Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Closing Costs Take 1!

Hi everyone! Today I'd like to take a moment to talk about a topic that can be confusing for first time home buyers. Many times home buyers will mistake the term "closing costs" with the "Total Money Required to Close". When in fact "Closing Costs" are just one of two or three components of whats required at closing. I say "two or three" because sometimes home buyers are not coming up with a "Down Payment", which would eliminate your first component. Some mortgage products offer 100% financing, but most often, home buyers are putting down a certain percentage of the purchase price. In summary, component 1 is the down payment.

The 2nd component is the "Closing Costs" or the actual cost to get the mortgage. This includes the banks junk fees, such as the; application fee, underwriting fee, tax related service fee, flood certification, and so on. Lender fees are not dependent on the actual loan size, compared to title insurance and mortgage tax. Those two fees are state specific and based on the loan size. Mortgage tax can differ from county to county. When shopping different lenders this is the area or component to keep your eye when comparing, as well as the rate of course.

The final component is the "Prepaid Items". This is the property taxes, home owners insurance, and interest on the loan for the closing month. In NY, when escrowing your taxes, you must come to closing with at least 1 full year of the property taxes. Some of that will reimburse the seller, and the rest will go towards setting up your escrow account for future tax bills. Home owners insurance must always be paid in full before closing whether you escrow or not.

Well hopefully that clears up some confusion about "Closing Costs". Stayed tuned for "Closing Costs Take 2" when I go into detail about the cost to get a mortgage, and what an average amount you should pay per fee.
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