September 26, 2022 • Buying
The Recurring Costs of Buying a Home
By Kate Barker
First time buying a house? Your mortgage may be a looming monthly payment, but it’s not the only cost of home ownership. You’ll still have your monthly bills, but you may have surprises you didn’t count on. Here are some common expenses that add to the cost of owning a home.
It is critical to have home insurance, and you won’t be able to secure a mortgage without it. The premiums can be included in your mortgage payment, making this an “invisible” expense, but you’ll want to make sure you read your policy carefully to know if you’re covered for things like flood damage and wildfires.
Your property taxes are determined by the value of your home, and due to the high price points in both Banff and Canmore, they can be a significant chunk of change. While property taxes are technically an annual thing, they can be broken down into smaller payments to make them more manageable.
This isn’t applicable to everyone, but many homes in Banff and Canmore are condos, which means condo fees are part of the deal. Make sure you understand how much you’re expected to pay each month, and check to see if the building has any savings, or if there are any large upcoming projects like roof repairs that might require residents to pay extra. Some buildings have a reputation for “cash calls” and major structural issues, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before signing the bottom line.
You probably paid some utilities alongside rent, but things like heat and power may be more expensive if you’re buying a bigger space. You’ll also be responsible for water usage and basic utilities including sewage and waste removal. Your regular monthly bills, including your cellphone, subscription services, and anything else will follow you to your new place, so don’t forget to factor them into the equation as well.
Maintenance is one of the often overlooked costs of buying a home. This can be a big one for homeowners, especially if they’re operating near the max of their monthly budget. Simple things like appliances breaking and needing to be replaced to complicated fixes like leaking roofs or plumbing can pop up at any time. These expenses will come out of pocket, and of course they’ll be an additional expense on top of your regular monthly payments.