When you move from renting or living at home with your family, to owning, things change. Home ownership requires more responsibility, and there are costs that can sometimes be overlooked by future home buyers.

At the Real Estate Partners team with RE/MAX FIRST we believe that clarity and transparency are key components to a successful and rewarding home purchase for our clients, this blog covers some of the most important hidden costs of home ownership in Calgary whether you're looking to buy a condominium, townhome, or detached single family home. 

As a renter, you're typically not responsible for much (if any) maintenance in a home, your lease may reflect basic yard work, switching out lights, etc but when it comes to owning, there's a number of responsibilities and costs that you may incur and may not be aware of!

Utility Room Expenses

The utility room, often considered the core of a home, is crucial yet frequently overlooked. It shelters essential systems that ensure your home remains functional and comfortable. Despite being less frequented and visually appealing, its significance in maintaining the household's heartbeat cannot be understated.

Furnace Costs

 Furnaces that need replacement can be quite costly, expect to pay at least $3,000 for a replacement (low) but typically closer to the $5k to $7k range, fortunately this systems life span can last upwards of 15 - 30 years, especially with proper maintenance. But you should budget $25 to $100 per year to replace your furnace filters, and older furnaces can require repairs (Motor or other component replacements) that could land you with bills from $500 to $1,000+.  While this does sound daunting, we can share from personal experience that these costly repairs aren't as common, but new home owners may not be aware of them and it's important to budget and be ready for unexpected costs. 

Hot Water Tank Replacement Costs 

Traditional hot water tanks do have a life span, typically expect it to last 8 to 12 years but life span can go beyond that depending on use. This system delivers hot water to the plumbing fixtures in your home (shower, faucets, etc)  Depending on the size, type of tank (Brand) and location of your tank, expect to pay between $1200 to $1,800 for a complete hot water tank replacement. Risk of not replacing: If you decide not to replace your hot water tank, it could have a catastrophic failure, this could result in major water damage, and while there are signs that your water heater is dying we always recommend you consult a professional to ensure the safety of this significant piece of equipment in your home. 

Furnishing Your Home
Calgary home furnishing expenses

Transitioning from a cozy apartment or the familial nest into your own spacious house is an exciting journey that comes with its own set of considerations—especially when it comes to furnishing your new abode. While platforms like Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace offer a treasure trove of both second-hand gems and brand-new items, equipping your home with all the essentials can be a significant financial undertaking. It's not just about the big-ticket items like sofas and dining tables; it's the myriad of small details, from kitchen gadgets and cookware to the comfort of plush towels and soft linens, that transform a house into a home. The quest for a fully functional living space could have you budgeting for everything from a reliable vacuum cleaner to the luxury of a state-of-the-art television, not to mention the decorative touches that infuse your space with personality and warmth.

Furniture Average Cost Range
Bed Frame ~ $200 - $2,500
Nightstands ~ $120 - $1,000
Bedroom Lamps ~ $180 - $900
Dresser ~ $320 - $2,100
Full-Length Mirror ~ $60 - $600
Accent Chair or Bench ~ $350 - $1,100
Bedroom Rug ~ $150 - $3,800
Bedroom Decor ~ $200 - $1,300
Window Treatments ~ $250 per set
Total for Bedroom ~ $2,100 - $14,000
Dining Table ~ $200 – $5,00+
Chairs for Dining / Each ~ $110 – $2,100 / each
Bar Cart ~ $70 - $5,200
Dining Room Rug ~ $220 – $2,100
Chandelier ~ $250 – $350
Dining Room Art ~ $270 – $1,250
Total for Dining Room ~ $1,500 – $30,000+
Patio Set (Couch, Chair, Side Tables) ~ $450 – $2,100
Bistro Set ~ $100 – $300
Outdoor Dining Set ~ $250 – $2,600
Outdoor Lights ~ $40 – $220
Total for Backyard/Patio ~ $840 – $5,220
Sofa ~ $550 - $5,200
Sectional ~ $750 - $5,200
Coffee Table ~ $220 - $1,850
End Tables ~ $160 - $1,350
Entertainment Unit ~ $650 - $3,600
Lamp ~ $180 - $950
Living Room Rug ~ $150 - $4,100
Living Room Art/Accessories ~ $300 - $1,250
Total for Living Space ~ $2,910 - $23,600
Grand Total for Home ~ $13,350 - $104,820

Furnishing your home is more than a financial transaction; it's a journey that takes time, research, and patience. Beyond the initial excitement lies the reality of backorders, delivery schedules, and the occasional need for returns or exchanges. The process requires a blend of practicality and passion, as you balance your desires with the constraints of your budget.

