What are the 'hidden fees' of buying a house, besides the down payment and the mortgage?

Asked by Alison Hillman, San Francisco, CA Fri Jul 13, 2012

I know that the most important costs will include the down payment and the mortgage. I've been told that closing costs are another major fee that will need to be considered.

Am I missing anything else?

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Kathleen Becker’s answer
Kathleen Bec…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Sat Jul 14, 2012
Hi Alison:

There really are no "hidden fees" associated with purchasing a home. If you are working with a good real estate professional and mortgage broker, they will be able to tell you all of the costs and explain what they are.

Here are some of the fees that you will need to know about, which are negotiable as to who pays for them...the Buyer or Seller:

Escrow Fees
Sub-escrow fees
Title Fees
Recording Fees
Any repairs not being paid for by the Seller
Termite report and clearance
Minimum Mandatory Government Retrofit (depending on where the house is, it varies but usually is smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, low flow toilets and shower heads, seismic gas shut off valve, water heater strapping, etc.)
Wiring and Messenger Fees
City and County transfer tax
Property Tax prorations
Broker Fees if any (for Prudential, it's a $250 charge and many real estate companies charge them)
Home Warranty

And there may be a few more...but this is the brunt of them.

Hope this helps.

All the best,

Kat Becker, Realtor
Estates, Residential, Commercial
Prudential California Realty

Inspection Reports

Any local city reports
Home Warranty
2 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Fri Jul 13, 2012
Hello Alison,

There are no "hidden" fees in buying a house. Your lender can provide you with a loan cost /closing cost sheet prior ro writting an offer. All you have to do is ask them to do a cost sheet based on the price you plan on offering, with the down payment you will be making and at the current interest rate you are approved for.

The loan cost sheet will have all the fees you wil be asked to pay. These fees are: down payment , title and escrow fees, recording fees, appraisal fees, taxes ect.

All fees will be clearly outlined. You will have no surprises!

Best of luck to you,

Kawain Payne, Realtor
1 vote
Jane Peters, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Fri Jul 13, 2012
For a buyer, your closing costs can run around 1.5 to 2%. Other things you need to consider is homeowners' insurance and property taxes, which you can estimate around 1.25% give or take depending on where you are buying. You also have to factor in moving costs and other incidentals.
Web Reference:  http://www.homejane.com
1 vote
Brian Byhower, Agent, Hermosa Beach, CA
Sun Jul 15, 2012
Hi Alison,
It must be a slow day when the Trulia staff is asking the real estate questions. lol. It looks like the agents, pretty much answered your question. I have heard that some of the fees we have in Southern CA differ from those in Northern CA. Since you mentioned you're looking to buy in the San Francisco area (on your profile page), you may want to ask a Realtor in your area. I'm sure that agent could answer your questions about fees. Hope that helps.
0 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Fri Jul 13, 2012
Hi Alison

regarding your question : Am I missing anything else?

You are missing everything.

Have you sat down with an Agent or a lawyer and gone over the Closing Costs, if
not time to. Inspections, transfer fees, HOA costs, Doc fees, Lender fees, city transfer
fess, buyer taxes, Property taxes, ....

Good luck.
Web Reference:  http://ruthandperry.com/
0 votes
, ,
Fri Jul 13, 2012
I alwasy suggest my buyers go to mgic.com and take the First Time Homebuyer's course. It will show you all the costs.
Any good RE agent and loan officer will give you an estimate of closing costs when you are writing the purchase contract or getting your preapproved.
0 votes
Madelaine Ko…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Fri Jul 13, 2012
You can ask an agent representing you, this our job, to make sure you know all your closing costs. You have your own escrow and title fees, based on purchase price.. along with lender fees.
There are inspections, and appraisals. Sometimes it just depends on how many offers...the market has changed for buyers...

Hope that helps,

Madelaine Kolisnyk, Realtor
Power Brokers International, Los Angeles
http://www.madelanek.com and go to buyer road map..
0 votes
Carla Muss-J…, , Portland, OR
Fri Jul 13, 2012
There is nothing "hidden" about closing costs. Any qualified lender/mortgage rep will provide the costs of closing and any good Buyer's Agent will be negotiating these for you.
0 votes
Sona Gallatin, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Fri Jul 13, 2012
Seriously? There shouldn't be any hidden fees . If your working with a licensed agent, everything is full disclosure. Now if you meant up front fees then you have to pay for inspection out of pocket.

Good luck
0 votes
Ah! Inspection! I knew I was missing something, thanks!
Flag Fri Jul 13, 2012
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