Review this checklist so the home you buy doesn’t break the bank.
Consider these 8 home-related expenses:
Home inspection fee: Before closing, it’s customary for the buyer to hire a home inspector to confirm the home meets building standards and is “up to code” for that city. The inspection cost is based on the size and complexity of the home’s systems, but on average the fee should be between $375 and $500, according to our BMO Home Buyer’s Guide. You are responsible for paying this to the inspector. It’s a good idea to make your offer conditional, based on a successful home inspection. Sure, the house might look beautiful, but your inspector may detect structural or other problems that you can then negotiate with the seller to either fix or deduct the repair cost from the agreed-upon price.
Appraisal fee: Your mortgage lender will require an appraisal (for example, the current market value of the home) before they’ll finalize your loan. Appraisals generally cost between $250 and $500, according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and you may have the option to roll it into your closing costs.
Utility bills: Unlike renters — who may have utilities built into their monthly rent payment — homeowners are responsible for all bills, such as water, gas, electric, home phone, cable and Internet. And this can add up faster than you may think. For example, keeping a home warm in the winter and cool in the summer can be pricey, depending on where you live. In fact, heating accounts for a significant part of the total expenses of Canadian households, according to Statistics Canada. Its Survey of Household Spending found Canadians spend an average of $1,895 on electricity, natural gas and other heating and cooking fuel a year. Need help planning? Use Natural Resources Canada’s home energy calculator to estimate how alternative energy sources and energy system replacements could potentially affect your energy bills.
It happens to a lot of us. A death, change jobs, fall in love, financial problems coming or, on the contrary, the sudden desire to make money fast. In other words, there are a lot of reasons for finding yourself at a crossroads where you have to decide if you want to sell your house or rent it.
Renting comes with a whole new set of responsibilities: finding good tenants, making sure that the house is in order, responding to emergencies, assimilating the new tax calculations. It’s not for everyone.
Selling is much easier, but may not pay as much in the long term. Much less. And if you’re nearing retirement, you have to take the time to think about it, because people are living much longer today. You need more money if you want to maintain an enjoyable lifestyle. Continue reading →
“The faster you pay off a mortgage, the more you save in interest,” says Louis-François Éthier, product manager at National Bank.
The truth is, paying off a $100,000 mortgage in a short period of time is extremely difficult without both a sizable and stable income, and relatively few expenses. A small regular payment stretched out over a longer amortization period (the total time required to pay off the mortgage) is usually considered an expensive strategy. This is because mortgage payments mostly cover interest and little of the principal until the interest is paid, so it can take decades to pay off the balance.
“The amount of your mortgage payments should be based on your overall budget,” says Louis-François Éthier.
How much of your budget should go toward mortgage payments?
Most financial institutions recommend that no more than 30% of your total budget go towards mortgage payments, municipal taxes, and heating. “It’s the classic ratio in the industry: mortgage to total debt,” says Mr. Éthier. “It’s crucial to also consider other debts, such as car loans and balances on credit cards. Mortgage counsellors can help you make the right choice.”
Of course, the expected time if would take to pay off the mortgage directly influences the amount that we spend on our regular payments. Continue reading →
Buying your first home as a couple? Check out these six tips.
Become a savvy home-buying duo.
Are you and your partner gearing up to be first-time homebuyers? You aren’t alone.
With real estate prices on the rise, taking on a mortgage payment as a couple may be more realistic than attempting to buy independently.
You may also find the process intimidating ― but fear not. Take note of these six tips that will help you and your partner be properly equipped to make the biggest purchase of your life: Continue reading →
In addition to calling upon a realtor for the purchase of your home, here are some tips provided by homeowners.
Think about the future
It’s essential to consider your needs, lifestyle and financial resources when choosing location. Because after many years, there’s nothing better than truly feeling at home!
Save up a good down payment
Wait until you have a decent down payment from your personal assets so you can get a reasonable mortgage and cover the 3% to 5% start-up costs. About 88% of buyers manage to do it by using their personal savings, including RRSPs and investments. About 41% of buyers save up a down payment of at least 20%; for 31%, it’s between 5% and 19%.
Look into the HBP
The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) is a government program that allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSP (per person) to buy or build a home. You have up to 15 years to pay it back interest-free.
Do the math
Get preapproved for a mortgage so you can determine your budget and narrow your search to properties that meet your criteria.
Buy a house in a neighbourhood that’s going up in value and focus on the value of the land. What criteria should you consider to evaluate the area’s economic situation? Proximity and diversity of businesses and public services (e.g., schools, daycares, parks, hospitals, public transit) are good examples.
On the not-so-good side, here’s what they reported:
Skipping the home inspection
Underestimating the time and cost of renovations
Accepting a purchase offer with a closing day that doesn’t leave you enough time to find a new home
Not dealing with a mortgage broker
Not insisting that the former owners clear out the house completely before you move in
To find out more about the housing sector, visit www.desjardins.com/home. You can also contact a Desjardins mortgage representative at 1-844-626-2476.