How-to Monday: Closing costs
No surprise that home sellers trying to drum up interest are offering to pay some of that expense: It's thousands of dollars. And those costs are higher than average here, according to a survey by Bankrate.com. Read on for details ...
Bankrate.com's survey of states measured costs in a ZIP code in each state's largest city -- in our case, Baltimore.
The company estimates closing costs on a $200,000 home at just under $6,260 here, vs. $3,680 nationwide. The difference? Taxes.
Ryan W. James, senior mortgage banker at First Horizon Home Loans in Timonium, says the survey results sound about right for the Baltimore area. He finds that closing costs add up to about 3 percent of the sale price in the suburbs and 3.5 percent in the higher-tax city -- with an important caveat.
City buyers can bring down their closing costs if they qualify for one of the various tax credits in Baltimore, such as historic or new-construction. (Live Baltimore lists some here.)
"If you shop smart, it can really make a huge difference in your closing costs and your monthly payments," James said.
Speaking of shopping smart: Beware if your closing costs are way above that 3 to 3.5 percent mark. It could be that you have an "exorbitantly high" property tax bill, or your lender might be hitting you with a lot of points and fees, James said.