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One of the most important steps in starting the house hunting process is determining what you can afford. There are a number of things to consider when creating your housing budget.
- Credit card statements
- Monthly rent or mortgage payments
- Utility bills; gas, power, water, cable, etc.
- Monthly expenses such as groceries, daycare and vehicle payments
- Annual and/or semi-annual costs like insurance and car repairs
- Non-fixed expenses, which could include vacations, medical expenses, entertainment, etc.
Gathering and adding up this information will give you an idea of what was spent last year and what to budget for in the year ahead. This will also help you to roughly determine what kind of down payment you will be able to put down on a property; take your total expenses away from your total income to find this number.
Additional buying costs to budget for:
- Appraisal fee
- Home inspection fee
- Land survey
- Application fee
- Mortgage broker fee
- Mortgage loan insurance
- Home insurance
- Legal fees
- Land transfer tax
- Good and services tax
- Property tax adjustments
- Service hookup costs
- Moving expenses, for example packers and movers
We highly recommend you take the time to sit down and crunch the numbers. Budgeting is a critical step that will spare you any unnecessary headaches and overall issues when it comes to your bank account.