December 14, 2023

First-time homebuyers: What are the costs to expect in the first year?

You finally found the house of your dreams! Good for you! However, it is important to know what costs are involved when you buy a property, especially when you are a first-time homebuyer. Read about the costs you can expect in the first year.


Before and during the purchase

Accompanied by your real estate broker, you fall in love with a house. However, there are certain costs that you will have to pay even before you can move in.

Appraisal fees (between $350 and $800): your financial institution may require that your dream property first be appraised. This step is part of the mortgage process used to validate the market value of a house. It ensures that you are paying a fair price.

Inspection fees ($500 and more): it is strongly recommended that a home inspection condition be included in your offer to purchase. The inspection will identify any defects and provide you with a complete report on the condition of your future home. To learn more, view the article Pre-Purchase Inspections: What You Should Know.

Notary fees (between $500 and $1500): buying a property entails a mandatory visit to a notary who will draw up and register the deeds of sale and mortgage.

After the purchase

The day has finally arrived: you’re moving into your first house. There will be several expenses in the coming weeks, or even months.

Moving expenses: unless you offer friends pizza and beer, you will have to hire a moving company. Ask around for references and read reviews to make the right choice.

Home Insurance: protect your property with home insurance. You are never safe from water damage or a tree falling on the roof. You will also need protection in the event of a civil liability suit.

Transfer tax (welcome tax): the amount to pay is based on a percentage of the purchase price or municipal assessment. To learn more, see the article What is the “welcome tax”?.

Property taxes: municipal and school taxes are calculated according to the assessment of your new property. Tip: regularly transfer funds into a separate account throughout the year. Without even thinking about it (or almost!), you will accumulate enough to pay for the property taxes.

Minor renovations: most likely, you will want make your new home more to your liking. You might have an irresistible urge to paint a few rooms, install new curtains or floors, or even redo the bathroom or kitchen. Don’t do everything at once! Plan to do these improvements over several months.

Buying a property, especially if it’s your first one, is a process that requires expert guidance. Seek help from a professional real estate broker who will accompany you throughout the transaction process… for a guaranteed peace of mind!

See also:

First-Time Homebuyers: What About a Semi-Detached House?

First-Time Homebuyers: 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid

How to calculate the welcome tax

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