Purchasing a home is one of the biggest monetary obligations anyone will have in their lifetime. Having said it several times in this space before, it is still curious to see just how many people are still unaware of the related expenses of getting their dream home (or even a starter house, if we’re being realistic).
The down payment, processing fee, possible renovations and mortgage aside, the journey to and act of owning property has many costs, some unknown to the prospective buyer until they are in the midst of an already expensive process.
Once again, we enlisted the assistance of the professionals — Dawn Ruddock, realtor and broker associate, and realtor associate Lystra Sharp — at Coldwell Banker Jamaica Realty to help break down the true cost of homeownership.
A “safe” total to put aside when purchasing property is 15 to 20 per cent of the cost of the unit, said Sharp, who added, “you may require less depending on the amount of the deposit and the mortgage application costs”.
A comprehensive look at other expenses includes some previously mentioned, like the mortgage application cost, which includes attorney’s fees, and the downpayment.. However, one must now contemplate added charges such as “the surveyor’s identification report; valuation; sale agreement and letters of possession, which are both fixed costs shared with the seller; stamp duty; registration fee; and attorney’s fee, which attracts a general consumption tax. Insurance should be purchased by the buyer after the title has been transferred (this is recommended); it is obligatory if getting a mortgage”, said Ruddock, who also shared “at this time in Jamaica, generally, realtor fees are paid by the seller, not the buyer”.
Before getting to this point, one may want to consider if they are truly ready for such a big move. What factors should inform your decision to take on such a large financial commitment, particularly if you were previously renting?
The rental price versus mortgage payment is perhaps the most immediate, if not the most important.