Closing Costs and Prepaid Expenses

At the time of closing, buyers will need to sign at escrow and complete the transaction of their home purchase.  At this time the remainder of the funding for the purchase of the home occurs with the contribution of the remainder of the down payment and (if used) a home loan.  In addition there are various 'closing costs' and 'pre-paid expenses' that are due.  Below outlines common costs associated with closing on a home purchase. 

Credit report. Lenders will pull a “tri-merge” report from all three credit bureaus.
Appraisal. Some lenders charge this at time of appraisal instead of at closing.
Origination fee. Some lenders charge a fee for the loan (usually 1% of loan amount.)
Underwriting fee. Covers the lender’s verification of information you provide them and whether your application meets the loan requirements.
Document preparation. Charged by most lenders.
Prepaid interest. Lenders charge you for interest incurred from the close date until the end of that month.  The later in the month you close, the less you’ll pay in prepaid interest.
Lenders title insurance policy. To ensure your lender that you get free and clear title to the property.
Flood zone certification. To verify whether or not you’re in a flood zone.
Escrow or closing fee. For the handling of closing documents, payoff of sellers mortgage, handling buyer and seller funds, recording of the sale.
Prepaid property taxes. Your lender will usually collect up to 12 months worth of property taxes.
Homeowners insurance. Lenders require insurance to protect their investment.
Recording fees. For filing the official transfer of the property into your name with the county, township or local authority.
Excise fee or transfer tax. Some areas charge a tax or fee on sale of real estate.
Lender Fees

  • Origination fee
  • Appraisal fee
  • Credit report
  • Underwriting fee & Document preparation/review fee
  • Tax service fee

Title charges

  • Attorney's/Escrow fees
  • Title insurance
  • Transfer tax (Purchase transactions)

Miscellaneous charges

  • Property survey (Purchase transactions)
  • Termite inspection (typically associated with a purchase)


Prepaid expenses

  • Prepaid interest (interest that accrues between closing and the end of the closing month)
  • Homeowner's insurance

Various fees explained:

Origination Fees & Discount Points
The origination fee is charged for the lender's work in evaluating and preparing your mortgage loan. Discount points are a fee you can pay to “buy” a lower interest rate – the more points paid, the lower the rate. One point equals one percent of the loan amount. For example, one point on a $300,000 loan would be $3,000. In some cases – especially with refinances – you can add the points to your loan amount, thus not having to pay points out of your pocket.

Appraisal Fee
This fee pays for an independent appraisal of the home you want to purchase. The lender requires this opinion or estimate of the market value of the house for the loan. We have many qualified appraisers available to help.

Credit Report:
A credit score (link) number is often called a FICO score. The score distills all of the information in your credit report (link), using a formula to calculate a single number that indicates your credit worthiness.

Underwriting and Documents Fees
Lenders must underwrite your file in order to see if it meets their lending requirements and the requirements of the companies who ultimately purchase loans for investment purposes.  They then must produce a viable set of loan documents meeting strict Us and state laws

Processing Fee
This fee is for setting up your file, all internal work and for procuring all documentation required to make your loan viable for the lender criteria, and for following up to be sure your loan funds at the proper loan amount, fees and closing date.

Title and Escrow fees
These fees may vary by jurisdiction; often includes the cost of title insurance or title search and attorney's title opinion; may cover premiums for the lender's policy (insuring that its mortgage is a first lien on the property) and a separate policy insuring the buyer's title

Transfer Tax
Transfer taxes are state and local taxes that are assessed on real property when ownership of the property is transferred between parties. Documentary stamps are purchased covering such charges and are place on the deed.

Property Survey
The surveyor determines whether the house is within the property borders, whether there are any encroachments on the property by neighbors and the extent to which any easements on the property may affect legal title.

Prepaid Interest
The interest on your loan calculated on a per day basis and paid in advance from the day of your loan closing through the last day of the month in which your closing takes place. This enables the lender to make payments for your loan due on the 1st of the month.

Insurance: Homeowners & Hazard
A form or protection against physical damage to the house by fire, wind, vandalism and other causes. Your lender will expect you to have a policy in effect at closing.

Sean Coster

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Posted on July 9, 2014 at 9:40 pm
Sean Coster | Category: Closing costs, Prepaid expenses