When searching for a new home, many buyers will focus only on the list price and what they may need to offer to get the property. For example, a buyer might think, “We can get this house for $XX. That’s within our price range!”
Of course, the selling price plays the pivotal role in whether or not you can afford a particular home. But, carrying costs should also be considered.
Carrying costs include any regular expenses related to the property. The obvious ones are gas, hydro, water, garbage, and taxes. But there may be others. For example, a home may also have a subscription-based alarm system, high-speed internet, and hot water tank rental.
If there are common elements, such as a private street or some other neighborhood feature, there may be an annual maintenance fee.
It’s also smart to factor in predicted maintenance and repair costs, especially when buying an older home. A property that hasn’t had its asphalt roof shingles replaced in 20 years may be due soon.
So, when shopping for a new home, consider what the carrying costs will be. That will help you make a more informed decision.
That being said, having to pay a little more in monthly costs may be worth it if you love the place and it (as well as the neighborhood) has everything you want.