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I Can Afford a Mortgage! Now What?

So, you have saved up for a solid down payment, you’ve started looking at condo options in the market, and have been pre approved for a mortgage.  Great!  You’re ready to buy…almost.

What about carrying costs?

In order to make sure your home stays affordable while you live there, it’s important to keep your cost of living in the home down.  Here are some things to consider:

1. Buy new

Typically, maintenance fees go up over time as equipment starts to wear out.  As much as nothing is perfect even though it’s new, at least it’s under warranty for the first year!

2. Gym, pool, sauna, tennis court, etc.

Condo amenities are great and a big incentive to get into condo living, but they do cost a lot (on average $20,000 per suite in the price plus ongoing maintenance).  If you’re unsure that you’ll be a frequent user of certain amenities, it’s worth looking for a condo with only the ones you want (or as close as you can).

3. Find a community

Owners tend to take pride in their homes resulting in taking better care of the condo on the whole.  Buying into a condo with a strong owners community will keep maintenance costs down by living in a building where everybody does their part.

4. Be environmentally friendly

Buy into a condo or work with your condo board to bring green energy and car sharing to your home.  Solar hot water heating can slash up to 60% of the cost of heating the building’s water.

Car ownership is one of our biggest expenses.  If you don’t use your car very often or if you have a second car you use occasionally, consider buying into a condo with a car sharing service.  Insurance, gas, and maintenance are included, and you only pay for the car when you use it.  Not to mention, who wants to pay $30,000+ for the parking spot?

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About the Author

Jessica Speziale is the Marketing Co-ordinator for Options for Homes Non-Profit Corporation. She write regularly for TheRedPin on cost-effective home ownership and is passionate about community and living green.