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Hidden Costs to Consider When Buying Your First Home

Hidden cost of house

The mortgage payment for a home listed on the Nanaimo real estate MLS is the most predictable cost of owning a home. But there’s much more to think about than just the monthly payment. Here are some of the hidden costs to consider when buying your first home in Nanaimo.

Home inspections

One of the standard contingencies in a real estate purchase contract is for conducting your home inspections. Typical inspections for the home and property can include a general inspection of the home, inspections for termites or rodents than can cause structural damage, mold and asbestos inspections, soil and septic, and even a property line survey. Fees for all of these home inspections can easily add up to $1,000 or more.

Closing costs

The fees from the lender and title company can add between 2% and 4% to the cost of buying your first home. Typical closing costs include:

  • Lender fees such as admin costs, wire transfers, and credit reporting
  • Appraisal report to make sure your first home in Nanaimo appraises for at least the sales price on the purchase contract
  • Title and attorney fees related to transferring the deed can include filing fees, escrow fees, and notary fees

Funding the escrow account

Your lender will require you to pre-fund an escrow account to cover the first year of homeowner’s insurance and estimated property taxes. Some lenders also require a little extra money as a reserve in case the projected insurance and tax expenses come in higher than anticipated for the upcoming year due to policy increases.

Homeowner’s insurance

Homeowner’s insurance protects both you and the lender against items in your home being stolen or the property being damaged due to fire or weather-related incidences. Part of your monthly mortgage payment will include a prorated monthly expense for homeowner’s insurance, even though the policy is paid for annually. Insurance companies usually offer discounts if you have more than one policy with them, such as auto, life, and your home insurance.

Property taxes

As with homeowner’s insurance, a monthly charge for property taxes is included in the monthly mortgage payment. The home sale listings on the Nanaimo real estate MLS will show what the current property taxes are. But remember that annual property taxes can increase each year. In turn, rising property taxes will cause your mortgage payment to go up each year -especially if your home increases in market value from year to year.

Moving costs

Moving costs are a one-time expense but can also be unexpectedly expensive, even if you plan on moving from one home to another. Both local and long-distance movers usually quote a fixed-fee for an estimated amount of time. But those moving costs can go up if the move takes more hours than anticipated. Moving supplies like durable boxes, packing material, and tape also add to the cost of moving to your new home in Nanaimo.

Maintaining a home

The professional property inspections you did before closing on your home are a good indication of items that will need to be maintained and eventually repaired. Many real estate agents in Nanaimo suggest budgeting 1% of the value of your property for annual costs of maintaining a home. So, if you paid $250,000, plan on potentially spending a little over $200 each month on maintenance.


First time homebuyers in Nanaimo sometimes face sticker shock with utility costs, especially when moving from an apartment into a larger home. Monthly utility expenses include items like electric, gas, water, cable, internet and phone. In addition to monthly fees, many service providers also charge an installation fee and will ask for a refundable deposit if you haven’t had service with them before.

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