Typical costs of buying a house

Typical costs of buying a house

Here are the ballpark fees that you can expect when buying a home. These are just estimates, and you will get an accurate closing statement from your lender and the title company at least 3 days prior to closing.

Earnest money — typically 1 to 2% of the offer price

This is a pre-paid part of your down payment, paid via a personal check or electronic transfer once you have an accepted purchase agreement. The amount is written on the purchase agreement, and is used to show the seller that you have ‘skin in the game’ and are serious about purchasing the home. It must be deposited within 2 business days of an accepted purchase agreement, so it’s important to have your earnest money in an easily accessible account. On your closing disclosure (from the lender) and settlement statement (from the title company) this shows as a credit towards your down payment or closing costs.

Inspection — about $500-800

Home inspection costs will vary depending on if you want and need a radon test, sewer scope, or other specialty test. You pay this amount directly to the home inspector at the time of your home inspection. 

Home owner’s insurance — varies with each home

Generally, a month or two of premiums need to be paid before or as a part of closing, but some insurance companies and lenders require a year’s premiums in advance. Get 3 or more quotes and shop around.

Down payment — 3.5-20% of the price

Your biggest cost will probably be the down payment, due at closing. Discuss the options with your lender. If you’re able to put more down, it helps us make a stronger and more attractive offer to sellers, and reduced your monthly payments. The down payment is rolled together with any insurance premiums, fees, and taxes, so that you are given one lump sum total to bring to closing as a cashier’s check. 

Appraisal — about $500

Your lender will require an appraisal of the property in most cases. This is not the same as the inspection that you request personally. The appraiser is representing the interest of the lender and making sure that the property is worth the money that is being borrowed on it. If you are putting more than 20% down on a home, there is a small chance you may be granted an appraisal waiver. 

Title, closing, and state fees and taxes — about $2-3K

The title company and State of MN will have several costs including a closing fee, title search & exam, title insurance, and recording fees. State and local taxes will also be collected, and most likely prorated, following the terms of the purchase agreement that were negotiated. 

Keller Williams administrative fee — $699

Keller Williams, like most brokers, charges the buyer a fee for the administrative handling of the transaction. This covers legal review, document retention, and compliance checks.