This was originally printed by our Toronto Real Estate Board President. It is very informative.
Be Aware Of Extra Costs When Moving
September 5, 2014 -- -- Given the fact that tens of thousands of homes change hands throughout the Greater Toronto Area each year, it’s easy to forget that buying a home is a complex process to which the phrase “the devil’s in the details” aptly applies.
It is one of the many reasons why each year close to 200,000 homebuyers and sellers choose to work with a Greater Toronto REALTOR®, who can offer advice on all of the details that are important to keep in mind, from protecting your interests with offer clauses to changing the locks once the process is complete.
According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 study ‘Homeownership and Shelter Costs in Canada’ approximately 25 per cent of Canadians spent one-third or more of their income on shelter, and our city’s average monthly shelter costs were the nation’s highest at $1,366 that year.
As such, in addition to preparing for some of the standard expenses involved in a real estate transaction such as moving and legal services, it’s wise to set aside extra funds for a number of other homeownership costs you may not yet have considered.
If you’re moving into a first home and it’s a freehold property be sure to keep in mind outside maintenance. Ideally, you should plan for the purchase of a snow blower and as an essential you’ll need a lawn mower. If you’re buying a new home there’s fencing to consider and in a mature neighbourhood don’t forget that tree trimming might be needed. If it’s a condominium you’ve chosen be prepared for the eventuality that maintenance fees may increase.
Inside, elements that are less apparent are often most vital to a well operating home. As such, consider allotting some funds for cleaning the air ducts and servicing the furnace, air conditioning and fireplace units. Even minor repairs and cosmetic fixes like replacing cabinet hardware, faucets or light fixtures can add up.
It’s a well documented fact that adding a fresh coat of paint to your new surroundings offers one of the best returns on investment when it comes to renovations but even a few gallons of paint, brushes, rollers and drop cloths can set you back several hundred dollars.
While window coverings are often included in a resale home transaction you might find that they don’t match your style, and replacement can be costly. Similarly, you’ll likely discover that your beat up sofa just doesn’t do justice to your new space, so be sure to set aside some funds for new furnishings as well. Remember that there will also be set-up costs associated with transferring your television, phone and Internet services.
While there are a multitude of details to keep in mind and extra costs for which to prepare, homeownership is still the best investment, and buying a property in the GTA is a particularly wise decision. In study after study Toronto consistently ranks among the top cities in the world when measuring key factors such as resiliency, intelligence and tax competitiveness. As well, it’s the only investment in which you can live while it appreciates.
To learn more about the process of buying and selling a home talk to a Greater Toronto REALTOR® and for updates on the market, open house listings and more be sure to visit www.TorontoRealEstateBoard.com
Paul Etherington is President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 39,000 REALTORS® in the Greater Toronto Area.