Real Estate Closing Cost Tips

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How will I know what my real estate closing costs will be?

Closing Cost Estimates

A good faith estimate is an estimate that lists all fees to be paid before closing, all closing costs, and any escrow costs you will encounter when purchasing a home. The lender must supply it within three days of your application so that you can make accurate judgments when shopping for a loan.

   
What are closing costs?

Closing Costs

Closing costs include things like loan origination fees, prepaid items such as mortgage interest, escrow items to be deposited, title charges, recording fees, and any miscellaneous settlement charges such as express mail charges. For a full description of what to expect with your closing costs, read Kiplinger's Buying & Selling A Home.

   
Who uses public records, and are they free?

Fees for Public Records

Any time a piece of real estate is sold; certain records derived as a result of the real estate closing are entered into the public record. Transfer of title or deed, is recorded at the county clerk's or registrar's office and is available for viewing by any member of the public who should so choose to access it. Included in real estate closing costs is a fee called a "recording fee." This is the fee charged by the closing company to record the real estate transfer with the county clerk or registrar. This fee is charged to the closing company by the registrar. You will receive free public record copies at closing. Should you need additional copies of these records, you will usually need to pay copy fees to the county clerk or registrar.

   
What is included in real estate closing costs?

Real Estate Closing Costs

"Closing costs" can add thousands of dollars to the cost of a home, so it's essential to know what to expect. RESPA stands for Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. It requires lenders to disclose information to potential customers throughout the mortgage process. The goal of RESPA is to protect borrowers from abuses by lending institutions. RESPA mandates that lenders fully inform borrowers about all closing costs, lender servicing and escrow account practices, and business relationships between closing service providers and other parties to the transaction. For more information on RESPA, visit the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development's Web site and search on the term "RESPA."

   
Should a get a loan with no closing costs?

No Closing Cost Loans

All real estate transactions include closing costs. When a loan is described as having 'no closing costs,' it simply means that the closing costs are rolled into the loan. This may be an advantage for a first time buyer who is trying to scrape together a down payment. Generally speaking, however, it's wise to pay the closing costs at the closing, if at all possible. If you get a 'no closing cost' loan, you are, in effect, paying for those closing costs over thirty years (or whatever the term of the mortgage might be).

   
How long will it be before we close on our new home?

Closing Your Real Estate Sale

You found the home of your dreams, you're packed, and now it's time to close the deal! Depending on the specific circumstances of the sellers and buyers as well as the general load on the mortgage and closing companies, it usually takes anywhere from three to eight weeks before closing on a home. In that time, you'll have a home inspection conducted, the mortgage lender will process your application, and the closing company will prepare all the closing documents, including a list of the real estate closing costs. You should have received a good faith estimate of closing costs before the actual closing. The final list of real estate closing costs cannot be calculated until just before the actual closing. Review it carefully to make sure there are no mistakes before signing your closing paperwork.

   
What closing information goes into the public record?

Public Records

Any time a piece of real estate is sold, certain records derived as a result of the real estate closing are entered into the public record. Transfer of title and deed is recorded at the county clerk's office and is available for viewing by any member of the public who should so choose to access it. Included in real estate closing costs is a fee called a "recording fee." This is the fee charged by the closing company to record the real estate transfer with the county clerk or registrar. This fee is charged to the closing company by the registrar.

   
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