Buying a home is typically the most costly investment a person makes in their lifetime. Some lenders require a 20% down payment to give better mortgage rates. In addition to your mortgage and down payment, hidden costs when buying a home sometimes surprise buyers, especially those already struggling. 

So what are the hidden costs of home buying? 

Closing costs, additional hidden costs when buying a home, and the requirements of mortgage lenders, to name some, can pile up for buyers, particularly for individuals with little to no real estate industry experience.

When preparing your budget for your upcoming home buying, you should look into the possible hidden costs associated with homeownership. 

Don't worry! Hidden costs won't startle you, and you can reduce unnecessary expenses.

What Are The Hidden Costs Of Home Buying?

1. The Process Costs

A typical period of 45 days is required to close a house. Throughout that approximately two-month interval, several costs accumulate, including the following:

A seller's insurance is earnest money if you withdraw from the agreement. It's usually 1-3% of the home's sale price and due three days after the seller accepts and signs your offer. If you cancel the house purchase, you lose your earnest money. You keep it if the vendor backs out. If the sale fails for a contingency, you save the money.

Your lender will verify that the seller's home value is accurate. Here, you pay for a home appraisal. This task cannot be price-shopped because an appraiser will be assigned by a designated appraisal management company (AMC).

The following variables will affect the overall cost of your appraisal:

Even though your lender doesn't require a home inspection, 85% of homebuyers seek one to avoid significant structural issues. Scheduling a home inspection costs money, but it saves on repairs over time. 

Home inspection costs depend on square footage, cost of living, and housing market conditions, just like appraisals. Prices average $300–$400; however, they vary based on where you reside and what you buy.

2. The Closing Costs

On your closing date, nothing compares to going down to take possession formally and then realizing you needed more time to be ready for the long list of closing expenses. The following costs need to be covered before you may become the owner of your home:

Your lender charges a loan origination fee for reviewing, underwriting, and approving your mortgage. At closing, you'll owe $2,000–$4,000 on a $400,000 house due to loan origination fees of 0.5% to 1%. 

Your closing meeting requires proof of homeowners insurance to protect your investment. Before you can sign off on your mortgage, lenders usually want you to have paid for an entire year's worth of insurance. 

homeowner insurance

You'll also pay your new home's property taxes at closing. The monthly payment is prorated based on how long you own the home this year. The valuation of your new house and the current tax rate will determine your property tax bill. Your tax rate is affected by the state, county, and city in which you reside. 

Earnest money is held in escrow while parties negotiate the sale. Future lender uses of accounts will change. Monthly mortgage payments go into escrow and are operated to settle property taxes and homeowners insurance. 

Third-party escrow companies maintain and operate your account, which your lender draws from. Companies charge 1-2% of the sales price to put it up. Usually, the buyer and seller split this expense, but they might negotiate this in the original offer.

  1. The Situational Costs

Other factors affect your home buying cost, depending on where and how you buy. These charges don't apply to every transaction, so often surprise homeowners:

It takes more than joining the club and following the rules to buy a house in a homeowners association area as its benefits require HOA fees. 

Homebuyers often overlook the HOA transfer charge. This fee covers HOA administrative expenditures when a home changes ownership.

More buyers are covering this cost to make their offer more appealing. Remember this cost as a negotiation strategy in a hot market, and be prepared to pay it if it's part of your final offer.

Mortgage insurance mitigates lenders' risks when they allow no-down-payment purchases. Small down payments increase lender risk, but mortgage providers know that not everyone can afford one. Rather than refusing mortgages to applicants who lack the necessary funds, lenders impose a tiny cost on mortgage insurance.

PMI is frequently required on traditional mortgage loans with less than 20% down. It appears as a monthly mortgage fee until you've paid off 20% of your home's value. FHA loans without a 10% down payment require a mortgage insurance premium (MIP).

Looking for a new home in Indiana but don't know how to get started? Our team at RE/MAX Advanced Realty is more than happy to help!

From answering your inquiries, such as the hidden costs when buying a home and even after you buy the property, we're here to guide you!

Leave a comment or call us at 317-316-8224 to get started.

In our previous post, we talked about the basics of real estate purchase agreement. Now, we’re going to learn more about it by discussing earnest money deposit and closing expenses while answering some of the most frequently asked questions about real estate purchase agreements.

So, What Is An Earnest Money Deposit

Consider earnest money as a deposit made in good faith by a buyer to a seller to demonstrate the buyer's commitment to their deal to buy a house. A buyer may withdraw from this deal at any time but will forfeit the earnest money deposit, save if the seller fails to satisfy specified restrictions.

The purchase agreement will specify how much earnest money is needed for the real estate contract. In a sense, it acts as insurance for sellers who usually want to make sure they aren't wasting their time or missing out on other chances by pursuing a contract that won't close.

To prevent any problems and guarantee that it is distributed properly and on schedule, this earnest money is often kept in escrow by a third party. When you close on the property, any funds deposited into escrow will be used for your closing expenses or down payment. 

real estate agent showing house to couple home buyers

What Are Closing Expenses?

Closing costs are the additional charges that purchasers and sellers must pay in order to finalize a real estate transaction. Loan origination fees, discount points, appraisal fees, title search fees, title insurance, surveys, taxes, deed recording fees, and credit report fees are a few examples of these expenses. Three business days prior to a scheduled closing or settlement date, lenders are required by law to give buyers a closing disclosure.

What fees apply to closing? They are essentially processing costs and ongoing costs that you will pay to your lender after you close on a home.

Amounts for typical expenses including home appraisals, title searches, property taxes, homeowners insurance, lender's fees, and ownership transfers are included in closing costs. Your purchase agreement should specify who is responsible for paying these closing charges (parts of which may be divided between the buyer and seller).

Final closing fees may range from 3% to 6% of the cost of a home.

Real Estate Purchase Agreements FAQs

The most frequently asked queries about real estate acquisition agreements are listed below.

Does a real estate acquisition contract require notarization?

A real estate purchase agreement is not filed with county records, so it does not need to be notarized in order for it to be legally binding.

Can a real estate agreement be canceled?

When the option is specified in the real estate contract or when the laws of your state permit it, a real estate contract may be ended. State laws typically permit the termination of a contract when a seller omits to disclose any significant problems with the property.

The purchase agreement's cost is borne by who?

The costs involved with creating this contract are normally covered by the seller's agent commission charge, which is paid as part of the closing costs.

Final Note

The terms and conditions under which a property will be sold are clearly spelled out in a real estate purchase agreement, which is a binding legal instrument. It's created to assist you prevent hitches by taking into consideration aspects related to a property purchase and sale. It's built to safeguard both buyers and sellers and ensure a smooth transaction.

As you go about buying or selling a home, being aware of the fundamentals of this document can help you avoid any potential hazards.

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