as driveway paving, community tree planting, and work needing to be done to meet municipal building specs. Of course, every situation is different – you can go ahead and recommend your clients consult with a real estate lawyer you trust, in order to review the documents and be 100% clear on applicable fees.

  1. New Home Warranty

A New Home warranty is the term used for a warranty for a buyer’s pre-construction home. What’s typically covered within it?

  • A multi-year warranty for major structural defects
  • Deposits (paid to the builder in advance of the construction of the home)
  • Certain defects in work and material Protection against unauthorized substitutions
  • Coverage for common elements in condominiums
  • Compensation for construction delays or occupancy
  • Against financial loss for contract homes

More information in regards to these different coverages are found at the different new home warranty providers’ websites, depending on your Province. The cost of enrollment is – not surprisingly – dependent on the purchase price of your client’s home.

Ontario – Tarion

British Columbia – New Home Warranty via BC Housing

Alberta – ANHWP

Saskatchewan –

Manitoba – MBNHWP

Quebec – RBQ

New Brunswick / Nova Scotia / PEI / Newfoundland – AHWP

  1. Taxes

There are a pair of main taxes on pre-construction homes; the first is the provincial land transfer tax, and the next is provincial sales taxes. If your clients are purchasing a new townhouse, condo or house, however, there may also be an additional municipal land transfer tax.

In Ontario, for example, rates vary with their land transfer tax, depending on the purchase price of the home. Using the same example as above, a $532,000 home would correlate to a land transfer tax bill of approximately $7,100. Keep in mind that first-time homebuyers will likely be eligible for a $4,000 rebate.

To make it simpler, I recommend using RateHub’s land transfer tax calculator to determine the approximate amount your clients will come out at. (Can be used for any Province)

Pre-construction project pricing usually include the GST, or HST depending on your Province. In fact, the builders get a tax rebate on your behalf. Keep this in mind though – if the property is not going to be their principal residence and instead is going to be an investment property, in some (not all) Provinces you will face a tax bill that’s a percentage of your home’s purchase price. If you’re planning on using the home as an investment, be sure to budget for this additional tax.

Foreign buyers should also keep in mind that there’s also an additional 15-per-cent Non Resident Speculative Tax (NRST) for buyers in Metro Vancouver and Metro Toronto, which of course has been smartly implemented to protect housing for Canadians living in those metro areas.

  1. Lawyer Fees

Last but not least, there will also be lawyer fees that need to be accounted for. Real estate lawyers have a pair of main responsibilities; the first is conducting a title search, and the second is preparing an adjustment statement. This includes closing costs plus any additional applicable fees. It’s typical to expect to pay somewhere between $1200 – $1700 in legal fees, depending on the purchasing specifics. It’s always best to shop around for competitive rates, and going with experienced real estate lawyers is best.

It’s definitely stressful, but buying a new home is overall an enjoyable experience for most people. As a realtor you have the most power to make it so your clients’ experience, and by signing up with Real Estate Leads here you’ll have all the more opportunities to do what you do best and ensure your clients are 100% happy with every step of the process AND without too many unexpected surprising costs.