When you’re out and about looking for that dream home, condo, cottage or chalet, it’s important to look at more than just the list price when determining affordability. You don’t want to be in a situation where you become ‘house poor’ due to high home expenses, and not have enough funds for emergencies, travel, investments, entertainment and everything in between. There are several other expenses related to owning a home to be aware of – after your mortgage, that is! Let’s have a closer look at what you need to know so you can best enjoy your beautiful home:
Understanding closing costs & other expenses
Firstly, let’s look at closing costs. Many home buyers are surprised to learn the extent of their closing costs when purchasing a property. These can add up quickly and throw your finances way off. Included in these costs are:
• Inspection fees
• Land transfer taxes
• Realtor® fees
• Home insurance
• Legal costs
• Moving costs
It’s also important to understand your projected monthly utility costs so there are no hidden surprises you didn’t bank on. With the help of your Realtor® or real estate lawyer, you can usually gain access to past bills so you can learn these costs before signing that purchase agreement.
Further, if you don’t have the full 20% available for your down payment, you’ll need to pay for mortgage insurance as well. Working closely with your lender, Realtor® and/or real estate lawyer, they will help to walk you through this process carefully, so you better understand your down payment and mortgage insurance options.
Here comes the tax man
Property taxes are mandatory for every type of residential and commercial property. Each municipality sets its own tax rates, and, as we all know, those are rising steadily across our province and the country. The revenue from property taxes goes towards paying for a myriad of services, including:
- Public transit
- Emergency services such as fire, police, and paramedics
- Garbage collection
- Water supply/waste treatment
- Public housing
- Social assistance
- Snow removal
Property tax rates in our province currently range between 0.5 and 1.8% of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation’s (MPAC) assessment of your home (not the purchase price). Here in our region, tax rates vary considerably across each municipality, so be sure to investigate these costs when looking to buy. You could save thousands of dollars each year just on property taxes alone depending on where you live and how much ‘home’ you have.
Paying property taxes
For convenience, many people choose to pay their property taxes along with their regular mortgage payments through their bank or lender. Alternately, you can pay your taxes in installments, or set up a monthly payment plan with your municipality. Be careful to avoid late fees by paying on time!
As you can see, there are many home expenses that can trip up even the most financially savvy people. Our Clairwood Real Estate Realtors® are helpful assets when it comes to assisting you in understanding the big financial picture regarding your home purchase. We can help you determine the true affordability of your home, so you can rest assured knowing you can make your payments each month. Our expert team services everywhere from Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, and The Blue Mountains to Grey County and the Meaford area. Connect with us today; we’re here to help you buy or sell with confidence. Call us anytime at 705-445-7085 to get started.