May 4th 2017 - by Amanda Perkins
After recently purchasing a new home and spending quite a bit of time saving (as you may have read about in my previous post’s), there were still a few things that came up in the final closing and first few months of moving in that were a bit unexpected. Now that we have been in our new place for 6 months, I thought it would be helpful to share a few surprises we came across before you experience them first hand with your own home purchase.
1) Hidden costs that are buried in your legal contracts.
This was a big one. Despite hiring a lawyer to prepare and help you understand the purchase paperwork, even before closing costs, small additional costs may add up quite quickly. Keep an eye out for different items that are labelled “fee’s” with no detailed description of what exactly those fees are for. We were shocked by how much all those small hidden fee’s and final closing costs added up at the end. Understanding the breakdown clearly can help you be more prepared.
2) Your first big grocery shop.
Get prepared for this one, because it is going to be hefty. That first grocery shop to fill your fridge and brand new pantry cupboards will cost you! From condiments to zip lock bags, canned food, garbage bags, cleaning products, etc., they all add up. If anyone ever asks you what you want as a house warming gift, suggest gift cards to your local grocery store. This is also a great time to go to a No Frills or Wal-Mart grocery instead of maybe a Metro or Longo’s to save on costs.
3) Stocking your home with the necessities.
Who knew how many garbage cans you would need and the price of curtains and curtain rods? If you are considering buying a new build that does not come with any of these, you will pretty much need to put curtains up right away unless you want your neighbours peeking in. Curtains and curtain rods are not cheap! Weigh the pros and cons to buying something cheap in the meantime or invest in higher quality ones with the intent of using them long term. Sometimes having to pay for the cheapies up front vs. spending more money on better ones down the road can cost you more. Other items we found we wanted to replace very soon after moving into our new build were the light fixtures. Builder grade lighting does not give off the best light and unfortunately, as with most things, decent replacements aren’t cheap.
4) Utility Bills & Condo fee’s requiring 2 months up front.
Doubling down on fees was definitely not something we expected. Especially when it came to our condo fee’s and extra deposits required upon closing into the “reserve fund”. Isn’t our monthly condo fee amount supposed to include all of this already? It sure feels like we are paying enough for it each month. Also, don’t be surprised when some utility companies require you to pay two months up front. In the event of you cancelling the services you will complete the remaining time based on the payments you have made. This gives them a buffer, but contributed to the many additional costs we were not expecting to pay upon move in.