From personal observation, today’s homebuyer may be better informed than at any other time in history. Between easy-to-access information on the internet, help provided by mortgage brokers, lending institutions and real estate teams; most homebuyers are entering the market with fairly realistic expectations.
I’ve found, however, that one consideration often put on the backburner is the monthly costs associated with owning a home.
A wide variety of mortgage calculators can be accessed online; I encourage you to choose one that takes monthly expenses into account. These typically include the following:
Property Taxes. This is one expense that can really take first-time homebuyers by surprise. The cost can vary an incredible amount depending on your municipality, so background research is definitely helpful.
Utilities. While just about everyone expects to pay for heating and electricity, it’s wise to consider the size and age of a home and its method of heating.
Condo Fees (if applicable). These depend greatly on a building’s amenities and on a suite’s square footage; they may include utilities. Be sure to ask how long the current fees will apply, as they may be raised each year. Some additional expenses generally not included by mortgage calculators include the following:
Home Insurance. This item isn’t optional – to carry a mortgage in Ontario, your home must be insured.
Decorating. It’s a good idea to budget for paint, wallpaper, window treatments and furniture that suits your new home. Happily, this is the one expense that will lessen after the first year.
Don’t be afraid to crunch the numbers. There’s nothing scary about being prepared!
From Award Winning Broker, to Best Selling Author, to International Speaker - you won’t find anyone who knows more about Real Estate than Marnie Bennett – founder of Bennett Property Shop Realty, a full premium service real estate brokerage specializing in marketing and selling new and resale homes, condominiums and investment real estate. Considered one of Canada’s most highly-regarded Real Estate professionals, Marnie is the host of the two weekly radio shows for Rogers Media and Bell Media, and is a syndicated columnist.
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