Real Estate Closing Cost Calculator
If you know when you are likely to purchase a home & the price of the property you can use this calculator to estimate the total closing costs. Keep in mind the actual fees and expenses may vary depending on factors including the date of the transaction & any shift in rates while the transaction is negotiated.
For your convenience current mortgage rates are shown beneath the calculator.
Current 30-YR Fixed Mortgage Rates
The following table highlights current mortgage rates. By default 30-year purchase loans are displayed. Clicking on the refinance button switches loans to refinance. Other loan adjustment options including price, down payment, home location, credit score, term & ARM options are available for selection in the filters area at the top of the table.
Reducing the Financial Impact of Closing Costs
Buying a new home is one of the most exciting times of your life. Milestones like this don’t come often. But don’t think you’re off the hook when you’ve earned enough for a down payment. Now is as good a time as any for a reality check. Take a gander at what you need to expect from this transaction. Remember, your costs don’t stop at the mortgage.
Every new homeowner must consider the closing process and its associated costs. You have much to worry about, even if you think you know what to expect. Closing a deal is already a pricey prospect. Any delays at this juncture can make this process longer and costlier.
Prospective homeowners must accommodate the major closing costs into their budget. But you shouldn’t only limit yourself to what everyone expects to pay. The key is to expect everything you might need to pay for. You should also be on the lookout for those you don’t. With a little research and negotiation, you can slash your closing costs and save money.
The Buzz on Closing Costs
Closing costs describe the miscellaneous fees paid at the end of the selling process. The recipient of these fees are various third parties who help organize the sale of the home. These include government regulators, home inspectors, real estate agents, and attorneys.
Both seller and buyer shoulder some of the costs involved in the selling process. The exact costs they cover vary, based on local rules and conventions. In some cases, you can pass on the costs to one another in exchange for more favorable terms. For the most part, sellers handle the cost of sealing the deal. This includes the commissions for both your agent and theirs. Most of the closing costs on the buyer’s end revolve around securing their mortgage. You can find many of these in the closing disclosure and loan estimate. Your lender must provide you these two documents.
The costs that apply will vary based on a few factors. Often, your lender will outline these costs (and who pays them). They will list these down in the disclosure sections of your sale agreement. Most closing costs will come in the form of a list of itemized fees.
You must also pay closing costs whenever you refinance your mortgage. This is because you are, in essence, taking out a new mortgage to pay for your existing loan. Unlike when you buy a new home, you shoulder all the closing costs when refinancing.
Typical Closing Costs
Closing costs vary between transactions. There is no standard list of closing costs that can help you prepare what you need for every situation. You can, however, get a vague idea of how much to expect on a typical transaction. This can give you a good ballpark figure for your budget. But it is no substitute for actual research.
Most buyers can spend between 2 to 5 percent or even 6 percent of their home’s price in closing costs. Paying up to 7 percent, meanwhile, is not unheard of. Your closing costs can be higher and lower depending on a multitude of factors. Your state’s requirements may put your closing costs above the national average.
The following table lists down some of the common fees you might expect in your mortgage. Some of these fees are negotiable, while others are mandatory. In some places, state or federal law demands specific fees. Remember, though, that not all will apply to your mortgage. To find out which fees you must cover, consult your closing agent.
|Application Fee||This is an inclusive fee used to cover several closing costs at once. |
Some costs included are appraisals, credit checks, and processing fees.
These fees can be negotiable. Some lenders charge a nominal fee, while others don’t charge at all.
|Between $300 to $500|
|Home Inspection Fee||Lenders demand home inspections to ensure that the property is in good condition.||Between $200 to $500|
|Origination Fee||Much like the application fee, this is not always required by lenders. |
However, mortgages without these fees may have higher interest rates.
|Between 1% and 2% of your loan amount.|
|Bank Processing Fees||The lender may have charges associated with processing your mortgage.||Varies, confirm with your bank.|
|Attorney’s Fees||Attorney fees cover the costs of document reviews done by a real estate lawyer. These are not mandatory in all states. |
Often, both seller and buyer share the same attorney.
|Hourly rates, $150 to $350 per hour or|
Flat fees, $500 to $1,500
|Transfer Fee||You must transfer the title from the previous owner. |
At closing, the cost will be the buyer’s responsibility.
|Between $25 and $330|
|Appraisal||Buyers must hold an appraisal of the property to determine its fair market value. It is the buyer’s responsibility to pay for this service. |
Locally licensed agents often charge a flat fee for appraisal services.
|Between $200 to $600|
|Credit Report Fee||Your lenders will perform a tri-bureau credit check to assess your creditworthiness. This is a one-time fee.||$30 or less|
|Notary Fee||Your loan documents must be notarized. These will come with a small fee.||Between $2 and $20 per signature|
$100 on average
|Recording Fee||This fee covers the recording of your property’s transfer of ownership. |
It is usually paid to the municipal or county government.
|Between $25 and $250|
$138 on average
|Title Search||A title company will do a thorough search to ensure there are no other claims on your new home.||Between $74 to $200|
|Courier Fees||The buyer pays for courier services to complete the mortgage’s paperwork.||$20 on average|
|Property Taxes||Your lender may ask you to deposit up to two month’s worth of property taxes and mortgage insurance in your escrow account.||Varies depending on the size of the property and area.|
While many of these fees are small and nominal, they can quickly add up. Talk to your seller or lender and identify which of the smaller fees can be waived.
