What Are Mortgage Closing Costs?
Mortgage closing costs can be thought of as the fees that come due during the mortgage process at the time of closing the mortgage agreement. Such costs typically include an origination fee from the mortgage lender, third-party fees for services like appraisals, loan officer review and processing, title search, credit report reviews and possibly more depending on a variety of factors. These mortgage closing costs are important to take into consideration when planning your mortgage as they could potentially add thousands onto your mortgage amount. Be sure to understand your mortgage terms fully so you are not taken by surprise with any of these unwelcome associated costs.
How Much Are Closing Costs?
Closing expenses might range between 3 and 6% of the loan amount. This implies that if you take up a $200,000 mortgage, you may anticipate closing expenses to range between $6,000 and $12,000. Closing expenses are separate from your down payment and may be negotiated. The seller may pay some or all of your closing fees. Just keep in mind that your negotiation strength might be highly influenced by the sort of market you find yourself in.
Paying the expenditures out of pocket as a one-time expense is the most cost-effective approach to cover closing costs. If the lender permits it, you may be able to finance them by folding them into the loan, but you would pay interest on those charges throughout the life of the mortgage.
Who Pays Closing Costs?
Closing fees are borne by both buyers and sellers. However, the buyer is normally responsible for the majority of them. You may negotiate seller concessions with a seller to assist in meeting closing costs. Seller concessions might be highly beneficial if you believe you will have difficulty raising the funds required to close. The amount that sellers may give toward closing expenses is limited. A mortgage broker can help you negotiate better mortgage terms. Sellers may only contribute a set proportion of the mortgage value, which varies according to loan type, occupancy, and down payment.
The seller concessions limits for conventional loans are explained out below. The percentage shown is based on the lesser of the purchase price or appraised value.
In the case of primary residences:
- Down payments of 25% or more: 9%
- Down payments of 10 – 24.99%: 6%
- Less than 10% down payment: 3%
In the case of second homes:
- Down payments of 25% or more: 9%
- Down payments of 10 – 24.99%: 6%
The maximum amount of seller concessions for any down payment on an investment property is 2%.
FHA loans are significantly simpler, with a 6% contribution ceiling depending on the lesser of the assessed value and the purchase price.
VA loan seller concessions are subject to a variety of restrictions depending on the situation. Escrow accounts (prepaid taxes and homeowners’ insurance) and any mandatory VA financing fee may be funded with up to 4% of the purchase price or assessed value (whichever is less).
The seller may pay an unlimited amount of money to cover charges such as discount points, origination fees, survey, appraisal, and credit report fees.
Before continuing, it’s worth mentioning that seller concessions for jumbo loans may differ by lender.
How Much Are Closing Costs For A Buyer?
The closing fees paid by each buyer will vary. Depending on the specifics of the deal at hand, some of these expenses may be negotiable while others are mandatory from the lender or the government. The costs you’ll incur are variable and will be determined by factors including your location, the sort of loan you get, and the lender you work with.
Your lender must provide you with your Closing Disclosure at least three working days before your closing meeting. Here, you’ll find a detailed breakdown of all the monies owed and the closing expenses that must be paid. Let’s take a look at some of the most typical items that can show up on your closing costs disclosure.
Some lenders impose a loan application fee. Lenders charge up to $500 for this. This may be a separate charge or a deposit toward closing costs. Even if your loan application is denied, your cost is nonrefundable.
A third-party appraisal management business will send a professional appraiser to value your house for your lender. To ensure move-in readiness, they do basic safety checks. Appraisals determine property loans. This prevents property overpayment. Appraisals typically cost $300–$600.
Some states need an attorney to finalize a mortgage. Real estate attorney fees include the expense of closing coordination and title transfer documentation. Local real estate attorney fees vary by state.
The escrow business or attorney who handles your closing receives your fee. Every closing requires an attorney in certain states. State and attorney attendance determine these fees.
The expense of transporting mortgage paperwork is covered by courier costs. Your lender may incur courier costs of $30.
Your credit report and score cost money. Credit reporting costs average $25.
By paying ahead for discount points, lenders lower your interest rate (essentially, buying down your rate to save interest over the life of the loan). Discount points are 1% of your loan.
A $100,000 mortgage costs $1,000 per point. For a $200,000 loan, a point costs $2,000. Discount points are optional.
Your Loan Estimate lists discount point costs under Origination Charges.
Escrow funds contain property taxes, premiums, homeowners insurance, and mortgage insurance. Your lender holds escrow money. The lender subsequently pays your mortgage with the escrow monies.
An escrow account may be required by your lender at closing. Many homebuyers put down two months of costs at closing, depending on their lender.
FHA loans need a mortgage insurance fee at closing. Your Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) is 1.75% of your base loan.
If you borrow $100,000 to purchase a property, your closing MIP is $1,750. Your monthly MIP, 0.45% to 1.05% of your loan value, is different from this upfront payment.
Flood certification costs $15–25 if your property is in a floodplain. The Federal Emergency Management Agency utilizes this money to prepare for crises and target high-risk areas. Only flood zone buyers pay this closing expense.
HOA Transfer Fee
Your homeowners association transfer fee transfers HOA costs from seller to buyer. It assures the seller pays HOA dues. It also includes the association’s financials and payment schedule.
