Closing Costs and Transaction Expenses

Buyer’s Guide

Closing Costs

When purchasing a property it’s important to take into account the closing costs you will be responsible for, as well as any ongoing maintenance costs associated with the home. Getting information about utilities and services from the current owner will give you a good indication of what your monthly expenditures could be. It’s important to remember that all home inspection costs are the responsibility of the buyer. Your mortgage professional or Real Estate Attorney should be able to give you a fairly accurate estimate of your total closing costs at the time you sign the Contract to Purchase.

Inspection Costs

General Building: $1200 +/-
Pests: $250 +/-
Pool: $150 +/-
Radon: $100 +/-
Septic: $350 +/-
Water: $35 +/-

Costs when Purchasing a Property

Attorney fees: $1500 +/-
Association fees/Common charges: Varies depending on complex and/or association
Interest adjustment: Prorated daily interest from time of closing to first mortgage payment
Home Insurance: $1200 – $3600 +/- escrowed one year in advance
Lender Fees: $200-$500 plus any points or additional appraisal fees
Recording Fee: $53 for first page, then $5 for each additional page per document to be recorded
($55 for first page of warranty deed)
Tax Adjustment: Buyer reimburses seller for pro-rated current tax
period Payment for one additional tax period will also be escrowed at the time of closing.
Title Insurance: Cost is based on purchase price
Title Search: $275 – $325
Utilities: Oil, propane – varies. Buyer is responsible for reimbursing the seller for the current
market value of fuel in the home’s storage tanks.

*NOTE: The estimates provided are intended as a guide only. Karla Murtaugh makes no guarantee as to the accuracy of the numbers provided. Please consult your attorney and individual service providers for an accurate quote.

Real Estate Terms Made Simple

Financial Terms Glossary

Every industry has it’s own jargon and real estate is no different. This list, by no means exhaustive, serves as a glossary of terms you will hear used throughout the transaction process. Karla Murtaugh Homes’ goal is to ensure you are completely informed every step of the way, and understanding the common financial terms used in your contracts and negotiations is the first step towards clear communication.

A mortgage with an interest rate that changes over time in line with movements in the index. ARMs are also referred to as AMLs (adjustable mortgage loans) or VRMS (variable rate mortgages).

The length of time between interest rate changes on an ARM. For example, a loan with an adjustable period of one year is called a one-year ARM, which means that the interest rate can change once a year.

Repayment of a loan in equal installments of principal and interest, rather than interest-only payments.

The total finance charge (interest, loan fees, points) expressed as a percentage of the loan amount.

The limit on how much interest rate or monthly payment can change, either at each adjustment or over the life of the mortgage.

The portion of the down payment delivered to the seller or escrow agent by the purchaser with a written offer as evidence of good faith.

A procedure in which a third party acts as a stakeholder for both the buyer and the seller, carrying out both parties’ instructions and assumes responsibility for handling all of the paperwork and distribution of funds.

A loan insured by the Insuring Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development; the Federal Housing Administration.

Popularly known as Fannie Mae. A privately owned corporation created by Congress to support the secondary mortgage market. It purchases and sells residential mortgages insured by FHNA or guaranteed by the VA, as well as conventional home mortgages.

The total cost a borrower must pay, directly or indirectly, to obtain credit according to Regulation Z.

A residential mortgage with monthly payments that start at a low level and increase at a predetermined rate.

A measure of interest rate changes used to determine charges in the ARM’s interest rate over the term of the loan.

A written promise to make a loan for a specific amount on specified terms.

The relationship between the amount of the mortgage and the appraised value of the property, expressed as a percentage of the appraised value.

Negative amortization occurs when monthly payments fail to cover the interest costs. The interest that isn’t covered is added to the unpaid principal balance, which means that even after several payments you could owe more than you did at the beginning of the loan. Negative amortization can occur when an ARM has a payment cap that results in monthly payments that aren’t high enough to cover the interest.

A fee or charge for work involved in evaluating, preparing, and submitting a proposed mortgage loan. The fee is limited to 1 percent for FHA and VA loans.

Principal, interest, taxes and insurance. Lenders use these 4 items to calculate the monthly housing costs of a prospective borrower.

An amount equal to 1 percent of the principal amount of the investment or note. The lender assesses loan discount points at closing to increase the yield on the mortgage to a position competitive with other types of investments.

A fee charged to a mortgagor who pays a loan before it is due. Not allowed for FHA or VA loans and prohibited in some states.

Insurance written by a private company protecting the lender against loss if the borrower defaults on the mortgage.

A loan that is partially guaranteed by the Veterans Administration and made by a private lender.