House buying costs involve much more than just the purchase price. Things like private mortgage insurance, property taxes, HOA fees, homeowners insurance and other expenses can add up quickly, making it even more important to prepare for them.
To make sure you're ready to handle the upfront costs and ongoing expenses of buying a house, here's what to expect:
There may be many costs involved with the loan application process, including fees due at closing. In general, closing charges vary from two to five percent of the home purchase value. Depending upon the lender, you can still find lower fees by shopping or by negotiating lower fees.
If you see any fee you feel is excessive or unneeded, like application fee or mortgage loan lock fee, contact your lender to get additional information.
Depending on your closing costs, the first months may involve some ongoing costs. During the second year, you may have to pay additional expenses, such as local property tax.
If your home is part of an association, you'll have to pay your dues, which range from just one dollar to hundreds per month depending upon how the association provides facilities.
Home inspections are generally optional, but are extremely recommended. A home inspection typically varies in cost between $500-$800, and can provide information about the condition of the home that will guide you to the best deal. Additional costs may be charged when a pest or radon inspection is necessary or advisable.
The more you know what to expect when it comes to expenses, the better you can budget and plan for your future as a homeowner. Check with your mortgage lender about any fees you're unsure about, and remember these additional costs of buying when creating a budget for your homebuying process.