Sellers usually pay this. In a competitive market or if you cover all closing fees, you may have to pay your own transfer fee.
HOA regulations determine transfer fees. If you reside in an area without a HOA, you will not be charged this fee.
Homeowners insurance covers property damage. Most mortgage lenders need a minimum amount of homeowners insurance to cover damage. You may also acquire liability and contents coverage.
Many lenders demand a year of homeowners insurance at closing. Expect to spend $35 for $100,000 in house value every month.
Homeowners insurance for a $200,000 house costs roughly $70 per month. Your lender may need $840 in escrow at closing.
Loan Origination Fee
Loan origination costs fund processing and underwriting. Your lender receives this charge for underwriting and documenting your loan. Origination costs average 1% of your loan’s value. This appears under Origination Charges on your Loan Estimate with mortgage discount points.
If a title claim takes your house, lender’s title insurance reimburses the bank. Lender’s title insurance is paid once at closing, unlike other insurance.
Owner’s title insurance differs from lenders’ title insurance. Title insurance for lenders costs $875.
Lead Paint Testing
Pre-1979 homes may contain lead paint. Lead-based paint is harmful to both adults and children.
This cost includes a home lead test. Lead-based paint inspections cost $300.
Owner’s Title Insurance
Owner’s title insurance is optional but may cover many situations. If a prior owner sues you after you buy the property, title insurance will protect you.
Say a title lien is discovered 10 years later. Title insurance will refund your policy. Title insurance averages 0.5–1% of the buying price.
Pest Inspection Fee
Some states demand a pest inspection before loan closing. VA homebuyers must also have pest inspections. If the appraiser sees an issue, additional loans may need it.
Pest inspections average $100. Buyers, sellers, or lenders may pay for this.
Prepaid Daily Interest Charges
Your lender may require you to prepay any loan interest between closing and your first mortgage payment. Your loan amount, rate, and closing date determine your interest.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
If you put less than 20% down on a traditional home loan, you must pay PMI. PMI protects lenders against loan defaults.
Your lender may need your first month’s PMI charge at closing. Most homeowners pay $30–$70 per month for PMI for every $100,000 borrowed, depending on their lender.
With a traditional loan, you may pay for part or all of a PMI coverage ahead at closing to reduce or eliminate mortgage insurance expenses.
Unless you put down 10%, FHA loans require an upfront mortgage insurance premium and a monthly MIP tax. MIP expires after 11 years. USDA loans contain an upfront guarantee charge and a yearly guarantee charge that act similarly to PMI/MIP.
Property taxes pay for local government services. Property taxes pay roads, fire stations, and schools. Location and house worth determine property taxes.
Your lender may want a year’s property tax payments at closing. Public records and assessment value may estimate property taxes.
If you’re purchasing from a relative or acquaintance, ask what percentage of property taxes they paid last year. This will estimate your property tax closing expenses best.
Rate Lock Fee
Locking in your interest rate between mortgage preapproval and closing may cost you. Locking your rate costs 0.25–0.50% of your loan. Depending on rate lock duration, several lenders provide this option for free.
Your city or county charges a recording fee to update public land ownership records. This should cost about $125.
Some states require land surveys before selling a house. The survey business that checks your property boundaries before closing receives a fee.
Land surveys cost $300–$950. A big property or one with irregular boundary lines may cost extra.
Tax Monitoring And Status Research Fees
This pays for a business to check your property taxes. This organization will also contact your lender if you fail to pay property taxes. This charge depends on your location and lender.
Title searches uncover property claims. Liens, bankruptcies, and unpaid taxes might suggest the seller doesn’t own the house.
Most states require title insurance companies to check titles, while others require real estate lawyers. Title searches cost $200–$400.
Transfer taxes are paid to your local government to update and transfer your home’s title. This levy, like other municipal taxes, varies by location.
Your lender receives your underwriting fee for loan verification. Loan underwriting costs might reach $795.
VA loans need a closing VA financing fee. Your VA financing fee supports VA loan program administration. The financing cost depends on down payment, purchase or refinance, and first-time or repeat VA benefit utilization.
If you put down less than 5% on your loan, your VA financing fee is 2.3% of the loan value for a first-time user or 3.6% for a subsequent user. A 5% down payment reduces your cost to 1.65%, while a 10% down payment reduces it to 1.4%. The final two are the same whether you’re doing it for the first or tenth time.
The financing charge for a VA loan refinance is 2.3% for the first use and 3.6% for future uses. VA Streamlines (also called Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans, or IRRRLs) carry a 0.5% financing charge.
If you get VA disability or are a surviving spouse of a veteran who died in duty or from a service-related disability, the financing fee is waived. Active-duty Purple Heart recipients are free from the financing charge.
Mortgage closing costs are numerous and can add up quickly if you pay them separately. One cost-saving tip is to ask your mortgage lender to combine all of the mortgage closing fees into one flat payment at the time of closing. Taking this approach will help reduce major questions about costs or any additional fee surprises down the line. The key is to know ahead of time which mortgage closing costs you are responsible for so that you can plan on adding them all together in one lump sum and save yourself money.
Let Us Help You Understand All Of The Costs Associated With Your Mortgage