Closing Costs

What Are Closing Costs and How Much Are They?

 | Aug 20, 2019

Posted from Realtor.com

When you get a mortgage to buy a home, you’ll have to pay closing costs: These fees, paid to third parties to help facilitate the sale of a home, typically total 2% to 7% of the home’s purchase price. So on a $250,000 home, you can expect the amount to run anywhere from $5,000 to $17,500.

Now that you have a sense of the ballpark numbers, here’s everything home buyers and home sellers need to know about closing costs.

Who pays closing costs, and when?

After saving up to purchase a new home, getting pre-approved, and making a down payment, it’s hard for buyers to accept that they’ll have additional out-of-pocket expenses. Some good news, then, is that both buyers and sellers typically pitch in to cover closing costs, although buyers shoulder the lion’s share of the load (3% to 4% of the home’s price) compared with sellers (1% to 3%). And while some expenses must be paid upfront before the home is officially sold (e.g., the home inspection fee when the service is rendered), and others, like property taxes and homeowners insurance, are recurring, most are paid at the end, when you close on the home and the keys exchange hands.

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Realtor.com: 5 Surprising Financial Lessons I Learned About Paying for My First Home

 | Oct 2, 2019

Published from Realtor.com

I pride myself on being pretty financially savvy—after all, I’m a personal finance writer. I’m well versed in best practices for saving and spending, the ins and outs of HSAs and IRAs, and the basics of investing.

But when it came time to buy my first house, I had to put my ego aside: I was way out of my depth as I navigated the world of mortgages, closing costs, and escrow.

While all of the Budgeting 101 basics still apply to purchasing a home—top tip: Don’t buy anything you can’t afford!—some aspects of the process can come as a surprise to first-time buyers. Continue reading

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Realtor.com: What is a Home Equity Line of Credit? HELOCs Explained

 | Oct 1, 2019

Published from Realtor.com

What is a home equity line of credit? If you’ve been looking for a way to get a little money out of your home without actually selling it, you’ve probably come across this option, known as a HELOC for short (pronounced “heelock”). Clear as mud, right? Now that you’re no doubt wondering what is a home equity line of credit going to do for me, let us clarify. Continue reading