Given the fact that tens of thousands
of homes change hands throughout the Greater Toronto Area each year, it’s easy
to forget that buying a home is a complex process to which the phrase “the
devil’s in the details” aptly applies.
According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 study “Homeownership and Shelter Costs in Canada” approximately 25% of Canadians spent one-third or more of their income on shelter.
As such, in addition to preparing for some of the standard expenses involved in a real estate transaction such as moving and legal services, it’s wise to set aside extra funds for a number of other homeownership costs you may not yet have considered.
If you’re moving into a first home and it’s a freehold property be sure to keep in mind outside maintenance. Ideally, you should plan for the purchase of a snow blower and as an essential you’ll need a lawn mower. If you’re buying a new home there’s fencing to consider and in a mature neighbourhood don’t forget that tree trimming might be needed. If it’s a condominium you’ve chosen be prepared for the eventuality that maintenance fees may increase.
Inside, elements that are less
apparent are often most vital to a well operating home. As such, consider
allotting some funds for cleaning the air ducts and servicing the furnace, air
conditioning and fireplace units. Even minor repairs and cosmetic fixes like
replacing cabinet hardware, faucets or light fixtures can add up.
It’s a well documented fact that adding a fresh coat of paint to your new surroundings offers one of the best returns on investment when it comes to renovations but even a few gallons of paint, brushes, rollers and drop cloths can set you back several hundred dollars.
While window coverings are often included in a resale home transaction you might find that they don’t match your style, and replacement can be costly. Similarly, you’ll likely discover that your beat up sofa just doesn’t do justice to your new space, so be sure to set aside some funds for new furnishings as well. Remember that there will also be set-up costs associated with transferring your television, phone and Internet services.
While there are a multitude of details to keep in mind and extra costs for which to prepare, homeownership is still the best investment, and buying a property in the GTA is a particularly wise decision... As well, it’s the only investment in which you can live while it appreciates.
Excerpt taken from http://www.torontosun.com
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