In her last article, Lena Guirguis outlined a few of the hidden costs that some first time home buyers may not have planned for such as legal fees, land transfer taxes, appraisals, as well as HST on new homes and on CMHC premiums.
Something she did not touch on previously is the costs of setting up basic accounts like gas, hydro, oil, water, and homeowners’ insurance. For many first-time buyers, moving from a rental means setting up new utility accounts, and with new accounts come set-up fees, as well as deposits.
An example of this would be setting up a new hydro account, there is a mandatory set-up fee ranging from $35 to $50 and some companies will require a deposit on new accounts. These deposits can range anywhere from $100 to 300. Now, if you look at these set-up fees for each of the utility accounts as well as the deposits that your client needs, he or she could be looking at close to $1,000 in unplanned costs within the first 30 days of closing.
It is very important to ensure that your client gets detailed information regarding all service providers and speak to each company well in advance to get an estimated cost for a new account. Additionally, your client should try to negotiate the deposits, should they be required.
Some homes, especially in rural areas, maybe heated by oil or propane, and these fuel types will require monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly fill-ups. It is very important for any purchaser to include a clause in their agreement of purchase and sale that clearly states sellers will provide the tank at full on the day of closing and that the receipt is supplied to show the amount paid and the amount of fuel supplied.
This will allow you a few months to settle in before having to spend on fuel, and will give your client an estimated cost for fuel so that he or she can budget accordingly.