What are Mortgage Closing Costs?
Mortgage closing Costs are fees paid to the many people who work on your loan in all its varied aspects, from your Processor and Underwriter, to third parties such as the person who completes your home’s Appraisal.
Mortgage Closing Costs are typically paid by the Buyer. Oftentimes, however, costs are divided between the Buyer, Seller, and sometimes the Lender in the form of a Lender Credit.
Your Real Estate Agent can help you if you wish to negotiate closing costs when making an offer or counteroffer to the seller, and your Loan Officer can explain what is involved in obtaining a lender credit that goes towards closing costs.
Prepaids are not a fee, as such, but are costs associated with your home that need to be paid in advance when getting a loan. These include Property Taxes, Homeowner’s Insurance, and Mortgage Interest that will accrue between the closing date and month-end.
Property Taxes and Homeowner’s Insurance are collected to put into your Escrow Account so that you have enough reserves to pay these bills then they are due.
Mortgage Interest: Whereas rent is usually paid a month in advance, your monthly mortgage payment is paid in ‘arrears’. All this means is that the mortgage payment you make on June 1st, for example, actually pays for the month of May. Borrower’s typically pre-pay interest when they take out a loan. Say your loan closes on April 15th, your first mortgage payment will be due on June 1st. This may seem as if May is a free or skipped payment but, sadly, it is not. That’s because the June payment will pay the interest for May, and the amount due for the period between April 15th and 31st will already have been paid by you, the Borrower, at closing.
Cash to Close
Cash to close is, basically, a combination of any Closing Costs covered by the Buyer; all applicable Prepaid monies; and your Down Payment amount, minus your Earnest Money Deposit. Cash to close is paid by wire fund or a cashier’s check made out to the Escrow Company. You will be informed of the exact amount needed prior to signing your final loan papers at the escrow office.
For Your Information
Your initial loan disclosures include a Loan Estimate (Good Faith Estimate) and an Prequal Worksheet (Itemization of Amount Financed) that detail the closing costs on your loan. These are estimates. Before closing, your mortgage’s Settlement Statement will enumerate the final costs on your loan. Typically, however, expect to encounter the following fees and costs:
- Appraisal Fee
- Credit Report fee
- Loan Origination charge (which includes Processing and Underwriting fees)
- Title Services & Lender’s Title Insurance fees
- Owner’s Title Insurance
- Recording charges
- Wire transfer fee
- Prepaid Mortgage Interest
- Property Taxes
- Prorated Taxes
- Homeowners Insurance reserves
- County Property Tax reserves
Additional fees that might be specific to your loan include: Subordination fee, Condo Questionnaire fee, Mobile Notary fee, and Discount Points. You will be informed of any and all fees throughout the loan process.
More Information on Mortgage Closing Costs
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
What fees or charges are paid when closing on a mortgage and who pays them?