What are the Closing Costs for Buying a Home?

When you get a mortgage, there are closing costs that must be paid. With a refinance, you can roll those costs into the loan; but with a home purchase, the closing costs must be paid at closing and cannot be rolled into the loan. However, the seller can pay the buyer’s closing costs if that is designated in the purchase contract. (The lender can also give you a credit toward closing costs if you choose to take a higher interest rate.)

The Three Types of Closing Costs

Lender Fees. This is what the lender charges for its profit and to pay for required third-party vendors that are chosen by the lender.

  • Origination fee, underwriting fee, administration fee, processing fee, document fee
  • Credit report, flood cert., tax service
  • Appraisal, appraisal review, appraisal management fee

Third Party Fees. These are fees for vendors that you can shop for and choose.

  • Title insurance
  • Settlement closing agent (escrow agent or attorney)
  • Recording fee

Prepaid Costs. These are not fees, but rather costs that are part of buying a home. These will be the same no matter which lender you choose, because they are not related to nor controlled by the lender.

  • Property taxes
  • Other taxes depending on your location, such as transfer tax, state stamp tax, county tax
    Home owner’s insurance, which is your fire/hazard insurance
  • Partial mortgage payment if you close in the middle of the month, called prepaid interest

Closing costs vary widely depending on the price of the property and the location. The East and West Coasts are more expensive, and middle America is cheaper for closing costs (as well as property prices).

Your initial cost estimate (this is what used to be called a Good Faith Estimate) will list the expected closing costs as well as the loan term, loan amount, interest rate, and monthly payment.

There are some exceptions to the information above. Most notably is that the FHA Upfront Mortgage Insurance Fee of 1.75% is rolled into the loan unless you ask for an exception.

Any questions about closing costs, please feel free to ask me. Thank you for reading my blog.

2 responses

  1. Are there any Junk Fees that we can ask the Lender to remove?

    1. Yes. Some lenders will remove an unnecessary fee when you ask. But most lenders nowadays, due to current lending laws, take the stance that all borrowers must be charged the same fees so that they are not discriminating against anyone — or doing reverse discrimination where some people are treated better. That said, those lenders can give you a lender credit to cover some of the lender fees.

      Keep in mind that the lender has no control over junk fees charged by the title company, escrow-settlement company, or your attorney. Those fees need to be negotiated directly with them. My advice is to choose a title and escrow company that does not charge needless junk fees.

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