What are the costs of home ownership? Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your lifetime. While the home itself can be enough to give you some sticker shock, it is important to be prepared for all the other expected – and unexpected – expenditures, from maintenance and utilities, to insurance and emergency costs.

Take a look at some of the costs associated with home ownership that you might not be aware of.

Closing Costs

When you close on your new home and take legal possession, you’ll need to pay for a few things before you get the keys. These include legal fees disbursements, land transfer tax, title insurance, property insurance and interest adjustment. While there’s no hard number to reference, these costs typically run between three and and five per cent of the purchase price of your home, so plan accordingly.

Property Taxes

Property taxes are based on the assessed value of your property. They are due at a certain time each year and can be added to your monthly mortgage payment, meaning that your lender can pay on your behalf.

Maintenance Costs

A home requires constant upkeep and maintenance. Whether it be small projects or routine maintenance, it will all cost you time and money. Projects such as re-shingling or replacing windows and doors might not need to happen often, but it is important to keep track of the larger maintenance projects so you can avoid being surprised with a large cost when those things need to be repaired or replaced.

Utility Costs

Utility costs do not just include hydro and gas – they can include other costs you have to pay locally, such as water and sewage, which might not be included in your property taxes.

Homeowners Insurance

As a homeowner, you need to have insurance. Premiums will depend on a number of factors, such as age and value of your property, location, claim history, contents, proximity to a firehall and fire hydrants, and specific features (ie. Wood vs. gas heating).

Find a local insurance broker in your area to get a quote on the home you are interested.

Emergency Costs

Emergencies are bound to happen, so having some money set aside to help cover these costs should an emergency occur is smart. Keeping this in mind when searching for a home is also a good idea, as an older home may result in more repairs than a newer build.

Roof repairs, tree removal, fixing a bathroom sink or toilet, replacing appliances and HVAC repairs are just some of the emergency repairs you should be prepared for.

Condo/Strata Fees (if applicable)

If you purchase a home or a condo within a strata, you will be required to pay monthly fees for the upkeep of the property/building. These costs often include garbage pickup, snow removal, landscaping, yearly maintenance and is contracted out by the strata corporation each year.


Take a close look at parking around your potential new home. Do you require a permit? How many stalls do you have? Do you have to pay for parking? If parking isn’t included with your home, it may be an additional expense you need to consider.

Costs of home ownership

Have Questions?

Real estate can be confusing. RE/MAX Canada hit the streets to find out just how much (or how little) the average person knows about the Canadian housing market, and to offer some answers.


Connect with a RE/MAX agent for these answers, and more!