Surprise! 3 Unexpected Fees for First-Time Homebuyers

Everyone knows that buying a home is usually the most expensive thing you’ll ever do—besides having children. Even beyond the property value there are still a lot of ongoing and recurring costs that come with homeownership. If you’re a first time buyer, it will do you good to make sure that you are 100 percent ready for the financial responsibility that comes with homeownership.

During the process of buying a home there are even more expenses that must be paid in order to complete the sale. According to Zillow, the average U.S. homebuyer will pay over $9,000 a year in additional, hidden housing costs. Who knew closing escrow would be so expensive?

Home Inspections

Congratulations! The original owners have accepted your offer! To close the deal, a home inspection needs to be completed, just to make sure there are no cracks in the foundation or pipes leaking in the walls.

You’ll have to hire a certified home inspector to thoroughly examine the property, as will likely be mandated by your loan provider. This inspector will uncover any structural or mechanical hazards throughout the house and property. Before you make an offer on the house, you should pay to have an inspection completed so that your offer isn’t greater than what the house is truly worth.

Having the home inspected prior to negotiations is a smart way to reduce the potential repair costs you will take on by placing the responsibility of such remedies on the original owner before they move out and hand you the keys.

The price will vary depending on where you live, but according to HomeAdvisor, you can expect to pay between $200-$500 per home inspection. This is a small chunk of change compared to what it’ll cost to repair a leaky roof!

Appraisal Fee

Before the bank will approve you for a mortgage loan, they’ll want to make sure that the house you’re looking to mortgage is worth the hundreds of thousands of dollars they’re going to lend you. To make sure the home is up to code and safe for living, a clause in the mortgage contract will stipulate that the home be appraised.

The bank or lender will choose a certified appraiser to assess the property value. The appraisal doesn’t just include the land and the house itself, but any additional features that may increase the value, like a deck, pool or solar panels.

Even though the bank chooses the appraiser, the burden of payment will typically fall on the homebuyer—which, according to, is around $300-$400.

Many banks will require you to purchase homeowners insurance after the appraisal and before the deal closes as part of the lender’s agreement.

Closing Costs

After the offer is accepted by the home sellers, the lender is going to crunch some numbers and hand you a detailed list of the closing costs. Typically, the closing costs will equal somewhere between 2 and 5 percent of the home purchase price. There are closing cost calculators that will help you gain some insight into the total cost of purchasing a specific piece of property. For example, let’s say that you’re buying a $200,000 house.  You can typically expect to pay between $4,000 and $10,000 in closing costs. The closing costs will usually include:

-Lender Fees: Everything from administrative fees to transfer fees to fees for pulling your credit report.

-Title Fees: This refers to any expenses related to transferring the deed from the original homeowner over to you.

-Escrow Fees: Some of your property taxes may need to be paid up front.

Interest: This is prorated interest accrued from the date of your closing to the first of the following month.

As if buying a home wasn’t expensive enough, there are lots of fees that can sneak up on you. However, if you do your homework and budget properly, you’ll be living in your dream home in no time flat.