Story from Craig Donofrio, 10 Home Buying Costs You Need to Know About, talks about first time buyers and their fees ...
If you’re a first-time home buyer, you might get a little queasy when the last line of your good-faith estimate comes in at several thousand dollars. And after the color returns to your face, you might also be a little more than perplexed by some of those fees.
1. Earnest money
To prove you’re “earnest” in your purchase commitment, expect to plunk down 1% to 2% of the total purchase price as an earnest money deposit. This amount can change depending on market factors. If demand in your area is high, a seller could expect a larger deposit. If the market is cold, a seller could be happy with less than 1%.
Other governing factors like state limitations and rules can cap how much earnest money a seller can ask for.
2. Escrow account
An escrow account is basically a way for your mortgage company to make sure you have enough money to cover related taxes and mortgage insurance. The amount you need to pay varies by location, lender, and loan type. It could cover costs for a few months to a year.
Escrow accounts are common for loans with less than a 20% down payment and mandatory for FHA loans, but it’s not required for VA loans.
The origination fee is a hefty one. It’s the price you pay the loan officer or broker for completing the loan, and it includes underwriting, originating, and processing costs.
The origination fee is a small percentage of the total loan. A typical origination fee is about 1%, but it can vary. Use your good-faith estimate to shop around.
You want to be assured your new home is structurally sound and free of surprises such as leaks or pests living in the walls. Those assurances come with a price.
Some states, such as Georgia, require an attorney to be present at closing. In some other areas, this is optional. If you use a lawyer, expect to cover the costs, which vary by area and lawyer.
It’s typical for mortgage companies to have a lawyer on their end, although they should cover the bill.
6. Credit check
Just because you can get your credit report for free doesn't mean your lender can (and it will actually pull all three). You have to reimburse the lender, usually around $30.
7. Extra insurance
If you live in a hazard-prone area, you might need to purchase extra insurance, like for flood.
9. Title company
You pay this to the title company to make sure the property’s title is free and clear. Your lender will recommend a title company, but you can also shop around for one.
It’s not required in all instances, but your lender may require a professional surveyor to determine exactly where your property lines are drawn. Prices vary widely, but expect to pay at least $100.
Remember: You have bargaining power. Shop around to get a feel for what rates and fees apply in your area. If you aren't sure what a lender is charging, ask for an explanation—the charge might not be set in stone. If you’re unhappy with a charge, negotiate.
references: craig donofrio, realtor.com
Donald Horne, Team Success Listing
Associate Broker for Coldwell Banker Shooltz Realty
Oxford Office 248-969-8065
Lapeer Office 810-338-0628