House Hunting: How Much We Spent

Just under two years ago, we moved into our first home.

We moved on a rainy December day just after Christmas. We have loved home ownership ever since, even the hard work (yard and property maintenance, re-shingling the roof, and painting not exempt).

We got a great deal on our house as the market was in a funny place when we bought. That being said, we definitely gave our bank account a good run for it’s money when we were going through the motions of home buying.

average closing costs

Here are the costs that we bore from the purchase of our first home:


We had a home inspection ($504), an insulation test for asbestos ($300) and an inspection for an oil tank on the property ($100). We also had a WETT test for our wood burning fireplace ($100) and had the chimney cleaned while we were at it ($100).

The total for all of these various tests and inspections was:


Down Payment

The down payment was a pretty big chunk of change, and hands down the biggest withdrawal from our bank accounts to date. Because we bank with Tangerine (back then it was ING Direct), it was difficult to get the bank draft in time, but by the skin of our teeth we made it by transferring the money into my husbands RBC account.

The total down payment was:


Land Transfer Tax

Typically for first time home buyers, Land Transfer Tax is waived. We still had to pay a portion of land transfer tax, though, as we were $5,000 above the maximum, bringing the tax down to:


Home Insurance

We, of course, had to go buy home insurance to .. well, insure our new home! Tenants insurance is only $300/year, and we let ours expire a few months prior to moving in, so this was a whole new expense.

We opted for earthquake insurance and the whole shebang (seriously, we’ll have an earthquake sooner rather than later and I’d rather be well insured then screwed over).

The company for which I work gives us a 20% discount on home insurance through an affiliate company, which is very helpful. With earthquake insurance and home insurance, we had to pay:



This is worth mentioning, because it did add up to quite a lot of money. We saw dozens of houses before landing on the perfect home, and we had to drive for hours to see them. Then, we’ll have to spend a lot of money on gas to drive back and forth upon moving.

On extra gas, we spend around:


Life Insurance

Life insurance isn’t something we had prior to buying our home simply because we didn’t really need it.

When we bought our house, we got life insurance for the boy because if anything happened to him (God forbid), I would really struggle.

I am already covered through work, so we didn’t bother covering myself.

In total, a yearly premium for life insurance was:



The total amount that we ended up shelling out during the home buying process was:


In out-of-pocket, extra cash. Some of these we have to pay for every month (insurance) and some were one-time expenses.

This might give you a good example of how much you’ll have to pay in down payment, closing, and home hunting costs when you go to buy your next house.

6 thoughts on “House Hunting: How Much We Spent

  1. This is a great list–there are so many elements to buying a home that people don’t always think of. We did a number of home improvement projects/renovations shortly after buying our house, which were additional expenses in the process. We did the work ourselves but supplies are still somewhat expensive.

  2. Buying a home definitely takes a big toll on your available cash. Another thing to mention is the closing costs which for me were about $7,000. Fortunately, the sellers paid about half of it so that was helpful.

  3. Having gone through the same process just a couple of months ago, I would also like to add lawyer fees and disbursements to this list as well as partial condo fees if you are taking possession of a condo halfway through the month. Small renovations and furnishing will also hit the bank account pretty hard.

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