Looking to buy a home soon? There will be upfront costs of buying a house.
You may have found a house that you like. You may have been approved for a mortgage loan, and have your down payment ready to make an offer. If you think that, at that point, all of the hard work is over, well think again.
In addition to the down payment, which can be significant depending on the price of the property, there are plenty of upfront costs of buying a home. As a first time home buyer, this may come to you as a surprise. So, be ready to have enough cash to cover these costs. In no particular order, here are 8 common upfront costs of buying a house.
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What is an upfront cost?
An upfront cost, as the name suggests and in terms of buying a house, is out of pocket money that you pay after you have made an offer on a property. They are also referred to as closing costs and cover fees such as inspection fees, taxes, appraisal, mortgage lender fees, etc. As a home buyer, these upfront costs should not come to you as a surprise.
What are the upfront costs of buying a house?
Upfront cost # 1: Private mortgage insurance cost.
If your down payment is less than 20% of the home purchase price, then your mortgage lender will charge you a PMI (private mortgage insurance). A PMI is an extra fee to your monthly mortgage payment that really protects the lender in case you default on your loan. Again, depending on the size of the loan, a PMI can be significant. So if you know you won’t have 20% or more down payment, be ready pay an extra fee in addition to your monthly mortgage payments.
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Upfront cost #2: inspection costs.
Before you finalize on a house, it’s always a good idea to inspect the house for defects. In fact, in some states, it is mandatory. Lenders will simply not offer you a mortgage loan unless they see an inspection report. Even if it is not mandatory in your state, it’s always a good idea to inspect the home. The inspection cost is well worth any potential defects or damages you might encounter.
Inspection fee can cost you anywhere from $300-$500. And it is usually paid during the inspection. So consider this upfront cost into your budget.
Upfront cost # 3: loan application fees.
Some lenders may charge you a fee for applying for/processing a loan. This fee typically covers things like credit check for your credit score or appraisal.
Upfront cost # 4: repair costs.
Unless the house is perfect from the very first time you occupy it, you will need to do some repair. Depending on the condition of the house, repair or renovating costs can be quite significant. So consider saving up some money to cover some of these costs.
Upfront cost # 5: moving costs.
Depending on how far you’re moving and/or how much stuff you have, you may be up for some moving costs. Moving costs may include utilities connections, cleaning, moving
Upfront cost # 6: Appraisal costs.
Appraisal costs can be anywhere from $300-$500. Again that range depends on the location and price of the house. You usually pay that upfront cost after the inspection or before closing.
Upfront cost # 7: Earnest Money Costs
After you reach a mutual acceptance for the home, in some states, you may be required to pay an earnest money deposit. This upfront costs is usually 1% to 3% of the home purchase price. The amount you pay in earnest money, however, will be subtracted from your closing costs.
Upfront cost # 8: Home Associations Dues
If you’re buying a condo, you may have to pay homeowners association dues. Homeowners association dues cover operation and maintenance fees. And you will pay one month’s dues upfront at closing.
In conclusion, when it comes to buying a house, there are several upfront costs you will need to consider. Above are some of the most common upfront costs of buying a house.
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