Beyond budgeting for a house, first-time home buyers in Calgary have to account for the long-term affordability of one. Once you become a homeowner, certain monthly costs are associated with owning a home. You don't want to get blindsided by not knowing the monthly costs of owning a house.
Learn how to calculate the monthly costs of owning a home to get a better idea of whether you're in a good financial position to become a homeowner sooner or later.
Before you even become a homeowner, you generally take out a mortgage to help pay for your home. You can expect this monthly payment to be long-standing since it usually takes 15-30 years to repay. Beware of the breakdown costs of your monthly mortgage payments. A portion pays the principal, which is the money you originally agreed to pay back. Meanwhile, the remainder goes toward interest charges. Paying your mortgage payments on time and consistently is important since late fees can severely lower your credit score.
When you buy your new home, you're also paying for the property that it stands on monthly. Not all property tax costs are the same. For example, the property taxes in Calgary compared to Red Deer would differ. According to the City of Calgary, "your property tax is calculated by multiplying the assessed value of your property by the applicable current municipal and provincial tax rate(s)." Paying for property taxes is mandatory since you can get charged with a penalty fee. If you're worried about affording to make property tax payments, there are several ways you can help lower it.
In Alberta, home insurance is technically not mandatory. You might think this might be a good way to cut monthly housing expenses not having it. However, your mortgage lender might stop you in your tracks. It's not uncommon for most mortgage lenders to make it a requirement to have home insurance as part of your financing agreement. Home insurance payments help cover any potential costs of losses or damages if anything were to occur suddenly. Plus, you can find cost-effective home insurance out there that's affordable (e.g. by combining your auto and home insurance).
Maintenance accounts for whatever repair or upkeep you need for your home—for instance, yard work. The price of this can vary whether you wish to buy lawn care supplies and do the work yourself or hire a professional. Plus, you need to factor in maintenance for all the seasons as well. These might seem unnecessary to do, but there is an importance that goes beyond appearance. It's to ensure the structural integrity of your home, especially if you're thinking about purchasing a fixer-upper - which can get expensive by collecting what's needed for the job.
All homes need water, electricity, plumbing, and heating. That's why it's necessary to pay your utilities monthly payments. Depending on your home and the season, the cost of your utilities can vary. Some months might be higher, and some might be lower. Thankfully, when it comes to utilities, there are ways you can help reduce their cost of them. Namely, you can consider more energy-efficient solutions for your home. What's important to note though if you want a condo home, the condo fees you need to pay can cover the cost of utilities.
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