Not all closing costs appear in all mortgages. Some costs are required only to a specific type of mortgage. Private mortgage insurance (PMI), for instance, appears on conventional mortgages. These fees only apply if you paid less than 20 percent of your home’s value as a down payment. Government-backed loans, meanwhile, charge a mortgage insurance premium (MIP) upfront. Loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) charge a flat fee for lending. This fee exists to offset the taxpayer costs of VA Loans.
Others might be found only on specific property types. Some houses may lie in areas prone to floods or insect infestations. Older homes may contain materials that are now known to be hazardous to human health. Local regulations often adapt to these threats and make compliance checks mandatory.
|Underwriting Fee||Underwriters charge a fee to approve your mortgage. |
This is sometimes subsumed into your origination fee.
|Between $400 and $900 |
if separate from origination fee
|Prepaid Insurance||Your lender might ask you to pay your first month of PMI upon closing. |
Most mortgages also demand proof of homeowner’s insurance.
|Prepaid Interest||Many lenders demand that you pre-pay interest accrued between closing and your first payment.||Varies|
|Title Insurance||Title insurance ensures the validity of your title against future claims. |
Usually optional, this protects both your interests and your lender’s.
|On average $1,374|
|Homeowner’s Association (HOA) Fees||Often, HOA dues are the seller’s responsibility until the sale is complete. |
Some HOAs may also charge buyers with a transfer fee.
|Between $100 and $700|
$200 on average
|Discount Points||Discount points let you lower your annual percentage rate. |
These can save you money and lower your monthly payments.
Points are an optional expense; you can instead add this to your mortgage’s principal.
|1% of mortgage amount per point|
|Upfront MIP||Besides annual MIP fees, you must pay upfront MIP to close the mortgage. |
This is based on a percentage of your loan amount.
Loans backed by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) both charge upfront mortgage insurance fees.
|1.75% – FHA loans|
1% – USDA loans
|VA Funding Fee||
Unlike MIPs, VA funding fees are a one-time payment based on your loan amount.
|Varies depending on type of VA loan, down payment, and whether you’ve used your VA benefit before. |
Visit the official VA site for the funding fee rates.
|Broker Fee||A mortgage broker can help you find a lender. |
If you work with one, expect to pay a hefty commission.
|0.5% to 2.75% of your loan amount|
|Flood Certification Insurance||This insurance covers damages incurred during a flood. |
Be cognizant of flood risks if you live in a flood-prone area or a lakeside.
|On average $700|
|Pest Inspection||Some parts of the country are vulnerable to specific pests like termites. |
In some states, termite inspection and extermination are mandatory.
Repairs after an infestation are another cost to consider.
|Between $75 and $150|
|Lead-Based Paint Inspection||Lead-based paint is a health hazard associated with older homes. |
If you buy a fixer-upper, you must have paint samples tested to determine the presence of lead.
|Between $225 and $417|
$316 on average
According to data from Realtor.com, the median time to close a home is 50 days. But seldom do home sale transactions close that fast without some sort of hitch. In 2020, the National Association of Realtors reported that 19 percent of real estate agents encountered delays in the closing process. It also found that 4 percent of contracts did not push through at all.
There are several factors that can affect the speed of closing times for real estate. On the seller’s end, fixer-uppers can be hard to sell. Fewer buyers want to take the responsibility of renovating a home themselves. Many will refuse to move forward until you complete all your promised repairs. Others may instead demand discounts for these unaddressed issues during the final pricing.
For buyers, the state of their mortgage application can slow down the closing process. Delays are inevitable if your own mortgage isn’t approved and ready to go. The absence of proper insurance can also slow down the closing process. Moreover, discrepancies between the price and the appraisal can cause significant interruptions. Buyers may feel that they’re overpaying if the home was appraised with a lower value. Sellers, meanwhile, may be reluctant to sell their home for less.
Speed Up The Sale
Slow closing times can be a source of frustration for both parties. Sellers rack up costs the longer their home stays on the market. Buyers, on the other hand, must contend with major issues that could jeopardize the deal. They may also lose their earnest money if the sale doesn’t push through. This sum, given as a token of goodwill, compensates sellers for the time their home wasn’t in the market.
