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Buying a home...what expenses to expect.
Budgeting for a new home is essential. There are mortgage installments and the down payment to consider, and sometimes, unexpected expenses to add to the equation. The last thing you want is to be caught financially unprepared, or blindsided by taxes and other hidden costs on closing day.
These expenses vary: some of them are one-time costs, while others will take the form of monthly or annual installments. Some may or may not even apply to your particular purchase. Being educated about all the possibilities and prepared for any situation provides the knowledge to budget accordingly for your move. Use the following list to determine which costs will apply to your situation prior to structuring your budget:
- Initial purchase deposit.
- Inspection by certified building inspector.
- Appraisal fee: Your lending institution may request an appraisal of the property.
- Survey fee: If the home you are purchasing is a resale (as opposed to a newly built home), your lending institution may request an updated property survey.
- Mortgage application fee at your lending institution (sometimes this may include any appraisal fee).
- GST applies to newly built or existing homes that have recently undergone extensive renovations.
- Legal fees: It is best to involve a lawyer in every real estate transaction to review all paperwork and ensure that titles, liens etc. are all handled in your best interest. Rates (and experience) offered by lawyers come in a wide range. Seek recommendations or advise from your REALTOR®.
- Homeowner’s insurance: Your home serves as security against your loan for your financial institution. You will be required to buy insurance in an amount equal to or greater than the mortgage loan.
- Land transfer (purchase) tax: This tax applies in any situation in which a property changes ownership and the cost of it can vary greatly.
- Moving expenses. Get estimates from several companies that suit the needs of your move.
- Service charges: Any utilities you arrange for at your new home, such as cable, telephone, gas, power, water and sewer may come with an installation or set up fee.
- Interest adjustments.
Renovation of new home: Include a budget for any renovations, painting, flooring etc that you want to make to personalize your new house prior to or upon moving in to their new home. (Major renovations can sometimes be set up as an add-on to your mortgage.)
Strata and/or Maintenance fees: If you are moving to a new townhouse, condominium, gated communmity, etc. you will likely be charged a monthly Strata fee that will cover the costs of common area maintenance.