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Closing costs: What are they and how much are they?

 5-MINUTE READ  April 01, 2024


Buying a home is an exciting milestone, but it often comes with a laundry list of financial terms that can be overwhelming. Among these is the concept of "closing costs." If you're gearing up to purchase a home, understanding what closing costs are and how much they might set you back is crucial.

What are Closing Costs?

Closing costs are the fees and expenses associated with finalizing a real estate transaction. They encompass various services and processes required to transfer ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer. These costs are typically paid at the "closing" of the deal, which is the final step before ownership officially changes hands.

How much do closing costs usually cost?

Mortgage closing costs typically range between 2 to 5 percent of your total loan amount.

Closing costs depend on three main factors:

  • The price of the home

  • Where the home is located

  • Whether you're buying a new home or refinancing your current one

In 2021, the average closing costs for buying a single-family home were $6,905, according to a study by real estate data firm ClosingCorp. For refinancing, the average closing costs were $2,375.

However, closing costs can vary significantly based on location, often due to differences in taxes. For example, homebuyers in Washington, D.C. paid the highest average closing costs, at $29,888. Delaware and New York followed closely behind, with average closing costs of over $16,000 each. Conversely, states in the Midwest reported the lowest closing costs, with Missouri at $2,061, Indiana at $2,200, and North Dakota at $2,501.

Types of Closing Costs

Closing costs can vary depending on factors like location, the value of the property, and the type of mortgage you choose. However, some common closing costs include:

  1. Loan Origination Fees: These are charges from the lender for processing your mortgage application.

  2. Appraisal Fees: Lenders often require a professional appraisal to determine the property's fair market value.

  3. Title Insurance: This protects both the lender and the buyer in case any issues arise with the property's title.

  4. Home Inspection Fees: While not always required, many buyers opt for a home inspection to uncover any potential issues with the property.

  5. Escrow Fees: These are charges for the escrow company's services in handling the closing process and ensuring all parties fulfill their obligations.

  6. Recording Fees: These fees cover the cost of recording the deed and other legal documents with the appropriate government office.

  7. Property Taxes and Insurance: Depending on the closing timing, you may need to prepay property taxes and homeowners insurance for the upcoming year.

  8. Attorney Fees: In some states, it's customary to have an attorney represent you during the closing process.

Tips for Managing Closing Costs

  • Budget Wisely: Factor closing costs into your overall budget when determining how much home you can afford.

  • Shop Around: Be bold and shop around for different lenders and service providers to find the best rates and fees.

  • Negotiate with the Seller: In some cases, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs as part of the purchase agreement.

  • Understand Your Loan Estimate: Within three days of applying for a mortgage, lenders are required to provide you with a Loan Estimate, which outlines the expected closing costs. Review this document carefully and ask your lender to explain any fees you don't understand.

In conclusion,

Closing costs are an essential part of the home-buying process, but they don't have to be a source of stress. By understanding what closing costs entail and taking steps to manage them effectively, you can navigate the closing process with confidence and ease.

Call Loan Factory today to learn more about how closing costs impact your path to homeownership. 

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