13 EXTRA COSTS TO BE AWARE OF WHEN BUYING A HOME
- Appraisal Fee. This is normally charged upfront by the lender.
- Property Taxes. Property taxes are paid in the beginning of the year for the previous year. (i.e. 2014 taxes are due January 1, 2015). If you set up an escrow account, this cost will be included in your monthly mortgage payments and paid for by the lender when due.
- Survey Fee & Elevation Certificate. A survey is optional. If the home is in a flood zone and required flood insurance an Elevation Certificate will be required. The seller may already have one to give you, otherwise you will need to order one at your own expense.
- Hazard, Earthquake, & Flood Insurance. Hazard insurance is required if you have a loan. Flood insurance is required if you are in a flood zone, however, we strongly recommend getting flood insurance even if you are not in a flood zone. Earthquake coverage is optional, but highly recommended since we are in a seismic area.
- Service Charges. Any new utility or reconnection services may require installation fees.
- Legal Fees. South Carolina is an “attorney state,” which means that all home purchases must have a lawyer involved to review all paperwork and close the transaction. This includes title search, deed preparation, and loan document preparation, among other services.
- Title Insurance. Lender title insurance is mandatory if you have a loan. Owners title insurance is optional, however, highly recommended. This is paid once at closing and lasts until you sell the home. The cost depends on the purchase price.
- Mortgage Insurance. Your lender should include this cost in their Loan Estimate. FHA loans now require mortgage insurance to be paid throughout the life of the loan. For conventional loans, this cost can be eliminated once you can show you have 20% equity in your home.
- Mortgage Origination Fees. The lender may charge you a fee to organize the financing. Many mortgage brokers will provide their services for free by having the lending institution absorb the cost. These fees should be fully disclosed in the Loan Estimate and cannot vary.
- Moving Costs. The cost to hire a professional mover to pack, transport, and unpack your household items.
- Transfer Fees & Prorated HOA or Regime Fees. Some neighborhoods charge a “welcome to the neighborhood” capital contribution or transfer fee at closing. Annual HOA fees/Regime Fees are prorated between buyer and seller.
- Inspection Fees. Buyers must pay for the home to be inspected. The 2 most common inspections are a termite inspection & home inspection. The termite inspector will write the CL-100 termite letter stating any termite or moisture damage to the home. The home inspector will check structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and other systems of the home. Buyers may elect to do additional inspections and tests (Structural, Radon Gas, Mold, etc.). These costs are paid at the time of the inspections and are non-refundable.
- Land Transfer Tax (Deed Stamps). This is a state tax on the transfer of real estate and the cost equates to $3.70 per every $1,000 of purchase price (0.37%). Traditionally, deed stamps are normally paid for by the Seller. However, in some instances (mostly in new construction) the Buyer may have to pay them.
There could be other costs associated with the purchase of the home. Want to learn more? Call/text 843-900-0155, we are here to help!