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Costs to consider when buying your first home

Blog by Kim Twohey | June 8th, 2016


First time home Buyers in Calgary are a savvy bunch!  Many of them have done their research and worked hard to get the best mortgage terms possible.  Still, some are surprised to learn more about the additional costs that come with a first-time home purchase.  Here are a few things to factor into your budget when buying a home.

Closing costs

Closing costs are the fees that must be paid in order to successfully complete a real estate transaction.  These fees are in addition to the agreed upon purchase price of the house.  For Buyers, closing costs can be approximately 1.5% of the purchase price.  Closing costs include things like:

-          Home inspection,

-          Mortgage appraisal,

-          Mortgage insurance, and

-          Legal fees and disbursements. 

The closing costs will vary based on the particulars of the transaction. 


Actually moving into your new home costs money.  Regardless of if you do it yourself or hire a professional, expect that it will be an additional expense that should be factored into your budget.  With DIY moving, you may need to pay for a U-Haul truck, packing supplies, and pizza for all the friends who help you out.  If you choose to hire help, there are quite a few reputable moving companies in Calgary that you can contact for a free no-obligation quote.  Be sure to call a few different companies and ask for references.  Once you have a general idea of the cost of hiring movers, you can incorporate this expense into your budget. 

Utility hook-ups

When you get possession of your home, you will need to arrange for utilities.  Most utility companies will charge a fee for your initial hook up.  This typically appears on your first bill.  You can easily budget for this additional expense by contacting your preferred utility company to find out how much they charge for hook-ups.  Pro-tip: some of these fees may be negotiable!

Cleaning service

Depending on the condition of your home when you move in, a professional clean might be in order.  Move-in cleans are a great way to tackle some of the often overlooked areas like appliances, windows, baseboards, and walls.  A great move-in clean will also tackle your bathrooms, kitchen, and floors. 

Additional home comforts

Your new home may require purchasing some things immediately like appliances or window coverings.  Your Realtor can be a helpful resource to let you know what you will need to get right away and can even offer some suggestions on how to manage it all on a budget.


This category of additional expenses can cover quite a few things.  First-time homeowners may not have all the tools and equipment needed to properly maintain a home.  You can probably spread these expenses out over the course of your first year in your new home so keep an eye out for sales on these things!  New homeowners should make a plan to purchase:

-          Exterior maintenance equipment like a shovel, lawn mower, basic gardening tools, and a sprinkler.

-          A basic toolkit to handle small home repairs.

-          Cleaning supplies like a vacuum and mop.

-          An emergency kit stocked with a flashlight, candles, and water.

-          A fire extinguisher.

I know, it seems like a never ending list of additional costs!  By knowing about these expenses before you purchase your first home in Calgary, you can plan and budget accordingly.  Your Realtor can be a great source of information and tips to help ensure you can comfortably cover the additional costs that are a part of almost every home purchase.