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The lesser-known costs of buying a home

Buying a home can be one of the most exciting times in a person's life, but it can also be stressful if the future homeowners are not aware of the extra costs they face in the process. While most people know about mortgages and down payments, there are many other costs that need to be financially planned for. Here is a list to make sure you are aware of what is coming when you sign the dotted line.


You probably already know there will be taxes involved, but the amount can be confusing. US News reports that many potential homeowners do not fully understand escrow. An escrow account is for homeowners who do not have a down payment of 20 percent or more and is especially helpful when initial property taxes and homeowner's association dues are piled on at the beginning of the loan. With an escrow account, your taxes and dues are payable by your mortgage company, allowing you to avoid twice-yearly tax charges.


Because there are so many people involved in the process of home buying, there are several possible fees that can be accrued. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Credit report fee
  • Lender's origination fee
  • Appraisal fee
  • Government recording fee
  • Tax service fee
  • Title services fee

Before contracting anyone for any service with your purchase, be sure to have all possible fees explained so you can be prepared.

Survey costs

If you plan to put up a fence around your yard once you own the home, be sure you know the property boundaries. Even if you do not plan on fencing, some lenders may require a professional survey before signing the loan. The previous homeowner may have erected a fence incorrectly, or a neighbor may insist that part of the land is not yours, so having an expert draw out your property before purchase is a good way of discouraging future problems concerning your boundary lines.

Home inspection

Whether your mortgage insurer requires a home inspection or not, it is a good idea to get one to avoid incurring expensive repairs and damage once the property is yours. Even houses that seem to be in perfect condition can have problems hidden behind the walls and beneath the floorboards, so never purchase a home without having it professionally inspected first. This can cost several hundred dollars or more, so be sure to plan appropriately.

These are just a few of the many possible costs included when you purchase a home and can change every year as the government adjusts different fees. Contact an expert real estate lawyer to make sure you have the most recent information to be prepared for your home purchase.

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