August 21, 2012

Closing Costs

There are a variety of closing costs, but the most common are:
  • Application Fee
  • Loan Origination Fee
  • Discount Points
  • Appraisal Fee
  • Title Search Fee
  • Title Insurance Fee
  • Prepayment Penalty on Existing Mortgage

The first three listed above are within your lender's control; the others are not. If you have great credit, you might be able to negotiate lower application fees, loan fees, and discount points. Be cautious if a lender offers to cover your closing costs; this may mean you'll be charged a higher interest rate. 

Closing costs have been known to change at the last possible moment. Your best protection against unpleasant surprises is to request a written estimate. Also find out what the lender's policy is on closing cost changes; some lenders guarantee their estimated costs, and others don't. 

If you're refinancing just to save money, be sure to weigh the closing costs against your monthly savings. If the new loan saves you $50 monthly, but you have to shell out $1,200 in closing costs, it will be two years before you break even. 

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