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Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Calculating Your Closing Costs

Updated on May 26, 2009

There is a time-honored tradition that calls for mortgage companies to charge every imaginable and some not so imaginable closing costs and varied fees to borrowers. While a new home owner might not mind taking on a quarter-million dollars or more in debt, the closing costs and fees usually stick in the craw because they have to be paid in cash, up front. If you think this sounds like the old scam where you are advised that you have won a $250,000 in a lottery but have to send in $5,000 for "handling fees," you're really close. All that money really does just get swallowed up, mostly under the heading of "excess and unjustified profit."

Here is a list of the fees currently charged by major online lenders based upon a conventional 30 year $250,000 mortgage:

Highest: The greatest single fee charged by any lender or agency.
Lowest: The smallest single fee charged by any lender or agency.
% of lenders charging it: the percentage of lenders or agencies who charge this fee: the others don't.
Average: The weighted average of the highest and the lowest with the percentage charging that fee factored in.

Lender and Broker Fees

Points in $
Highest $4,375.72
Lowest $312.75
% of lenders charging it 47%
Average $1,442.82

Administration fee
Highest $834.00
Lowest $451.75
% of lenders charging it 14%
Average $467.04

Application fee
Highest $486.50
Lowest $278.00
% of lenders charging it 18%
Average $284.95

Commitment fee
Highest $917.40
Lowest $410.05
% of lenders charging it 2%
Average $692.22

Document preparation
Highest $556.00
Lowest $34.75
% of lenders charging it 34%
Average $269.66

Funding fee
Highest $521.25
Lowest $278.00
% of lenders charging it 14%
Average $316.92

Mortgage broker or lender fee
Highest $1,613.79
Lowest $208.50
% of lenders charging it 46%
Average $1,166.21

Processing
Highest $827.05
Lowest $51.43
% of lenders charging it 45%
Average $444.80

Tax Service
Highest $139.00
Lowest $83.40
% of lenders charging it 82%
Average $101.47

Underwriting
Highest $1,041.11
Lowest $139.00
% of lenders charging it 40%
Average $373.91

Wire transfer
Highest $62.55
Lowest $20.85
% of lenders charging it 50%
Average $43.09

Third Party Fees

Appraisal
Highest $834.00
Lowest $347.50
% of lenders charging it 83%
Average $454.53

Attorney or settlement fees
Highest $1,977.97
Lowest $69.50
% of lenders charging it 93%
Average $618.55

Credit report
Highest $76.45
Lowest $11.82
% of lenders charging it 81%
Average $40.31

Flood certification
Highest $34.75
Lowest $13.90
% of lenders charging it 95%
Average $23.63

Pest & other inspection
Highest $278.00
Lowest $41.70
% of lenders charging it 8%
Average $94.52

Postage/courier
Highest $139.00
Lowest $34.75
% of lenders charging it 81%
Average $62.55

Survey
Highest $556.00
Lowest $69.50
% of lenders charging it 28%
Average $241.86

Title insurance
Highest $2,884.25
Lowest $69.50
% of lenders charging it 83%
Average $840.95

Title work
Highest $868.75
Lowest $34.75
% of lenders charging it 29%
Average $278.00

Government Fees

Recording fee
Highest $305.80
Lowest $31.97
% of lenders charging it 99%
Average $105.64

City/county/state tax/other tax
Highest $9,382.50
Lowest $31.28
% of lenders charging it 33%
Average $1,861.21

Total Fees

All fees of all types
Highest $28,711.84
Lowest $3,024.64
% of lenders charging it 100.00%
Average $10,224.84

As you can see, closing costs and fees can vary wildly from one lender or broker to another and even more wildly from state to state. It is difficult to believe but an identical loan in one location in this country will cost you $9,382.50 just in city, county, state and other taxes alone, while in another location, yes in the same country, you will pay $31.28!!!

Other discrepancies are just as absurd. Title Insurance ranges from $69.50 to $2,884.25. Attorney or settlement fees also from $69.50 but to a high of $1,977.97. Underwriting fees from $139.00 to $1,041.11, Mortgage broker or lender fees from $208.50 to $1,613.79, and Points from $312.75 to $4,375.72!

This would be somewhat understandable if we were comparing similar homes in, say, Westchester County NY and Ward County ND. It's obvious that the house in Westchester is going to cost more in every way, including closing costs and fees. However that is not what we did here at all. These figures are all on a conventional 30 year $250,000 mortgage with the only difference being that the houses are located in different places around the country. As you can see it is certainly important to consider closing costs and fees as otherwise you can be stuck with a huge bill, payable immediately.

Read The Entire Survival Guide

Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Subprime Meltdown
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Advantage Of Renting Over Buying
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Why Rent? Why Not?
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Five Common Mistakes House Buyers Make
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Get Your Home Sold Quickly & At Your Asking Price
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Improve Your Home's Value And Sell It For More!
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Learn The Value Of Curb Appeal
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Home Staging: Valid Selling Technique Or Fraud?
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Before You Go House Shopping
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Home Condition Checklist
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Getting A Mortgage From Different Types Of Lenders
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - What To Do After You're Turned Down
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - New Initiatives To Help Get You Approved
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Isn't HUD An Old Paul Newman Movie?
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Jumbo Isn't As Huge As He Once Was
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - FHA Q&A
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The FHA's Credit Requirements Vs. The Bank's
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Your Credit Score And Your Mortgage
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Credit Score Confusion
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Keeping That Credit Score Nice & High
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Minimize The Interest Payable
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - What Is PMI & Why Do I Care?
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The LIBOR-COFI-COSI Alphabet Soup
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - REO: Get Rich Quick Or Just Waste Time?
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Obtaining Flipping Money
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Consider The Additional Costs
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - What Is Escrow?
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Tips To Avoid Foreclosure
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Changing Value Of Your Mortgage Dollar
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - How To Ride The Interest Rate Spikes
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Can't Get A Mortgage? What A PITI!
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Calculating Your Closing Costs
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Mortgage Broker or Mortgage Banker?
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Magic Of A Down Payment
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - A Refinance Checklist
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Refinancing With Bad Credit
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Self-Employed Mortgage Maze
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - VA Loans
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Offset & Reverse Mortgages
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Reasons To Not Buy An Offshore Retirement House
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - How To Pay Less Than $500 A Month
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Five Easy And Cheap Tips To Save Big $ On Energy

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