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The Real Cost of Owning a Home

There has been a lot of talk about how hot the housing market is in Calgary. But what does this mean for the average Canadian looking to buy a home?
Rob Carrick of the Globe and Mail recently reached out to Canadian homeowners to get an idea of what it actually costs to buy a new home. He compiled data he received through emails and social media to come up with the following information. As you can see, home ownership is about much more than being able to make your monthly mortgage payments.

The cost of buying and owning a $400,000 house

COST OF THE HOUSE
Total borrowed $367,200 $400,000 less a 10% down payment; includes CMHC mortgage default insurance
YOUR COST TO BUY
10% down payment $40,000 Includes land transfer tax, legal fees, home inspection and title insurance
Closing costs $7,000
Total $47,000
This is what you need to save up
MONTHLY COSTS FOR OWNERS THAT RENTERS DON’T PAY
Mortgage $1,860 5-year mortgage at 2.89%; accelerated biweekly payments have been converted into a monthly cost here
Property taxes $300 Average of several major cities; you do not necessarily have to pay monthly
Home insurance $65 You can pay annually or monthly
Total $2,225 Subtract your current rent from this number to see how much more expensive it would be to own a house on a month-to-month basis
SAMPLE OF ANNUAL UPKEEP AND COSTS*
Basic yard/landscaping  $300
One visit: plumber/electrician/appliance repair  $250
Furnace inspection & warranty  $250
SAMPLE PERIODIC MAINTENANCE/REPAIR COSTS*
New roof  $4,000
Replace a major appliance  $800
Paint exterior  $2,000
Clean up flooded basement  $3,000
Redo driveway  $5,000
New windows & exterior door  $8,000 – $10,000
Add insulation to attic $1,000
New furnace $4,000

*Rough estimates based on comments from readers and Rob Carrick’s own home. Information taken from Globe and Mail. Recreated for informational purposes only.
To quote ads on TV, that’s not all. On top of the costs listed, there is still the cost of moving and the cost of making immediate upgrades or changes to your home to make it livable for you and your family. If you are moving into a larger home, you will also need more furniture and household items to fill in this larger space.
It is all too easy to forget about these extra costs when we are buying a new home.
Getting a renter, if you have the room, is one way to help lessen these costs but for those with big families or smaller homes, you are left to pay all of these expenses on your own.
Have you ever heard the expression “house poor?” This term is used to describe the situation where a family spends so much on housing costs that they cannot afford other necessities. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), spending 30% on housing costs is too much and can lead to people feeling strain in other areas.
It’s one thing to afford the various costs of owning a home; it’s another to have money left over for saving and living your life.

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