Making the decision to buy a home is not something you should take lightly. Even if you are at a point in your life where you have little to no debt, steady employment and a good credit rating, there are still some other factors to consider. If you are a first-time homebuyer, then there’s a good chance that you are unaware of some of the costs associated with buying a home. In addition to your down payment and monthly mortgage costs, you’re going to have to pay for the following five hidden home buying costs:
The home inspection — Buying a home is a huge investment, which means you’ll want to do everything you can to protect that investment. This includes having the property you want to buy inspected by a professional. A professional home inspector will do a thorough walk-through of the property in order to locate any problems or potential problems. Any problems the inspector finds can be brought up with the seller. You can either ask the seller to bring the cost of the house down or to fix the problem before you make the purchase. You won’t want to get caught having to pay for a $10,000 repair after you’ve bought the property at full cost, after all. Home inspections usually cost a couple hundred dollars, sometimes more.
The appraisal — If you’re like most homebuyers, then odds are you’re going to take out a mortgage to help pay for your new home. Whatever lender you are working with will require you to get an appraisal of the home in order to determine how big of a loan they should offer. An official appraisal of the home’s value will also help you to determine whether the seller is asking for a fair price. Appraisal fees will typically run between $300 and $400.
The earnest money deposit — When you decide that you want to buy a home, you are going to need to provide the seller with an earnest money deposit along with your bid. This deposit is basically a sign of good faith. If a seller rejects your bid, you’ll get your deposit back. If the bid is accepted, then the deposit will be typically be taken from your down payment. The earnest money deposit is typically between 1 percent and 2 percent of the total home cost.
Closing costs — Don’t be shocked at the amount of money you end up spending when you close on your new home. You might have to spend thousands of dollars on processing fees, recording fees, survey fees, title insurance fees and underwriting fees. To avoid having to deal with an unpleasant surprise, you can ask your lender for a good faith estimate, which will help to outline the closing costs in detail. For the most part, your closing costs can range between 2 percent and 3 percent of your mortgage loan.
REALTOR® fees — Don’t even think about attempting to go through the home-buying process without a professional real estate agent. Some homebuyers are tempted in doing so, thinking that it will save them some money since they don’t have to pay the Realtor fees. However, the services a real estate agent provides and the resources they have access to make it well worth the investment. In many states, the seller of the property actually pays the buyers agent fees. Check with your state to see how this applies to you. Before you go to a new construction site, check with your agent. In many states, the builder will pay the buyers agent fees as long as you bring the agent with you on the tour. Even with new builds, having your own representation can be a true advantage.
These five hidden home buying costs that you can expect to pay before you can call that new home yours. In addition to these hidden home buying costs, don’t forget that there are a lot of other costs associated with simply owning the home as well.