Closing Costs in a Nutshell

CLOSING COSTS IN A NUTSHELL

There are plenty of fees that you’ll have to make during the closing. Depending on prior negotiations, the buyer or the seller could be responsible for these costs, although typically the most of it is paid by the buyer.

All closing costs are spelled out in the lender’s Good Faith Estimate. If you want to make sure you are paying the least amount possible in closing cost fees, you should get at least three Good Faith Estimates from mortgage lenders. This is only an estimate and the actual charges may differ. RESPA allows the borrower to request to see the HUD-1 Settlement Statement that shows all actual charges imposed on borrower in connection with the settlement one day before the settlement. If you see a charge that doesn’t make sense, or that no other lender has, it’s time to ask questions.

AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO PAY

(some costs vary widely from state to state, so you should determine exactly what you will have to pay) :

DISCOUNT AND ORIGINATION POINTS:

Points are equal to a percent of the loan amount. 1.75 points is equal to 1.75% of the loan amount. Discount points represent additional money you can pay to the lender at closing. If you pay more points it will lower the interest rate. Usually, for each point you pay for a 30-year loan, your interest rate is reduced by about 1/8th (or .125) of a percentage point. Paying points can be good if you plan on living in the home for a long time. Origination Points (or Loan origination fee) charged by the lender for evaluating, preparing, and submitting a proposed mortgage loan. Origination fees are often expressed as a percentage. A one percent loan origination fee is equal to 1% of the loan amount. Some lenders add origination points into their quoted points while other lenders add an origination point in addition to their quoted points.

APPLICATION FEE

Covers the lender’s cost to process the information on your loan. Usually, you must pay this charge at the time you file the application. Some lenders may apply the cost of the application fee to certain closing costs. Generally lenders do not refund this application fee if you are not approved for the loan or if you decide not to take it.

APPRAISAL FEE

This fee ($150 to $400 depending on the price of the home) pays for an independent appraisal of the home you want to purchase. The lender requires this estimate of the market value of the house for the loan. Factors to be considered in determining market value are: present cash value; use; location; replacement value of improvements; condition; income from property; net proceeds if the property is sold, etc. The appraisal is a critical factor in determining how much of a mortgage the bank or mortgage company will approve. After the appraisal is completed, the borrower is normally entitled to a copy of the appraisal from the lender.