How to Manage Hidden Costs In Your Home

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Is your home costing you more money than you think? There are many ways that small problems in the home can add up to big unexpected costs. By having less knowledge or experience, these problems might be invisible, but they’ll still cost you big bucks if you don’t fix them quickly.

So you have the advertised cost of the home you want but you’re not quite sure exactly what is included in the quoted price. Have a thinking about what you want included in your new home and speak to your builder to see if any of it will be at additional cost. This may include any the below points:

  • Earthworks
  • Floor Finishes
  • Internal Painting
  • Window Treatments
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Kitchen cabinets, bench tops, sinks and appliances – check your specification guide
  • Fencing, driveways and landscaping

Special assessments:

Homeowner association dues to maintain the complex come as no surprise to address owners. But unexpected  repairs to the roof, windows, boiler or even foundation can often catch unit owners by surprise. Even if your home doesn’t belong to a homeowner’s association, don’t be surprised to see special assessments tacked on top of your property tax bill. These assessments usually cover public services such as street lighting, tree trimming, pest control, libraries, and schools.

Moving Costs:

Whether you have friends and family helping you to move in or make use of a moving company, there will be fees involved with truck hire and so forth. Make sure you include this in your budget to avoid any last minute setbacks.

Taxes:

As a homeowner, you’ll need to pay property taxes, which are generally part of the escrow you pay into each month. Remember, even if you have a fixed-rate home loan, your property taxes could go up and increase your monthly housing costs.

Home Insurance:

If you have a mortgage, your lender will insist that you have enough home insurance to cover total since the property is their security for the loan. Your lawyer will need confirmation that insurance has been arranged. Should your house be completely destroyed, the insurance company is required to pay the lender first. You will still own the lot but will have to negotiate with a lender to borrow to re-build. Home insurance is priced based on the value of your home and current reconstruction costs.Even if you have renter’s insurance, you’ll find that home insurance costs more because you are paying for the ability to rebuild your home in addition to replacing your personal possessions. Insurance costs can also rise over time, and you may need supplemental insurance if you live in a flood or earthquake zone.

Legal fees and expenses:

You’ll want your lawyer to review the terms of the offer. (S)he will also deal with the mortgage, do a title search, register a new title, and get the documents needed to figure out the adjustment costs.

A property survey:

Sometimes requested by the lender, a survey is done to verify the property’s boundaries, measurements and structures and identify any easements, rights of way or encroachments on your, or adjacent properties. If the seller does not have one or does not agree to get one, you will have to pay for it yourself.

Water quality inspection:

If you’re moving to a property that gets its water from a well, you need to know if that water is potable. The only way to know is to have the water tested (best on three separate dates, including after a heavy rainfall). Check with neighbours if you can to see how reliable the watertable is in the area. You can negotiate these costs with the vendor and list them in your Offer to Purchase.

 

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