You’re looking for a house and see the perfect listing. And it has a big number on it, say $300,000. If you’re like most prospective homeowners, you imagine you will soon be talking to a lender and getting a loan for this amount.
But as veteran homebuyers may already know, you are going to pay much more than $300,000.
Yes, almost everything we buy has a hidden cost. You buy a toothbrush for a few dollars, and since you’ll have to purchase toothpaste, the ownership cost of a toothbrush is more than $2 – especially if you throw in a toothbrush holder. Obviously, the hidden costs of buying a house are far more complex. And if you aren’t prepared for them, you may come away from the experience feeling as if you’ve had the wind knocked out of you.
So if you’re thinking of buying your first house, be alert and prepared for these hidden costs that you need to keep in mind:
Home inspection costs. Before you close on a house, your mortgage insurer may require a home inspection, which can run several hundred dollars. But even if an inspection is not required, it’s worth paying a professional to evaluate the house so you can avoid spending hundreds of thousands on a train wreck disguised as a house.
Survey costs. Your lender may want you to have a professional survey of the property, so everyone knows exactly where your land’s boundaries are. That’s another several hundred dollars.
Taxes. You probably know you’re going to be paying taxes, but it can be easy to forget that you’ll likely need to pre-pay those taxes at closing. At the beginning of your mortgage, it can be a shock when you’re saddled with paying a couple months’ worth of property taxes, maybe a year’s worth of homeowner’s insurance, and possibly homeowner’s association dues as well.
Fees. Maclyn Clouse, a finance professor at the Reiman School of Finance at the University of Denver, rattles off a list of fees you may also pay at closing:
- Government recording charges: The cost for state and local governments to record your deed, mortgage, and loan documents.
- Appraisal fee: The cost for an appraiser to decide how much your house is worth.
- Credit report fee: Your lender had to pay to get your credit report, so oftentimes you will cover that cost.
- Title services and lender’s title insurance: Fees related to your home’s title.
- Flood life of the loan fee: The government tracks changes in your property’s flood zone status, you’ll pay a small fee.
- Tax service fee: Another pretty minor fee – this service ensures the taxes previously paid on the house are up to date (if your home was previously owned).
- Lender’s origination fee: The charge for processing your loan application.
Moving costs. Will you be gathering friends and family to help you move your furniture and possessions into your home, or do you need a moving truck? Don’t forget about the cost of movers, if you are hiring them.
Total cost of ownership. Someone will have to mow the lawn with the mower you’re fated to buy, or you’ll hire a service. You’ll also probably need furniture and maybe a major appliance, like a washing machine. Even paint and paint supplies costs money and adds up quicker than you think.
Be ready for anything. Some houses (previously owned) come with propane or oil tanks, and at closing buyers have been asked to reimburse the sellers for the fuel remaining in the tank – in certain cases.
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Article Source – Geoff Williams of Money.USNews.com: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/03/12/the-hidden-costs-of-buying-a-home