This covers the administrative expenses in setting-up and processing the loan. The loan origination fee may be a percentage of the mortgage amount.
An option for the home buyer is to pay points to lower the interest rate at which the loan will be repaid. Each point equals 1 percent of the mortgage amount. For example: on a $150,000 loan, 1 point would equal $1,500.
The fee for having the house appraised may be incorporated into the closing costs or payment may be required by the lender at the time the loan application is submitted.
The lender uses a credit report to determine the creditworthiness of the loan applicant. This fee is often paid when the loan application is submitted.
Typically the buyer is required to pay interest on the mortgage loan to cover the time between the closing date and when the first mortgage payment period begins. For example: If closing is on May 15. Your first monthly payment begins to accrue interest on June 1 with your first mortgage payment due July 1. At closing an interest payment covering the accrual period between May 15 and May 31 may be required.
At closing a payment may be required to fund the escrow account if the lender is paying home insurance, property taxes and/or other expenses out of the escrow account.
Tax Closing Costs
This is the one closing cost that is often prorated between the buyer and seller. If the seller has already paid the annual property taxes, the buyer typically reimburses the seller for the period in which the buyer will be occupying the property. Likewise, if the taxes have not yet been paid, the seller typically reimburses the buyer for the period in which the seller occupied the property.
Transfer Taxes and Recording Fees
This is the cost for transferring ownership of the property and recording the purchase documents. The fee is often calculated as a percentage of the sales price.
Homeowner’s insurance is a package policy that combines more than one type of insurance coverage in a single policy. There are four types of coverages that are contained in the homeowners insurance policy: dwelling and personal property, personal liability, medical payments, and additional living expenses. As the name suggests, homeowner’s insurance protects you from damage or loss to your home or the property in it.
It’s important to note that flood insurance and earthquake damage are not covered by a standard homeowners policy. If you buy a house in a flood-prone area, you’ll have to pay for a flood insurance policy that costs an average of $400 a year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides useful information on flood insurance on its Web site here.
Insurance companies typically offer a separate earthquake insurance policy. The cost of this coverage will depend on the likelihood of earthquakes in your area.
Private Mortgage Insurance
Both Private mortgage insurance and government mortgage insurance protect the lender against default and enable the lender to make a loan which the lender considers a higher risk. Lenders often require mortgage insurance for loans where the down payment is less than 20 percent of the sales price. You may be billed monthly, annually, by an initial lump sum, or some combination of these practices for your mortgage insurance premium. Mortgage insurance should not be confused with mortgage life, credit life or disability insurance, which protect you and are designed to pay off a mortgage in the event of your death or disability.
You may also encounter “lender paid” mortgage insurance (“LPMI”). Under LPMI plans, the lender purchases the mortgage insurance and pays the premiums to the insurer. Before committing to paying for mortgage insurance, ask us about the specific details of repayment and requirements for cancellation in your case.
Title insurance is usually required by the lender to protect the lender against loss resulting from claims by others against your new home. In some states, attorneys offer title insurance as part of their services in examining title and providing a title opinion. The attorney’s fee may include the title insurance premium. In other states, a title insurance company or title agent directly provides the title insurance.
A lender’s title insurance policy does not protect you. Neither does the prior owners policy. If you want to protect yourself from claims by others against your new home, you will need an owner’s title policy. When a claim does occur, it can be financially devastating to an owner who is uninsured. If you buy an owner’s policy, it is usually much less expensive if you buy it at the same time and with the same insurer as the lender’s policy.
To save money on title insurance, compare rates among various title insurance companies. Ask what services and limitations on coverage are provided under each policy so that you can decide whether coverage purchased at a higher rate may be better for your needs. However, in many states, title insurance premium rates are established by the state and may not be negotiable. If you are buying a home which has changed hands within the last several years, ask your title company about a “reissue rate,” which would be cheaper. If you are buying a newly constructed home, make certain your title insurance covers claims by contractors. These claims are known as “mechanics liens” in some parts of the country. The American Land Title Association has consumer title insurance information available at its website, http://www.alta.org/cnsrinfo/.