Don’t let home-buying fees sneak up on you. Here are some budget items to keep in mind

Updated: Oct. 1, 2020 at 4:33 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Fall home buying-season is in full swing and while it’s not usually a busy time of the year for the housing market, with good interest rates, the realtors almost can’t keep up.

However, if you’re thinking of buying a new space, local mortgage broker and owner of LA Lending, LLC., Chasity Graff, wants you to think about these tips for your money first. There are costs you need to consider before you get the keys to your new house.

There are two very important numbers that may come to mind first: your credit score and a down payment, but Graff explains there is so much more.

“A lot of times when people think about buying a house, they don’t typically realize that closing costs run about three percent, about three to four percent of the sale price,” she said.

Three to four percent may not sound like a lot and it varies per house, so if you buy a home for $200,000, then closing could cost you about $6,000.

Graff says these aren’t secret fees, but they can sneak up on you.

“We say hidden, but they aren’t really hidden. We have to disclose all fees to the borrower," Graff said.

Her best advice is you find a professional, like a realtor or lender, and ask questions. She even recommends you do a little homework first so you don’t feel the new home sticker shock.

“Because the last thing you want is to find your dream home and not be able to close on it,” said the broker.

That’s because more numbers can pop up along the way, like repairs, moving costs, and even flood insurance. She wants you to be prepared, especially for some of those upfront costs, like appraisal costs.

“Appraisals can cost anywhere from $400 to $700 depending on who, where, what type of property," she said.

Also, be sure to budget for the home inspection.

“You definitely want to spend that $400 to $500 having a home inspection because they’re going to go through that house with a fine-tooth comb," she said.

Many of these fees depend on who you work with and where you buy from. Some fees fall on you, some fall on the seller. That’s why Graff recommends you ask for help from a realtor or a lender before you start house hunting.

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