As you navigate this journey, remember that the true value of your furniture lies not in its price tag but in the warmth and comfort it brings to your home. Each piece you select is a reflection of your personality and a building block of the memories you'll create within your walls.

Whether you're outfitting your first apartment, upgrading your living spaces, or furnishing a dream home, the adventure of creating a space that feels uniquely yours is both challenging and rewarding. With careful planning, a keen eye for deals, and a bit of creativity, you can achieve a look that feels both luxurious and inviting, without stretching your finances too thin.

In the end, the grand total of furnishing your home encompasses not just the financial cost but the investment in creating a space that reflects who you are and what you love. So, take your time, make informed decisions, and enjoy the process of turning your house into a home.

So, what is the grand total that you can expect when furnishing your home? Based on the average cost estimates we've compiled, and assuming you're outfitting a 3+ bedroom home, the rough costs to fully furnish your home ranges dramatically, from about $13,000 to $100,000. This broad spectrum accounts for the variability in preferences, from modestly priced essentials to high-end luxury items, ensuring there's something for every taste and budget. 

Delivery Fees

In addition to the base costs of furniture, delivery fees represent an unavoidable expense that can quickly add up. These fees vary significantly based on the size of the items, distance, and whether you require installation services. It's wise to allocate an additional 5-10% of your total furniture budget to cover these logistics, ensuring your beautiful pieces arrive safely and are ready to use. Warranties and Additional Costs

Warranties and Additional Costs

Another critical consideration is the option for warranties. While it might seem like an additional expense upfront, warranties can save you considerable amounts of money in the long run. They provide peace of mind, protecting your investment against defects, accidental damage, or wear and tear that exceeds normal expectations. When considering warranties, evaluate the cost versus the potential savings on future repairs or replacements, especially for high-ticket items.

Closing & Startup Costs

We've covered this one in full, you can read our closing costs blog for more detailed and comprehensive information, but essentially you should be prepared to have money saved for the following items.

Please note these prices are average prices and costs can increase or decrease based on your specific needs, upgrades, purchase price, etc. 

Legal Fees ($1,000-$2,500+)

Moving ($500 - $1,500+)

Title Insurance ($500) 

Cleaning if not completed by seller ($250 - $500)

Home Inspection ($400 - $750+)

HOA and Condo Fees

Did you know communities including Auburn Bay, Cranston, Discovery Ridge, Lake Bonavista, Mahogany, homeowner association (HOA) fees are commonplace. These fees vary but can exceed $250 annually. They typically cover communal landscaping, upkeep of amenities such as parks and facilities, and lake maintenance among other services. These contributions ensure that neighborhood aesthetics and recreational spaces are maintained to a high standard, enhancing the overall living experience in these areas. 

Home Insurance

Setting up a home insurance policy is an essential step in securing your new home. The cost of home insurance varies widely, generally ranging from as little as a few hundred dollars for a condominium policy to over $2,500+ annually for your average home. This variation depends on several factors, including the value of the home, location, coverage options, and the insurance provider. It's important to factor in the replacement costs of personal belongings, the structure of the home, and any special endorsements or riders for high-value items. Consulting with an insurance professional can help tailor a policy that fits your specific needs and ensures adequate protection for your property and possessions. Read our blog on the tips for home insurance in Calgary. 

For a comprehensive home insurance policy that suits your needs, it's advisable to compare quotes from multiple providers and consider the level of coverage that will give you peace of mind. Whether it's coverage for the structure, personal property, liability, or additional living expenses in case of displacement from your home, a well-thought-out insurance plan is a cornerstone of responsible homeownership.

Property Taxes

Property taxes are an integral part of home ownership in Calgary, contributing to the financing of essential public services such as education, emergency services, and infrastructure maintenance. The City of Calgary calculates property taxes based on the assessed value of your home, which is determined annually. This means that the amount you owe can fluctuate from year to year, reflecting changes in your property's market value and municipal budget requirements.

