A Sydney woman who may lose her home because of unexpected taxes is warning home buyers about the Nova Scotia capped tax system.

The tax department of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality said on average, property taxes increase almost 20 per cent after a property sells. That's because the provincial property tax cap does not transfer to the new owner.

In some cases, taxes can double or triple for a new owner, according to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

Lisa Riply said that's what happened to her.

Ripley said she failed to ask what her taxes would be after the sale.

"I asked what they were at the time. I did not know anything about a capped tax. My mortgage would be approximately $600 a month and with the taxes it's going to be going up to $950," she said.

She said one third of her monthly payment goes to taxes.

Barbara Kerr, regional director of the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors, said, once a property is sold, the tax cap no longer applies and the tax increase can be startling for the new owner.

"It can be substantial. It can make or break the decision to buy a property. So once again, it's our job to caution them to be aware of all the facts when they purchase a home," she said.

Ripley said she plans to appeal her assessment. If that doesn't work, she said she her children might have to sell.