Spring may be the traditional season of love but it is also the season of nesting. Last week I started a list of extra home buying expenses.
Here are seven more to help you budget.
1. Replacements: Curtains and rugs come in standard sizes but, amazingly, when you move they never seem to fit the new nest. And if the drapes remain from the previous owner they will never match your furniture.
2. Condo costs: These can include a parking spot if one doesn’t come with the unit and the monthly condo fee paid in advance.
3. Commuting: If you are moving out of town to get more house for your money don’t forget to factor in the additional costs of commuting. While not directly related to your house purchase, commuting has a big impact on your bottom line.
4. Moving: You will be stunned at the cost, especially if you are moving more than a couple of blocks. Before you buy get estimates for your prefered locations. Do it yourself moving is cheaper but costs include the moving van, gas, broken items and worn out friendships.
5. Repairs: You know how it goes. The real estate agent sails through the house noting that a little paint here, a bit of carpentry there and you have an Elle Decor worthy abode. Take a camera with you to record what repairs must be made and also those you would like to make. Pass these on to the home inspector, most of whom will provide estimates for repair or replacement of common items.
6. Insurance: Necessary but often forgotten while calculating monthly payments. Get at least two estimates and make sure you inquire about the need for separate riders for items such as jewelry, high end bicycles, art and antiques. Cost highly variable depending on replacement value of house, value of contents and coverage.)
7. Tax: Last, but not least, new construction will be subjected to GST/HST. In Ontario and B.C., the HST debuts July 1, but there are rebates to alleviate or eliminate the pain. Go to www.hstincanada.com.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has an excellent section on their website called Homebuying Step by Step.
– Alison Griffiths is a financial journalist, author and host of Maxed Out on the W Network. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.