For homeowners in Calgary, understanding how property taxes are calculated and what they fund can demystify this cost of ownership. It's essential to budget for this expense, as it's paid annually and can represent a significant portion of your housing costs. The City of Calgary offers various payment plans, including monthly options, to help spread out these payments and make them more manageable. 

Use the city of Calgary Property Tax Calculator or check out some quick results below. 

calgary property taxes $150,000

750k property taxes calgary

2024 City tax* $3,170.25  
2024 Provincial tax* $1,663.28  
2024 Total taxes* $4,833.53  
$ Change from 2023 to 2024** $233.27  
% Change from 2023 to 2024** 5.07%

Where do your property taxes go? 

Service NamePercentage (%)Tax Amount
Provincial 34.40% $332.55
Public Safety and Bylaws 18.76% $181.35
Transportation 13.53% $130.80
Enabling Services 8.23% $79.56
Contribution to Capital Investments 7.78% $75.21
Parks, Recreation and Culture 4.93% $47.66
Social Programs and Services 4.03% $38.96
Building, Planning and Business 5.78% $55.88
Utilities and Environment 1.13% $10.92
Information and Communication 0.76% $7.35
Tax and Property Assessment 0.67% $6.48

Mortgage or Life insurance

Mortgage or life insurance is a critical consideration for homeowners, offering financial protection in unforeseen circumstances. While mortgage insurance covers the balance of your mortgage in the event of death, allowing your family to retain ownership of the home without financial burden, life insurance provides a more flexible benefit that can cover not just the mortgage but also other expenses, offering broader financial security. 


Lawn maintenance not only requires the tools (if you're taking the yard on yourself) but if you're not one to push a lawn mower, maintenance can run you $50-$100+ per month, and the same goes for those who aren't fans of the cold weather and shoveling. 

Depending on your property, you might need to prepare for the cost of a new fence or to make repairs on the existing one, and you may need to purchase patio furniture, chairs, firewood,  and possibly could run into costs for pest control. 


When you rent and something goes wrong, typically you call your landlord and they deal with it, when you become a home owner, all of the things we mention not only require your attention and money, but they'll eat up a lot of your time as well. Whether it's something simple like a drain pipe under the sink that's leaking and needs to be replaced, to more major renovations, you'll have to spend more of your time either taking on the renovations and repairs yourself or vetting, hiring, and booking someone to do the work! 

As a brand new home owner, a leaking faucet may require you to make a trip to the nearest home renovation store, in there you could find yourself needing a few tools and supplies, that trip plus the time to learn how to complete your repair (straight forward or not) can all add up. When it comes to fixes, even if it's straight forward, all these little fixes and tasks can eat up some of your free time, if lifestyle and not being tied to your home are very important, you should consult with your REALTOR® to discuss purchases that may mitigate this (newer homes for example) where they're less likely to need time invested into them. 

While this shouldn't scare most people away from wanting to purchase and own a home, it should be something you ready for. Having the right information and knowledge means you're prepared and not facing constant battles or challenges of home ownership that you may not have otherwise been prepared for! 

Allocating Funds for Home Maintenance

When it comes to preparing for home maintenance expenses, a common rule of thumb is to set aside a yearly fund of 1% to 2% of your home's purchase price. However, this is a generalized estimate and the actual amount can vary widely. The age of your home, its condition, and the size are significant factors that can influence maintenance costs. For example, older homes might require more upkeep, while larger homes could have higher costs due to the greater area that needs maintenance. Additionally, it's wise to consider the local climate and the unique features of your home, as these can also impact the frequency and type of repairs needed. Establishing a dedicated savings strategy for home repairs can help you manage these expenses proactively, ensuring that you're financially prepared for routine maintenance and unexpected issues alike.

In Conclusion

Home ownership has many perks, but there can be unexpected and extra costs that you should watch out and be prepared for. Many costs are financial, and plenty can not be avoided for most  (insurance, HOA fees, property taxes) after reading this blog you should have a good idea of some of the most common hidden costs of home ownership and be more prepared for the rewarding journey of home ownership.


Posted by Cody Tritter on
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