The process of buying a house is not cheap. You have to make a down payment of at least 5 percent of the value of the house. There are closing costs for first time home buyers that you have to worry about too. It is more expensive to buy a house in Vancouver or Toronto than Winnipeg or Halifax.
And this is just the beginning of the costs. You will have to deal with a number of expenses (costs) especially after you have started the pre-purchase and received the keys to the house and moved in. Buying a home back in July, I was surprised at the expenses that kept cropping up from time to time; just after several weeks later I had moved in. The following are unexpected purchases I never imagined I that I will be forced to incur after I moved in:
Costs for Start-up Supplies
For someone who had been renting apartments for close to 10 years (leasehold), there are a lot of things I took for granted which all of a sudden was my sole responsibility. I needed small but important purchases like a plunger, lawn mower, garbage can, rake and a hose. Even if you plan on buying these things, you can still forget or miss something, which is where the unexpected cost comes in.
"Safety First" Costs
Of course, we had the house rekeyed before moving in. Our security measures did not stop there either. We had to replace the smoke detectors because the home inspector realized that the ones installed were on the verge to get obsolete. Our house uses an oil heater, so it was only feasible that we had to buy carbon dioxide and smoke detectors for each sleeping area and all the levels. At least gas leaks and fires were not going to bother us at all.
The previous homeowner moved out with personally owned fire extinguishers, so we had to buy new ones and install them all over the house – one of the things I avoided to a great extent.
The security lights (motion triggered) around the house needed replacement, so we bought some good quality LED lights that should serve us for a very long time.
Fixing Privacy Issues
The previous homeowner also took away their curtains. Therefore, all the windows on the front side of the house were “naked” and the house was anyone’s open show. This awkwardness meant we had to spend on blinds, rods, and curtains on a budget. Perhaps we will upgrade later on.
I love cats and dogs, so we had to have the house pet-proofed. This is always my standard procedure in any house I shifted to, as was the case in the previous one. I had to make alter the previous house since the owner did not have pets or a provision for pets.
First, we had to fix the differences between the house and neighbor's so our dog would not be a bother to the neighbors. This meant spending on caulking and screws.
There are a number of windows that needed proper screening, to make sure we would keep the windows open without worrying about the cats running out. We also had to buy a shovel to remove some of the plants that were toxic to pets from our compound.
The bottom line - be prepared for extra costs
For a lot of people in Canada, owning a home is not an affordable experience. However, this does not mean it is impossible. It is safer to save more than you imagine you could need for this process, then find out the best mortgage rates and your monthly remittances will be lower. Before you eventually purchase the house, ensure you have an emergency kitty aside for a rainy day.