We’re Here to Make Understanding Closing Costs Easy

As a first-time home buyer, navigating the complexities of purchasing a home can be daunting. One of the often-overlooked aspects of this process is understanding closing costs. These costs can significantly impact your overall budget, so it’s crucial to be well-informed. Let’s break down what closing costs are, what they typically include and how you can prepare for them.

What Are Closing Costs?

Closing costs are fees associated with the final steps of your home purchase. These costs cover various services and expenses required to complete the real estate transaction. They are paid at the closing of the deal, which is when the title of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

Typical Closing Costs

Here are some of the most common closing costs you can expect as a first-time home buyer:

  1. Loan Origination Fees: These fees are charged by the lender for processing your loan application. They typically range from 0.5% to 1% of the loan amount.
  2. Appraisal Fees: An appraisal is required to determine the market value of the property. This fee usually ranges from $300 to $500.
  3. Home Inspection Fees: A home inspection is crucial to identify any potential issues with the property. This can cost between $300 and $500.
  4. Title Search and Title Insurance: A title search ensures that the seller has the legal right to sell the property. Title insurance protects you and the lender from any future claims against the property’s title. Combined, these can cost around $1,000 to $2,000.
  5. Attorney Fees: In some states, having an attorney review the closing documents is required. Attorney fees can vary widely, typically ranging from $500 to $1,500.
  6. Recording Fees: These are charged by your local government to record the purchase of the property. Recording fees can range from $25 to $250.
  7. Survey Fees: If required, a survey will determine the property boundaries. This can cost between $300 and $900.
  8. Prepaid Costs: These are advance payments for property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and mortgage interest. The amount varies depending on the timing of your purchase and the cost of the home.
  9. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): If your down payment is less than 20%, you may be required to pay for PMI, which protects the lender in case of default. The cost varies based on the loan amount and your credit score.

How Much Are Closing Costs?

Closing costs typically range from 2% to 5% of the home’s purchase price. For example, if you’re buying a $300,000 home, you can expect to pay between $6,000 and $15,000 in closing costs. 

How to Prepare for Closing Costs

Being prepared for closing costs can make your home buying experience smoother and less stressful. Here are some tips to help you manage these expenses:

  1. Save Early: Start saving for closing costs as soon as you begin your home buying journey. Factor these costs into your overall budget to avoid surprises.
  2. Shop Around: Different lenders have different fee structures. Get estimates from multiple lenders to find the best deal. Don’t hesitate to negotiate to lower some of the costs.
  3. Understand Your Loan Estimate: Your lender is required to provide a Loan Estimate within three days of receiving your application. This document outlines the estimated closing costs. Review it carefully and ask questions about any fees you don’t understand.
  4. Request a Closing Disclosure: At least three days before closing, your lender will provide a Closing Disclosure, which details your final closing costs. Compare it with the Loan Estimate to ensure there are no unexpected charges.
  5. Consider Assistance Programs: Many states and local governments offer programs to help first-time home buyers with closing costs. Research available programs in your area to see if you qualify for assistance.

Understanding closing costs is an essential part of the home buying process. As a first-time home buyer, being informed about these expenses can help you plan effectively and avoid last-minute financial stress. It’s also important to note that your real estate agent should guide you through all of these steps. They’ll help you know, before you even get into the home-buying process, what you should expect to pay for closing costs. Make sure to lean into their knowledge and ask all the questions you have!

CEO & Lead Listing Specialist at Dani Beyer Real Estate | (816) 321-0120 | dani@danibeyer.com | Website | + posts

Dani Beyer, a Kansas City native, began her career in real estate in 2004 after working in the tech industry. Since then, she's helped thousands of families turn their dreams into keys! Dani is now the CEO and Lead Listing Specialist of 'Dani Beyer Real Estate' brokered with Keller Williams KC North. She specializes in selling luxury homes in the Kansas City Northland.