If you are buying your first house, this list will give you some ideas of things you need to consider while creating your monthly budget.
1. Property Tax. Many of the services you will enjoy in your new neighbourhood, from parks and recreation facilities to road maintenance and schools, are funding in part by municipal property taxes. Rates vary widely from region to region and home to home. Annual taxes can top several thousand dollars in urban centers. In most municipalities you pay your taxes on July 1st. If you are living in your home you qualify for the home owner’s grant which you must apply for each year. Some municipalities will allow you pay in instalments. Your mortgage lender may provide the option to combine your property tax with your mortgage payments.
2. Energy Costs. If you are used to keeping the lights on and the thermostat up because utilities are included in your rent, you will have to pay attention to these costs. Budget to cover monthly gas and electricity bills, which fluctuate with the seasons. B.C. Hyrdo will allow you to pay monthly based on an average of the past years usage. Your Real Estate Professional can ask the home’s seller to confirm what the past costs are.
3. Phone, Cable, Internet. The costs of being connected can easily add up to a copy of hundred dollars a month. Moving into a new home might be a good time to consider whether you need a land line and a wireless phone, for instance. Maybe your service provider has a good deal on bundling the services.
4. Home Insurance. Protect your home, its contents and your property against damage, loss or liability. If you have a mortgage on your home your lender will require that you have fire insurance coverage.
5. Municipal Services. Some municipalities charge fees for services light water or garbage removal. For example, home owners in some larger urban centers pay $150 to $235 a year for curbside collect of garbage, recycling and compost.
6. Home Maintenance. Plan to cover all the occasional costs to keep your house in working order, such as changing the furnace filters, carpet cleaning, clearing your easevtroughs, touching up the interior or exterior paint, lawn care equipment.
7. Property Clean Up. Consider outdoor areas that may need tending to, such as a wooden decks, fences, gardens and lawns. Even when you do the work yourself, consider budgeting at least a few hundred dollars seasonally for items like snow removal equipment, wood sealant, landscaping supplies and plants.
8. Repairs. These are larger, less frequent expenses like replacing the roof, furnace or appliances. Housing experts recommend setting aside 1% to 3% of the value of your house each year – a small amount $1000.00 or every $100,000.00 to ensure you are ready for the extraordinary expense.
9. Fuel or Transit Costs. If you will be commuting a longer distance to work, consider whether you will face higher costs for fuel, insurance, transit and parking costs.
10. Monitored Security. Maybe the home you are buying already has a security system installed. If you opt for home protection, monitoring can cost $20 or more, depending on the plan
The ongoing costs of owning a house can add up. I can help you plan ahead to manage these expenses along with arranging mortgage financing you can be comfortable living with.
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