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Be Prepared to Pay Closing Costs By Martin Lukac

It can be so hard to save the money for a down payment, then you realize that you'll need to pay closing costs as well. It can be a stressful feeling, wondering if you are going to have enough cash at closing.

You will receive a Good Faith Estimate of the closing costs within three days of applying for a mortgage. This is a list of the fees and expenses that you will have to pay at settlement. These fees can vary from lender to lender, so you should compare these fees as well as the interest rate and mortgage terms.

The problem with the Good Faith Estimate is that it is just an estimate. Like the mechanic or a contractor, the estimate can be a long-shot from the actual closing costs.

Some lenders will actually low-ball the estimate in order to get your business. They are betting on you not being able to back out of the purchase by the time you see the actual closing amounts. You should receive the actual closing statement a day before the settlement.

The government recognizes that this is a problem for homebuyers. They are working on changing the laws and standards to force lenders to be more accurate in making good faith estimates.

In general, closing costs run between 3% and 5% of your loan amount. If you are borrowing $100,000, you can expect the closing costs to be between $3,000 and $5,000. You should plan on paying the 5% so that you are covered, just in case.

You should obtain good faith estimates from two or three lenders so that you can compare the costs. Then be prepared to ask the lender you pick to meet the best offers on the estimates. For example, if one lender has the appraisal fee $200 below the others, but you choose that lender, ask them to come down on that.

You will see the following items on your Good Faith Estimate and in your closing costs:

Loan origination fee
Loan discount fee
Loan application fee
Lender's attorney fees
Buyer's attorney fees
Appraisal fee
Credit report
Lender's inspection fee
Mortgage broker commission or fee
Tax service fee
Processing fee
Underwriting fee
Wire Transfer fee
Interest from the day of settlement to the date of your first mortgage payment
Private mortgage insurance premiums to protect your lender
Property taxes from the day of settlement to the end of the tax year
Hazard insurance premiums
Settlement or closing fee
Document preparation fee
Notary fee
Title search and title insurance for your lender
Title insurance for you
Recording fees
Tax stamps
Pest inspection

You won't have to pay the entire costs if you have negotiated with the seller to pay some of the costs. For example, the seller will often pay the recording fees and tax stamps or the title search. Don't go to closing unprepared, make sure you know what your costs will be.

Martin Lukac, represents http://www.RateEmpire.com, a finance web-company specializing in real estate/mortgage market. We specialize in daily updates, rate predictions, mortgage rates and more. Find low home loan mortgage interest rates from hundreds of mortgage companies! Visit http://www.RateEmpire.com today

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