Loan Related Closing Costs
Loan Origination Fee
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.
Insurance Closing Costs
This insurance covers replacement costs for damages caused by fire, wind or other disaster that might affect the value of the property. Typically, the insurance also includes personal liability and theft coverage.
Flood or Quake Insurance
Additional hazard insurance coverage that is required for homes located in a designated hazard zone as established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). An appraiser, inspector, or your realtor can let you know if a property resides in a hazard zone.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
Insurance required for conventional mortgage loans when the borrower’s down payment on the house is less than 20 percent of the loan value.
This policy protects both the buyer and lender by insuring a clear chain of title. (In other words, it insures that that the person who sells the house has the legal right to do so.)
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.
A buydown is a type of financing where the buyer or seller pays extra points (also called discount points) to reduce the interest rate on a loan. Buydowns make it easier to qualify for a loan because they lower a loan’s interest rate. They can also allow you to buy more house for your money.
There are generally two types of buydowns: a permanent buydown and a temporary buydown. A permanent buydown lets you pay extra points to get a low interest rate over the life of your loan.
A permanent buydown can be paid by the seller or the builder as an incentive to finalize a sale by creating lower monthly payments. Sellers can also benefit from assisting with a buydown with a difficult to sell property or during slower market conditions. It increases the buyer’s ability to qualify for a loan, therefore, allowing the home to be sold quicker. Plus, a buydown offer is usually less than a price reduction on the home.
In a temporary buydown, you prepay interest in exchange for a lower rate during the early years of a loan. The most common temporary buydown is called 3-2-1, meaning the mortgage payment in years one, two and three is calculated at rates 3 percent, 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively, below the rate on the loan. On a 2-1 buydown, the payment in years one and two is calculated at rates 2 percent and 1 percent below the loan rate. And on a 1-0 buydown, the payment in year one is calculated at 1 percent below the loan rate.
A temporary buydown can be a benefit to a buyer whose current income is low but anticipates that it will increase during the next two years. First-time homebuyers who need to purchase all of the furnishings that go into a new home may also find a temporary buydown appealing.
How do you “buy” a better rate?
Do you plan on keeping your loan for a while? Then it may make sense to “buy” a lower interest rate by paying one or more “points.”
Even if you’re unsure of how long you plan to keep your mortgage before you move or refinance, paying points now for a lower rate may make sense. For example, do you have a high-paying job now but you think you might change careers in the next few years? We can help you sort it out. It’s part of our goal to find you the right loan for your means and future.
A point — which equals one percent (1%) of the total loan amount — is an up-front fee that lowers your annual interest rate and total interest due over the life of your loan. So, a one point loan will have a lower interest rate than a no point loan. Basically, when you pay points you trade off paying money later in favor of paying money now. You can pay fractions of points, meaning there are a lot of points packages that can make a loan’s terms more favorable if that’s what’s right for you.
There are a variety of rate and point combinations available. When you look at different loan programs, don’t look just at the rate — compare the whole package. Federal law requires lenders to publish their loans’ Annual Percentage Rate, or A.P.R. The A.P.R. is a tool used to compare different terms, offered rates, and points.