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Budget For All The Extra Administrative Costs When Buying A Home

Oct 13, 2007
When you do your number-crunching to figure out just how much of a home you can afford, make sure to budget for more than just the price of the home - a lot more. In addition to the down payment, you'll probably need several thousand dollars to cover a range of costs that basically fall into two categories: administrative and incidental.

Much of the first group is unavoidable - taxes and fees that the government or a private institution demands to make the deal happen. The second group covers expenses that may have to be paid to make your home liveable, more comfortable, more secure, or simply more to your liking. These costs should be easier to control than the first group.

There are fees, fees and more fees. It seems everyone wants a piece of the action when you become a homeowner. Not surprisingly, the biggest takers are governments. Regardless of whether you're buying a new home or resale, you'll have to pay the province a land transfer tax. Theoretically, that's to cover the cost of doing the paperwork involved in documenting the change of ownership.

If you're getting a mortgage to help you pay for the home, there's a whole series of charges you face. For starters, your lender will probably demand a mortgage application fee of $100 to $200 to cover the cost of the paperwork, although you may be able to negotiate your way out of this one.

The lender will also charge you about $150 to $350 to cover the cost of an appraisal that will be done on the property to give the lender a professional assessment of the property value.

If your mortgage is considered high-ratio - for more than 75 per cent of the value of your home - you'll need to get mortgage insurance. The one-shot premium can range from 0.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent of the value of the mortgage, depending on what percentage you're borrowing. You can either pay it up front, or have it tacked on to your mortgage.

There's also an application fee for mortgage insurance - $75 if you supply an approved appraisal, and $235 if you don't. Even if you don't get mortgage insurance, your lender will insist that you have property insurance to make sure the lender is paid off in the event of a fire.

Beyond the administrative details, there's a long list of expenses you'll have to cover, as well as a number of optional expenditures. On moving day, chances are you'll want to hire a crew to haul your things from your old location to the new one.

If you're breaking a rental agreement at your old place, you may have to pay a penalty or continue paying your landlord rent until your agreement expires, or a new tenant is found. There will also be service charges to hook up or turn on such services as electricity, water, telephone and cable television.

If you're buying a brand new home, it will probably be in liveable condition when you move in. But unless you want to hang old sheets over the windows, you'll need to buy drapes. And if appliances weren't part of your purchase deal, you could need a full set of those. A new washer, dryer, fridge, stove and dishwasher can cost about $2,500.
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