Buying a house or condominium is a large investment but taking care of your home can also be costly. When looking at houses for sale in Toronto, you’ll want to consider future maintenance costs when calculating the price of homeownership.
A home inspection report is a good way to get a handle on home maintenance costs when you purchase a home. While it may be tempting to save $250 to $500 and forgo the inspection report, the decision may cost you more in the long run. Considering the amount of your investment and how long you’ll be paying your mortgage, you don’t want a major repair cost right after your purchase.
Estimating Home Maintenance Costs
You can expect to spend around 3 to 5 percent of the value of your home on maintenance costs each year. Maintenance costs will vary depending on the age and size of your home. At the time of the purchase, find out the age of your roof, your HVAC unit, your water heater, and appliances. This will allow you to estimate the cost of major repairs over the next few years.
Home Maintenance Tips
Homeowners can take steps to minimize maintenance costs:
- Plumbing: Insulate your exposed pipes. Temperature changes can damage pipes. Condensation can erode pipes, resulting in plumbing problems. Test faucets and replace washers when taps start to drip.
- Exterior: Powerwash your property and look for things that need repair. Replace the weatherstripping around windows and doors. To cut down on routine maintenance costs, replace old wooden windows with vinyl models.
- Roof: Inspect your roof regularly. Check for loose or separated shingles and check the amount of grit and gravel in your gutters. If there’s more than a quarter of an inch of sediment, it may be time for a new roof. Look for dips or waves in the roof, which could indicate rot. This can be repaired by adding more roof vents. Make sure your chimney is securely fastened. Keep an eye on the flashing seals to make sure water isn’t seeping under the tiles.
- Foundation: Clear snow and debris from the foundation of your home. Snow can cause water damage, while debris can attract pests. Check the base of the house and basement for mold. If there’s mold, determine the source of the moisture and eliminate the problem. Inspect the grade of the house’s foundation and the driveway. The grade should move water away from the foundation.
When you buy a condo, you become the owner of a unit within a larger residential property. You’re responsible for maintaining your unit, but you’re not responsible for shared amenities, common spaces within and outside the property, the general upkeep of the property, or some utilities. In exchange, you must pay monthly condo maintenance fees.
Condo maintenance fees vary but average about 65 cents per square foot in Toronto. Older buildings have higher maintenance fees. Boutique condos also have higher fees because the cost is divided between fewer condo owners. Maintenance fees can increase at any time. New condo owners should check the status certificate to get an overview of a condo building’s management policies, financial statements, and condition of the building. The need for major repairs or a low reserve fund may indicate an increase in maintenance fees is coming.
When you’re looking for new houses for sale, call Merenda Real Estate Group at (416) 240-7653 for reliable real estate assistance.