Welcome to home ownership in the Cowichan Valley
Now that you’re a homeowner in the Cowichan Valley or Victoria there are a few things that might be helpful to know and remember about home ownership.
Plan for maintenance costs
Set aside an amount each month equal to 25% of your mortgage payment as a cushion against unexpected repairs or planned updates. It’s much better to have these funds saved than it is to borrow for a new roof or emergency repairs. If you are buying a condominium you should save at least 10% of your payment to cover special assesssments, repairs, or to replace appliances, etc. This home maintenance schedule might be helpful and here is an annual maintenance checklist provided by This Old House.
Set a household budget
There are a number of expenses that come with home ownership which can increase monthly costs compared to renting. A quick search online will provide links to household budget tools and spreadsheets. It’s a good idea to give them a try. Itemizing expenses will show clearly how the budget will work. Some homeowners set aside a fixed amount each month for future maintenance to offset or eliminate borrowing for big expeditures.
Mortgage payments and taxes
It’s very important to make all your payments on time. Your lender will set-up an automatic payment from your bank account. You may want to inquire about overdraft protection for this account as additional protection against late or missed payments. If you fail to make payments, your lender may initiate foreclosure which could lead to a court ordered sale of your property. Also, check with your lender to ensure that they are making the property tax payments on your behalf.
Being a good neighbour
A neighbourhood is much more than people living in a certain vicinity. It’s also about living near other people and looking out for one another when the need arises. Introduce yourself to the next door neighbours and let them know you’re new to the neighbourhood. There is a Chinese proverb that “a good neighbour is a found treasure”. We hope your neighbourhood is full of relationships to be treasured.
Questions? Contact Constantin and Mariana Popa with your questions about neighbourhoods to suit your lifestyle and budget.