Clear communication is vital to streamlining the closing process. Misunderstandings can delay or derail the final steps of selling. Buyers can streamline the closing process by taking these simple steps:
- Get pre-approved: You can often get pre-approved for a specific mortgage amount from a lender. Obtaining pre-approval before home shopping can show sellers your earnestness as a buyer. It also assures them of your creditworthiness.
- Get insured: You might need both homeowner’s insurance and mortgage insurance. Talk to your sales agent to understand what your requirements will be and what you can do ahead of the sale.
- Look for potential title issues: Existing liens on a property can put your home buying plans in a bind. Search for potential liens on any property you plan to buy. This may seem like extra work on your part. This is, after all, the responsibility of your seller. But if you press the issue, you could steer them toward resolving it before closing the sale. Alternatively, you could also seek out title insurance.
- Identify property issues: This can help you build a list of things to negotiate during closing. Some of these will be the responsibility of your seller. Others will fall onto you. Use these responsibilities as bargaining chips. Have them cover the costs of repairs in exchange for keeping the promised price of the home.
Dealing with Dealbreakers
Be clear about what you want from the home. Talk to your seller and determine the contingencies you must meet to push the sale through. Some of the more popular contingencies include the structural stability of the home. Before you close, you must inspect the house and ensure its integrity. You will be spending hundreds of thousands to live in it, after all.
If the home does not meet these conditions, you and your seller will not push through with the sale. Only when the issues are resolved can your closing move forward. By nature, some specific issues must be deal breakers. A house that’s not structurally sound cannot be sold. Don’t be afraid to walk away from things that don’t meet your standards.
Reducing Your Closing Costs
The staggering costs of closing can be a rude surprise to some homeowners. These expenses can be off-putting if you’re already dealing with the astronomic costs of the home itself. Even if you could anticipate them in advance with some accuracy, it may still seem too high. Fortunately, the attentive buyer can find ways to reduce their closing costs.
The first step to lowering your closing costs is to shop around. Get quotes from several lenders and compare them. If they know you’re shopping around, they may sweeten the pot by lowering or waiving some of their fees. You may also compare the prices of services associated with closing. Other services to shop for include inspection services, title searches, and escrow agents.
Scrutinize your mortgage’s closing fees. If you feel that they’re too high, there’s a good chance that they might be. Check for any vague itemized fees at the end of your mortgage agreement and ask about them. Your lenders may waive these fees if you make the request. Even so, don’t hesitate to move to another lender who charges less for the same service.
You may also remove the optional costs that come with your mortgage. Some costs you can cut out of a conventional mortgage include PMI and discount points. See if you can pay a high enough down payment (at least 20 percent) to remove the need for PMI. This will also help save you money in the long run. Meanwhile, reconsider the need for discount points. Use them only if you can save money on interest and if you’re sure about settling long-term in a home.
Negotiating Your Way To Lower Costs
You can also cut out a lot of your closing costs through shrewd negotiations with your seller. Look for opportunities to offload some of your costs. Your lender might be willing to shoulder some of them to seal the deal. Learn what costs are mandatory in your area and what aren’t. You could be surprised at how much you can save.
You may also save money by buying homes that are for sale by owner (FSBO). Sellers who use FSBO listings don’t need to pay an agent. Thus, they might be open to covering some of the costs. Indeed, a few sellers may sweeten the pot by offering to cover part of your closing costs.
Alternative Financing Options
Installment sales can be a good way to bypass most of the associated closing costs of buying a house. These are sold through short-term agreements known as purchase-money mortgages. Although they have higher interest rates, they can help you speed up the home buying process. You needn’t go through the same hoops as mortgages financed by lenders.
There are many reasons you might consider an installment sale. Your seller might be more lenient than banks when it comes to payment options. But be forewarned. Homes sold through seller financing cost more in the long run. You must also refinance to a conventional mortgage to avoid an expensive balloon payment.
It is often possible to calculate your total closing costs before finalizing a real estate deal. If you run your numbers right, you could be accurate to within a few dollars of your total costs. Knowing what to expect in closing will help smoothen the home buying process. It will also help you budget with confidence.
Proactive paperwork can save you a lot of time throughout the closing process. It will also help you anticipate the costs you must cover. Take the time to determine which costs you can afford to shoulder. Sometimes, you can save more money by letting your seller handle it. Other times, the savings you make far outweigh the costs of doing it yourself.
Knowledge is your biggest ally in closing. Learn what you can about your local closing requirements. Ask which fees are negotiable or flexible. By waiving these fees, you could save thousands of dollars in your home’s closing. Much like with everything else, shop around. You might find unexpected ways to lower your total closing expenses.
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