Whether you’re looking to buy your first home, or trading up to a larger one, there are many costs—on top of the purchase price—that you must figure into your calculation of affordability. These extra fees, such as taxes and other additional costs, could surprise you with an unwanted financial nightmare on closing day if you’re not informed and prepared.
Some of these costs are one-time fixed payments, while others represent an ongoing monthly or yearly commitment. Not all of these costs will apply in every situation, however, it’s better to know about them ahead of time so you can budget properly.
Remember, buying a home is a major milestone. Whether it’s your first, second, or tenth home, there are many important details to address during the process. The last thing you need are unbudgeted financial obligations cropping up hours before you take possession of your new home.
Read through the following checklist to make sure you’re budgeting properly for your next move.
1. Appraisal Fee: Your lending institution may request an appraisal of the property which would be your responsibility to pay for. Appraisals can vary in price from approximately $175-$300.
2. Property Taxes: Depending on your downpayment, your lending institution may decide to include your property taxes in your monthly mortgage payment. If your property taxes are not added to your monthly payments, your lending institution may require annual proof that your taxes have been paid.
3. Survey Fee: When the home you purchase is a resale (vs a new home), your lending institution may ask for an updated property survey. The cost of this survey can vary between $700-$1,000.
4. Property Insurance: Home insurance covers the replacement value of your home (structure and contents). Your lending institution will request proof that you are insured as it protects their investment on the loan.
5. Service Changes: Any new utility services that you’ll hook up, such as telephone or cable, may require an installation fee.
6. Legal Fees: Even the simplest of home purchases should have a lawyer involved to review all paperwork. Shop around, as rates vary greatly depending on the complexity of the issues and the experience of the lawyer.