Featured Image

The Hidden Costs of Homeownership: A Financial Guide to What to Expect

The Hidden Costs of Homeownership: A Financial Guide to What to Expect

Owning a home is a dream for many Nova Scotians, and it’s often seen as a significant milestone in achieving financial stability. However, it’s crucial to understand that the costs associated with homeownership go beyond the down payment and mortgage. At Customer First Financing, we believe in providing you with the tools to make educated financial decisions. This blog aims to shed light on some of the hidden costs that come with owning a home.

  1. Property Taxes

These are annual or semi-annual payments made to your local government to fund community services. The amount varies depending on the location and value of your property. Failure to account for this cost can result in an unexpected financial burden.

  1. Home Insurance

While often mandated by mortgage providers, the cost of home insurance can vary significantly based on the location of the property, its condition, and even its proximity to a water source.

  1. Maintenance and Repairs

Roofs leak, appliances break, and lawns need upkeep. The cost of maintaining a home is ongoing and often unpredictable. A general rule of thumb is to budget at least 1% of the home’s value for annual maintenance.

  1. Utility Bills

Utilities such as electricity, water, and gas can add up quickly. These monthly costs can be significantly higher than what you may be accustomed to as a renter, especially if your new home is larger.

  1. Homeowners Association Fees

If your home is part of a community with shared amenities like a pool, gym, or security, expect to pay monthly or annual homeowners association fees.

  1. Renovation and Remodeling

While optional, upgrades can quickly become necessary for functional or aesthetic reasons. Always factor in the possibility of future remodeling expenses.

  1. Closing Costs

These are one-time costs that include legal fees, title search, and mortgage application fees. These usually range between 2% and 5% of the home’s purchase price.

Tips for Planning for Hidden Costs

Build an Emergency Fund: A dedicated savings account can act as a financial cushion for unexpected home-related expenses.

Research: Before purchasing, research property taxes, potential homeowners association fees, and insurance costs in your chosen area.

Prioritize: Focus on essential maintenance tasks that, if neglected, could lead to more significant costs in the future.


Owning a home is an exciting venture, but it’s essential to go into it with your eyes open to all potential costs. Proper planning can help you avoid financial stress and enjoy the benefits of homeownership more fully.

At Customer First Financing, we are dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of financial planning. Whether you’re planning to buy a home or looking into other financial products, we offer expert advice tailored to your individual needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in achieving your financial goals.

Sep 1st, 2023