When it comes to the roof over your head, everyone is different. You might have a growing family who needs more space or you may be someone living in a basement suite and hate the fact that you can hear your neighbour work out at 6am on Saturday mornings. Whatever your reason for considering home ownership, it is understandable that owning your own home is the ultimate goal for many of us in Canada.
However, if you’re a first-time homebuyer in Saskatoon, you may not be fully aware of the real costs of acquiring a home. Home ownership is not only a huge responsibility but the costs involved when accumulated can be considerable. Owning a home is not cheap especially given our current economy in Saskatchewan.
Before you start making arrangements towards moving out of that apartment you have been renting, it is crucial to have a good understanding of all the costs involved in purchasing a home.
Down Payment and Mortgage
Unless you can afford to pay the total amount of the home you are interested in upfront, you’ll need to understand the breakdown of your down payment and how that affects your mortgage.
In Saskatchewan, you will need proof of income, verifiable down payment, and a good credit rating to determine if you qualify for a mortgage. The City of Saskatoon will screen your income and provide you with home ownership training. How much you can afford to pay as a down payment will determine what your monthly payments are.
Insurance and Taxes
Another cost you need to be prepared for is insurance as lenders will require you to have home insurance that covers things like flood or fire before you can loan money. While it is typically outlined on the home listing, property tax is another cost to be ready for as a new homeowner.
Utilities and Operational Costs
Owning a home means you’ll need to pay the costs of basic utilities like water, heat and electricity that you may not have needed to pay for when you were renting. Oftentimes, these basic services can be included in your rent.
Other utilities you may be paying as a homeowner are cable, internet and garbage fees. You have to remember that a larger home means your gas and electricity bills will be much higher as you’ll probably have more electronics and appliances and you’re heating and cooling a bigger space.
Winter in Saskatoon generally lasts from early November to mid-March and you have to expect to pay more for electricity due to the added heating costs.
Unless the home you’re purchasing is fully-equipped with all the basic appliances, you’ll have to buy a refrigerator, washer and dryer, microwave and maybe even a water heater. New appliances can be expensive so keep this in mind as well.
Furniture and Decorations
While furniture shopping and decorating is fun, prices will add up. Your larger home will have more rooms that you’ll need to fill with the right furniture. A new couch that is the right size for your now bigger living room can be surprisingly expensive.
While there are a lot of home maintenance and cleaning tasks that you can do yourself, you’ll still have to invest in tools and supplies.
Unlike with renting an apartment, you’ll be responsible for fixing your toilet’s broken flush, changing the air filter in your furnace, or repairing broken locks. Some of these tasks you can certainly tackle yourself, but for others, you’ll need to seek the help of a home professional. Luckily for you, we have the online marketplace where you can find a contractor or home professionals offering these services in Saskatoon, Warman and Martensville.
You probably don’t realize that keeping your home clean will cost as much as it will because you’re doing most of the work. However, consider the added costs of cleaning supplies and equipment.
And for the areas that need serious attention, you’ll need to hire a home professional for services like carpet cleaning, exterior cleaning of gutters and sidings. Browse deals today!
Part of desiring to have your own home probably means dreaming of a big lawn and backyard. To manage the landscaping yourself, you’ll need to purchase equipment like a lawnmower, shovels, clippers, and other equipment. Even the simplest yards will need some maintenance.
And if you want flowers, plants, a pathway, and a fountain, a landscaping professional could design what is best for your lawn space. And for a fee, they could maintain it regularly.
Upgrades and Improvements
Whether you are purchasing a starter home or buying a home, you plan to live in forever, making improvements and upgrades are inevitable. Even if you intend to sell the home someday, you’ll need to keep it well-maintained if you expect to sell for more and faster.
Improvements such as a swimming pool or an outdoor kitchen can significantly increase the value of your home. And upgrading the kitchen with the state-of-the-art appliances and granite countertops can dramatically give your kitchen that touch of luxury.
Buying your own home can be exciting and still something you want to do despite the reality of what it really costs. What is important is that you are acutely aware that there are things to pay for well beyond the down payment and mortgage.