Carlsbad Buyers - Home Buying Costs You May Not Think About (Part 1)
There are lots of costs associated with searching for and buying a new home in Carlsbad, or anywhere. Obviously the big ticket item is the home itself.
But don't ignore the other fees that can really add up and which some Carlsbad buyers may not be thinking about. This is NOT to discourage but, rather, to educate you a bit about the home buying journey and the costs you may incur. Keep in mind they can vary from transaction to transaction (Note: These costs may be rather different if your transaction is taking place in another state).
CARLSBAD HOMES SEARCH
First let's talk about the home search. You think it's free? Not so fast. What about these costs?
$$$ Your personal time (lost opportunity to do other things, time away from work, etc) - it can be a full time job especially if you want to see everything in your price range, or are looking in a broad area
$$$ Gas - if you are driving around looking by yourself, following your REALTOR to homes, or going to open houses, this can really add up. At $3.00+ per gallon this is no small matter.
$$$ OK this may be small but if you are printing out all those listings (ink, paper), sending text messages on a phone plan where these cost you, or making long distance calls (those of you relocating) those $$$ add up too. Won't break the bank but...
INSPECTIONS, APPRAISALS and OTHER FEES
And in this market it is not uncommon for folks to have their offers rejected, back out of deals, or have them fall apart. So even if you don't get the house you may pay for:
$$$ A home inspection, or more than one (could be $200 - $300 per house)
$$$ Fee to lock in your loan - if this needs to be extended due to a long process in your transaction, if you back out, or your bid is not the winner, you may pay an additional fee to extend the rate lock
$$$ Appraisal fee - you will likely pay for this if the deal falls apart or you back out to go onto something else. Could be $450.
$$$ Other inspections - what if you do a mold inspection (one company here charges $199 - they are great, BTW, VM3 Environmental) or some other inspection during your due diligence?
$$$ If you breach the contract (e.g., you find another house you like and you back out late in the process) you could lose your deposit. That could be thousands of dollars
There may be some other items, too, but you get the idea. Again, this is not to scare you away, but simply to paint a reality picture of the cost of home buying, especially if you are putting in multiple offers, backing out of deals, or having things fall apart for whatever reason.
Stay tuned for Part 2 where we will cover the costs during escrow and at closing (specifically here in CA).
In Part 3 we will cover the other costs of buying a home that you can expect once you close escrow. They are worth knowing about and planning for.