Buyer Resources - Articles

Buying Your Home - Escrow & Closing Costs

What Are Closing Costs?
Closing costs are the fees for services, taxes or special interest charges that surround the purchase of a home. They include upfront loan points, title insurance, escrow or closing day charges, document fees, prepaid interest and property taxes. Unless, these charges are rolled into the loan, they must be paid when the home is closed.

Who Pays The Closing Costs? 
If a sale is "traditional," the Seller and Buyer will each pay their own closing costs. However, they may be paid by the Seller or Buyer by mutual agreement. This is a negotiable item in the "Purchase Contract."

  Is It Possible To Save On Closing Costs? 
Studies show that the closing costs, which can average 2 to 3 percent of a total home purchase price, are often more costly than many buyers expect. There are some ways to save the cash:
* Negotiate with the seller to pay all or part of the closing costs. The lender must agree to this as well as the seller.
* Obtain a no-point loan. The trade-off is a higher interest rate.  Many of these loans have prepayment penalties. But buyers who are short on cash and can qualify for a higher interest rate may find a no-point loan will significantly cut their closing costs.
* Get a no-fee loan. These fees are wrapped into a higher interest.
* Each direct lender and each mortgage brokerage has their own fee structure.

Why Do I Need A Preliminary Title Report & Title Insurance?

A Preliminary Title Report will provide you with notice of liens, encumbrances and restrictions which exist of record against the property. When reading a preliminary report it is important to check the extent of your ownership rights or interest. The most common form of interest is "fee simple" or "fee," which is the highest type of interest an owner can have in land.  Liens, restrictions and interests of others excluded from title coverage will be listed numerically as exceptions in the report.  You also may have to consider interests of any third parties, such as easements granted by prior owners that limit use of the property. Some buyers attempt to clear these unwanted items prior to purchase.  A list of standard exceptions and exclusions not covered by the title insurance policy may be attached. This section includes items the buyer may want to investigate further, such as any laws governing building and zoning.

(Note:Information on building permits is not included in the Preliminary Title Report)

Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Realty
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Realty