When buying a home in Calgary, and determining a budget that you are comfortable with it is wise to look ahead and try to develop a clear understanding of all of the ongoing expenses that are involved in home ownership. Include here is a list of those items.
If you are like most people in Calgary, you probably intend to borrow some of the funds required to purchase a home. Of course, the lender will expect you to repay the debt with a monthly payment that includes a portion of the principal amount loaned, plus interest. Allow your banker or your realtor to assist you in determining what you can afford.
Just when you thought you’d already been paying every imaginable tax, the city of Calgary springs this one on you. Yes, of course every homeowners pays taxes to the city to pay for civic services and infrastructure. The amount of the property taxes typically varies depending on the value of the home.
The monthly costs of natural gas, electricity, water, sewer, garbage collection, telephone, internet service and even cable TV have to be worked into the budget. These service are not regulated in Alberta so you have lots of options and the price may vary so shop around for the best prices.
You will need a home insurance policy for at least as long as you have a mortgage on the home. Most homeowners see value in maintaining insurance on the property indefinitely.
If you are planning on purchasing a condominium, townhouse, or bareland condo you will be required to pay a monthly fee called condominium fees. These fees cover the cost of maintenance and insurance for the common areas of the condominium complex and neighbourhood in some cases.
As a homeowner, you will be responsible for the upkeep of your home. If something breaks, it’s you that must fix it, or at least pay for the repairs. Over time, most components of your home will be subject to wear and tear, and consequently need to be replaced. Many people forget to take into account the ongoing costs of home maintenance. In some cases, this will lead to a slow but steady deterioration of the property. As the property goes down hill, so does its value. The owner of a neglected home usually pays the greatest price when they attempt to sell the home. Buyers in Calgary expect to “steal” homes that are poorly maintained. It’s wise to plan to invest an average of 1.5% of your home’s value in annual maintenance and improvement.
Perhaps you have a green thumb and look forward to caring for your new yard. Maybe you’ve already got more to do than you can handle. If that’s the case, plan to hire someone to keep your yard looking great. Your neighbors will love you and so will your pocket book when you sell the property!!