When you look at the design plans for a new house and speak to the sales person about price, availability and timeframe you may begin to get quite excited. But before you make any decisions you should go home and crunch the numbers. As you review all of the costs that the sales person discussed with you remember to include the additional expenses that come with buying a brand new house, to see if you can truly afford this new house.
Additional Expenses You Should Include in Your Budget When Buying a Brand New House
One of the first things that I notice when I drive into a brand new subdivision is the lack of trees. Anything that may have been growing there over the years while the land was bare has been ripped out to make room for new houses and new streets. As each new house is built the builder may or may not include some landscaping in the front and the back of the house.
This is something that you need to consider if you choose to buy a brand new house. Will any landscaping be included in your purchase price? If not, consider what you will want to do. Will you lay new sod and plant some trees? Will you build a deck or add a rock garden?
And last but not least, will you build, or hire someone, to build a fence?
When we purchased our last new house in 2005 the only outdoor things that were included in the purchase price was a deck off the back of the house, and a very young tree that was meant to be planted on the front lawn. We had to pay for everything else.
Our back yard was huge and it backed on to 6 other neighbour’s yards. In the Spring of 2006 we spoke with each of them about the cost of building a wooden fence and about doing all of the labour ourselves. Only 3 of the neighbours helped build the fence but they all contributed to the cost. Our portion came to just under $4,000.
In 2007 we had a professional landscape designer draw up design plans for our backyard. We wanted trees, plants, hardscaping, mulch and some sod. Her design was gorgeous. The cost wasn’t. The cost to buy all of the necessary products and have professionals do the installation came to a grand total of $40,000.
I was shocked. The most expensive part of her design plan was the trees and the hardscaping.
Many homes in Canada are built with a basement. While some builders will professionally finish the basement as they finish the rest of the house, most will not. Finishing the basement so that it matches the rest of the house is usually an upgrade. A person can pay the builder to do the additional work, or they can wait until they move in and then decide what to do with it.
Our house had a beautiful walkout basement with large windows. A bathroom was roughed in as well as an area for a wet bar, if we had wanted one.
The cost to develop the basement with a professional contractor would have been approximately $15,000.
Monitored Alarm System
While I understand the importance of having a monitored alarm system in the house, I actually really hate them. I once owned a townhouse by myself and the alarm went off one night at midnight. The siren was so loud and I was quite frightened. Come to find out that the sensor on the patio door somehow melted from the hot summer days we had that year and it caused a slight shift in the doors which triggered the alarm.
As our new home was built the wiring for an alarm system was included. As much as I disliked the idea, we signed up with a monitored alarm company. The cost was $39 a month for 3 years.
Your new house may include an attached garage or it may include a detached garage.
But what if it only includes space on your property for you to build your own garage? That can happen.
If your new house does not include a garage and you really want to build one, you will need to include that in your budget.
The cost to build a garage varies greatly. It depends on the size, the products you use, and if you build it yourself, or hire someone to build it. It could be anywhere between $5,000 and $15,000 to build a garage on your property.
Garage Door Opener
Even if your new house includes a garage chances are good that if you want a remote garage door opener you will have to buy it yourself and pay to have it professionally installed.
Another expense to factor into the cost of buying a brand new home is furniture and window coverings. The amount of new furniture that you will need will of course depend on where you are moving from.
If you are moving out of your parent’s house, you will probably need a lot of furniture. If you are moving from a house of a similar size to your new house, you may only need a few items.
Make a list of the items that you will need to buy and do a search online for prices so that you can add those amounts into your budget.
As well, one thing that you will definitely need is new window coverings.
The price of window coverings varies greatly and there are quite a few different products to choose from. You could go with wood blinds, draperies, shutters, honeycomb shades, and so on.
You also have the option of buying and installing the window coverings yourself or hiring a professional.
The overall cost for window coverings could be anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000, or more, depending on the style you choose, and how many windows you have.
One thing to keep in mind is that the width of the window is what increases the cost of the window coverings, so if you choose a new house with large wide windows you can expect to pay a lot for window coverings.
When it comes to buying a house you may be the type of person that always looks for a brand new house or you may be the type of person that stays away from brand new houses. Quite often a person will say that they will steer clear of brand new houses particularly because of all of the additional costs that are mentioned above.
What type of home do you prefer to buy? Brand new house or older house, and why?