Financials To Consider When Buying A Home
Some financials associated with buying real estate are obvious and self-explanatory. Once you get caught up in it all… it’s easy to overlook and forget some of those “obvious” costs.
That’s why I’ve put together a list of common financials to consider when buying a home!
Saving for a down payment is the trickiest part of the home buying process. It’s increasingly difficult to maintain a certain standard of living while still saving in the Toronto real estate market.
With housing prices and the cost of living on the rise in recent years, saving 5-10% for a down payment on a single income has been difficult for many.
Start Saving Early
Start saving early to make it past this first hurdle! Set a savings plan and stick to it. Don’t discredit the amount you’ll save living at home or with roommates.
While living on your own may seem enticing… look at how much rentals are in Toronto and realize how fast that can add up to a down payment!
Remember, the more you pay in a down payment, the less you’ll pay in interest long term.
So you’ve saved enough for a decent down payment… you’ve found your perfect property and are ready to offer. But your moneys tied up in a savings account… HUGE problem!
If you’re ready to look for a property, you need money readily available for a deposit. It’s a common misconception that you won’t need funds until you close on a property. Not true!
A 3-5% deposit (bank draft or certified cheque) must be delivered to the Listing Agent’s brokerage upon acceptance of an offer!
The First-Time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit allows you to claim $5000 for the purchase of a qualifying home.
- you or your spouse or common-law partner acquired a qualifying home
- you haven’t lived in another home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or 4 years prior
Many of you may have heard of the new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive. It is aimed to help first-time home buyers afford a home without adding to their financial burdens by offering a 5 or 10% shared equity mortgage with the Government of Canada.
- minimum down payment for an insurable mortgage
- maximum qualifying income is no more than $120,000
- total borrowing limited to 4 times the qualifying income
The program launches September 2nd, 2019.
There is also the Home Buyer’s Plan that allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSP’s to build or buy a qualifying home. This limit is budgeted to increase to $35,000 for withdrawals made after March 19th, 2019.
Home Inspection and Appraisal
You may forgo a home inspection or appraisal if the conditions are right. There may be even be a pre-list home inspection. In many cases, it’s advisable to conduct your own and this is a viable expense.
Land Transfer Tax
If you don’t qualify for a first time home buyer’s credit (and even if you do), LTT can be a big sum of money that has to be accounted for in your budget!
Just something to consider…
Either way, don’t forget to factor in Lawyer costs for any real estate transaction!
As with everything in life… you get what you pay for. You may find a lawyer that’ll conduct closing for $500, but will they properly review all components of your building’s status certificate?
Do they really care about all aspects of your transaction?
That fun bit of money you get to pay for every year! Bundle it with car or life insurance if you want… but don’t forget about it!
If you’re purchasing a new build, property taxes won’t take effect until the building is incorporated. They’re generally billed out in two larger invoices for the first year, then the typical six smaller annual payments every year thereafter. So budget accordingly!
Make sure you know what they are and plan accordingly! Your property tax bill can creep up on you and usually makes a pretty large dent if you aren’t prepared.
Condo Fees, Hydro and Rental Items
Know what your monthly maintenance fees are if you’re purchasing a condo or common element townhouse. Even freehold towns sometimes have a monthly maintenance fee for small things like snow removal on a common drive
A pretty obvious one but still has to be mentioned.
Same goes for freehold homes. HVAC rentals are increasingly common.
Alarm system fees are another item often overlooked and not budgeted for.
Did you know a lot of condos don’t include your heat pump in the purchase price? Many put you on a rent-to-own plan, sometimes with an option to purchase. If you are buying a pre-owned condo, make sure you’re aware of these types of rentals and budget accordingly!
Whether you’re hiring movers or renting a U-Haul to move yourself, there are costs associated with moving. If you’re in a building, you’ll have to provide a refundable elevator deposit. Moving items like boxes, tape and bubble wrap can add up fast. Keep moving costs in mind!
Upgrades and Small Improvements
Small improvements make a big difference in making a space feel like it’s your own. Maybe it’s a new toilet seat. Could be a kitchen faucet with a retractable handle so you can properly wash your sink. Maybe it’s upgrading the lighting to LEDs so a dim lit condo feels brighter and airier!
This is definitely the most exciting place to spend your money outside of buying the property itself. It’s also the one cost that helps to make your new house, your new HOME!
Lara Stasiw • Real Estate Agent & Home Design Connoisseur
You made it to the end! THANK YOU!!
If you’re not exceptionally bored by my run-on sentences and bad humour, keep reading!
My other blogs cover topics on Real Estate, Home Design and Decor, as well as the C0mmunity.
For updates on new Blogs, Home Improvement Tips, A Community Spotlight and Real Estate FAQ’s, sign up for my Newsletter! I only send it out once a month.
(Naturally, there is a market update too!)