Have You Saved Enough for Closing Costs?

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There are many potential homebuyers, and even sellers, who believe that they need at least a 20% down payment in order to buy a home or move on to their next home. Time after time, we have dispelled this myth by showing that many loan programs allow you to put down as little as 3% (or 0% with a VA loan).

If you have saved up your down payment and are ready to start your home search, one other piece of the puzzle is to make sure that you have saved enough for your closing costs.

Freddie Mac defines closing costs as:

“Closing costs, also called settlement fees, will need to be paid when you obtain a mortgage. These are fees charged by people representing your purchase, including your lender, real estate agent, and other third parties involved in the transaction. Closing costs are typically between 2 and 5% of your purchase price.”

We’ve recently heard from many first-time homebuyers that they wished that someone had let them know that closing costs could be so high. If you think about it, with a low down payment program, your closing costs could equal the amount that you saved for your down payment.

Here is a list of just some of the fees/costs that may be included in your closing costs, depending on where the home you wish to purchase is located:

  • Government recording costs
  • Appraisal fees
  • Credit report fees
  • Lender origination fees
  • Title services (insurance, search fees)
  • Tax service fees
  • Survey fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Underwriting fees

Is there any way to avoid paying closing costs?

Work with your lender and real estate agent to see if there are any ways to decrease or defer your closing costs. There are no-closing mortgages available, but they end up costing you more in the end with a higher interest rate, or by wrapping the closing costs into the total cost of the mortgage (meaning you’ll end up paying interest on your closing costs).

Home buyers can also negotiate with the seller over who pays these fees. Sometimes the seller will agree to assume the buyer’s closing fees to get the deal finalized, which is known in the industry as ‘seller’s concession.’

Bottom Line

Speak with your lender and agent early and often to determine how much you’ll be responsible for at closing. Finding out you’ll need to come up with thousands of dollars right before closing is not a surprise anyone is ever looking forward to.

Do You Really Think Your Landlord Pays for Repairs?

Do You Really Think Your Landlord Pays for Repairs? | Keeping Current Matters

recent article that appeared on Nasdaq.com addressed the issue of whether it is best to buy or rent in today’s real estate environment. The article was very fair in discussing both options.

However, there was one portion of the article that we questioned. One of the experts was quoted as saying:

“For some people, the choice is very clear: Buying a home can be more costly, given the cost of the purchase itself, plus taxes and insurance, plus maintenance and repairs.”

This argument is often made in defense of renting. However, we don’t believe it makes logical sense. They claim that, as a renter, you won’t have the expenses of “taxes and insurance, plus maintenance and repairs”. Do they really believe that the landlord pays all those expenses for their tenants?

The vast majority of landlords own rentable real estate as a form of investment. As any other investor would, they expect to make a return on that investment (ROI) – otherwise known as profit. In order to make a profit, the landlord needs to include EVERY expense they incur into the rent…AND THEN ADD A PROFIT MARGIN!!

We think it is incorrect to advise a prospective renter that they won’t have the same expenses that a homeowner would have. They just pay those expenses to a landlord with a “premium” built in.