How much and when? For the purchaser, there are typical expenses associated with buying a home. These expenses are due at different points of the buying process.
Deposit: Typically between $5,000.00 and 5% of the purchase price. This is a negotiated amount and usually relates to the value of the property purchased. The deposit forms part of the purchase price. Typically, the deposit is paid into the trust account at the Buyer's Realtor's office at the time the "subject to" conditions are waived or fulfilled. This is when the sale becomes unconditional and the SOLD sign goes up!
Inspection: Typically about $400 - $800 plus GST and it takes about 3-5 hours. The larger the house the more time and money it takes. A septic field inspection can cost $250 - $500 or more and well water testing is about $150. These fees are paid on the day the work is done.
Mortgage: There is usually no fee attached to getting a mortgage. CMHC has in the past charged application fees, this included an appraisal, and they may do again in the future. The CMHC high ratio mortgage insurance fee is added to the amount borrowed and is not an additional cash expense.
Legal Fees: These are paid at the time of closing (when all monies for title change hands). For a typical home this is around $900 - $1100. If it's a strata property there may be additional document fees. More expensive properties may have a higher fee too.
Property Transfer Tax: This tax is paid on closing to the Provincial Government. This is 1% of the first $200,000 and 2% of the balance of the purchase price (or true value). First time buyers are exempt if they are 12 months or more a B.C. resident, will be principal resident and purchasing for less than $500,000. There are a few other details and restrictions as well, so check before you commit.
Insurance: You will need house insurance prior to closing day. The cost will depend on the property, area, year and insurer, so shop around. $500 to $1500 is typical. Strata insurance is also recommended especially against the strata buildings deductible for things like water escapement.
Other costs: Typical other costs at closing could be Municipal Tax adjustment. Here the seller may have prepaid the full year's taxes or the seller may need to credit you with the portion of the tax year they have used but not paid. Adjustments also apply to maintenence fees or tenant rents. Mobile homes have a separate registry with separate costs.
This isn't an exhaustive list of every potential cost but does present most of the typical fees an average buyer may expect to see.