Real estate closing costs on the rise
If you got a "good faith estimate" for a loan last year and again more recently, the closing-cost figure probably went way up.
Closing costs -- minus taxes -- are about 35 percent higher on lenders' good faith estimates in Maryland and nationwide this year, Bankrate.com says in its annual mortgage fee survey.
Some of that jump is actual, honest-to-goodness increase. But a big part of it, Bankrate says, is more honesty. Or at least more careful calculation.
"Before this year, lenders were not penalized for underestimating fees in the good faith estimate. Now they are penalized for lowballing fees," the company says, referring to a federal rule that went into effect Jan. 1.
Maryland's closing costs, not including taxes, average $3,402 for a $200,000 loan, according to Bankrate's survey of lenders. That ranked the state 15th lowest.
Bankrate picked one area in each state for its cost survey -- not including California, where it studied costs in two metro areas. In Maryland, it looked at the 21236 ZIP code, Nottingham in Baltimore County.
Bankrate compared good faith estimates for a $200,000 loan on a $240,000 purchase. It didn't include taxes and escrow fees, which vary a lot from one area to another and can be substantial.
Take transfer taxes, for instance. If you're buying in Baltimore, they'll add $3,600 to your tab for a $240,000 home.