Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

Posted July 12, 2021 in Real Estate Trends

While showing homes, we go over a lot of things that people don’t think about such as the ‘hidden’ costs of buying a home. Let’s talk about the fees you can expect in addition to the down payment and closing costs.

Earnest Money

Earnest money is typically about $1000- $3000, but the more expensive the home means the more earnest money you will need. Some banks (& builders) can request 1%-3% of the purchase price for earnest money. With a bank owned property the bank will want a cashiers check. With a regular sale, a personal check is fine. The earnest money is deliverable upon acceptance of the offer, and not when the offer is written. The earnest money is always made out to the title company and is refundable based upon the four legal reasons to back out.


The inspection is ordered after the offer is accepted. Remember that the inspection cost is approximately $400- $500 and is non-refundable. You, as the buyer, will hire the inspector and they work for you. You have a deadline to have the inspection done and respond to the seller. Both you, as the buyer, and your buyers agent should be at the home inspection. A typical inspection is about 2-3 hours long. Make sure the fee includes the dry rot and pest report. Also consider a sewer scope, radon testing for homes with basements, and a well water test for homes with a well.


The appraisal is ordered by the lender, and the lender will put in the order for the appraisal. An appraiser comes to the home to verify the  value of the home for the bank. The bank will only lend the dollar amount that the appraiser says the home is worth. An average appraisal costs about $600 – $800 -/+ dollars, and is paid for by the buyer. This is another non-refundable fee. Neither you nor your agent are allowed to be present at the appraisal due to new laws that took effect in recent years.

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Tracie DeMars 360-903-3504