Property Purchase Transfer Tax

The Property Purchase Transfer Tax is a tax payable to the Provincial Government by purchasers of real estate.  The tax applies to all types of real estate, whether residential, commercial or industrial.

The amount of the Property Purchase Transfer Tax is 1% on the first $200,000.00 of the property’s fair market value and 2% on the remaining fair market value.

There are a number of exemptions available to purchasers so that the tax is not payable.  The most common is the exemption for “First Time Home Buyers”.  To qualify for an exemption to the Property Purchase Tax as a First Time Home Buyer, the following criteria must be met:

  • Purchaser must never have owned an interest in a principal residence anywhere in the world at any time;
  • Purchaser must be a citizen of or a permanent resident of Canada;
  • Purchaser must have resided in B.C. for 12 consecutive months immediately before the date they become the registered owner, or the Purchaser has filed two income tax returns as a British Columbia resident within the prior 6 years of becoming the owner;
  • To obtain full exemption, the purchase price must not exceed $475,000.00. A partial exemption is available for homes between $475,000.00 and $500,000.00

Other facts about Property Purchase Transfer Tax:

  • Homes are not charged PTT on the GST component of the price, for sales where GST applies.
  • If two people buy a home together, and one is eligible for the First Time Home Buyers Special rate, and one isn’t, then tax will be charged proportionately to their ownership share.
Property Transfer Tax should not be confused with Property Tax.  The Property Transfer Tax is a one time tax paid to the Provincial Government by purchasers of real estate.  The Property Tax is the tax paid on an annual basis to the local City/Municipality. –
See more at:

– See more at:

– See more at:


Title Insurance

Title insurance is a contract under which a title insurer indemnifies a property owner, lender or borrower against actual loss or damage sustained from covered title defects, fraud and forgery. It is not a guarantee of title but rather compensates an insured if title is not as set out in the policy.

While not all lenders require you to take out title insurance, today most do and besides it’s a very good practice. It’s possible to lose your home due to title and survey defects and you could also be the victim of fraud or forgery. Title insurance protects you against this.

Title insurance is generally around $300 but additional premiums may apply to properties valued in excess of $1 million.



Legal Fees

No matter how straightforward your home purchase appears to be, you will need a lawyer or notary on a real estate purchase, refinance, secured credit line and private mortgages. The lawyer also searches the title, draws up mortgage documents and registers a loan with the land titles office. The lawyer will also act as an escrow agent at closing.

Typical legal fees range around $750-950 plus additional fees that generally bring the total to between $1200 & $1500.

Home Inspection

Never consider buying a home without having it inspected by a qualified home inspector. It could save you from making a bad investment. In British Columbia, home inspectors must be licensed. You can confirm that the inspector you want to hire is licensed by using Consumer Protection BC’s Home Inspectors Search.

Pricing is usually based on the square footage of the house, with the potential of additional fees for inspecting the crawlspace or inspecting older homes. Mileage may be added to the fee as well. Typical fees range from $250 to $450 for a typical home ion the lower mainland.   Larger homes valued  over $2 million on larger lots usually command between $400 and $600.


Whether you are purchasing a home or looking to refinance, determining a property’s value is an essential step in the mortgage application process.  A professional appraisal may be required if a more in-depth assessment of the value of your property is needed and required by the lender.

The value of a property is determined by a number of different criteria, each of which can influence how much your home is currently worth. These criteria range from the square footage and the age of your home, to its location, construction quality, architectural features and even the number of bathrooms.

It is important to remember that a property valuation is not a fixed or permanent number. It is simply a snapshot of what your home is worth today.

The appraisal process includes a professional assessment of the property’s physical and functional characteristics, a detailed comparison of the home to recent comparable sales in nearby areas, and an assessment of current market conditions affecting the property. It is important to allow the appraiser access to the property in a timely manner, in order to minimize the time required to obtain financing.

When a loan is backed by CMHC, Genworth, or CG, the lender may waive the appraisal. Otherwise you can expect to pay from $275 and up for an appraisal. Size and location of the property is a factor in the appraisal fee. While some lenders may pay this expense, expect to pay this fee out of your own pocket.