Families that continue to over-extend themselves when it comes to purchasing a home have placed themselves in many undesirable financial postiions. Please do not allow yourself to get sucked into a negotiation frenzy if the home is not within your budget. There are an abundance of great homes on the market that I am sure will fit your needs and wants full circle.
This is a clear situation that should see you relying on your agent for his/her best insight. There have probably been comments or made by the listing agent that may be helpful hints. Your agent knows the area, the market, the people, prices etc.
What are your agent's feelings?
First off, be careful with some of the answers from out of state agents, as they do not necessarily apply to Connecticut.
Speak with your agent to determine the home's current value based on recent sales of similar homes. Then, resubmit your offer based on the home's value and your ability to afford the home - no matter how much you may love the home, do not offer more than you can comfortably afford.
As for closing costs, speak with your lender, who will provide you with a good faith estimate that will detail an estimate of all closing costs.
As for having the seller pay for closing costs, be sure to first check with your lender to ensure this is allowed under your loan program. If you want to have the seller pay your closing costs, you will have to submit an offer that you believe will be higher than the others, based on what the sellers will net AFTER they pay your closing costs.
Only you can determine what this particular home is worth to you. The market value of the home is determined by what a ready, willing and able buyer is willing to pay and what the seller is willing to accept. If there are competing offers, the seller will select the offer that gives them the highest net proceeds after paying their share of the closing costs, or can elect not to take any of the offers and keep the home on the market. The seller has the advantage in this situation, since the seller knows what each of the offers will net. If you have limited cash for closing, you can benefit from making a higher offer and having the seller pay some or all of you closing costs, but doing so may make your offer unattractive to the seller. Be sure to consider what similar homes in the same neighborhood have sold for recently.
There is nothing that you or the seller can do about the taxes. If the taxes push the monthly principle, interest, taxes and insurance outlay beyond what you are able to pay, you should probably move on to another home.
Buyer's closing costs vary from area to area and state to state. In my area, 4-5% of the sales price is generally a good estimate.
You would be well served in this instance by working through a real estate professional as a buyers agent. They will know what the recents sales of similar homes have been and be able to provide an estimate of closing costs. Your lender should also provide you with a Good Faith Estimate of closing costs.
Good luck with your purchase.
Give what you feel is your best offer. If you had bid 215K you must have felt it was worth that to you, right? Don't try to go too low and lose out.
As far as closing cost - a good estimate would be 5% of the sale price (example - if you bid 215K and they accept then figure %5 of that amount will cover your closing)
You have already received the best answers to this question in your prior posts. No one knows any better than you as to what to bid. Offer as high as you think the home is worth to you and at which you will not feel you paid too much. Of coarse make sure you can afford what you offer.
If your offer is accepted, you will want to begin and complete your inspections according to the terms of your contract. You will also want to be sure that all documents are processed correctly so that you can get to closing on time. Your agent will prepare a Buyer's Expense Worksheet for you and help you to go over the Good Faith Estimate and HUD-1 Final Settlement Statement.