Closing costs can add a lot to home buyers’ final price, particularly depending on which lender a buyer uses, what state they live in, the price of the home, and sometimes even the day of the month the closing occurs, The Wall Street Journal reports. But comparison shopping among lenders may help buyers to reduce their closing costs.
Borrowers can reduce their closing costs in several ways:
- Comparison shop. By applying for a mortgage with more than one lender, buyers then will be able to compare origination fees quoted in the good-faith estimates, Greg McBride, chief financial analyst of Bankrate.com, told The Wall Street Journal. Federal law requires lenders to provide such a statement within three days of a loan application. The origination fees cannot be changed. But lenders are given a 10 percent cushion in estimating third-party charges, such as for the appraisal, survey, inspection, and title services, Peggy Lawlor, mortgage strategy executive with Bank of America told The Wall Street Journal.
- Watch the day of your closing. The day of the month of the closing can even have an influence on costs. “If you close on Nov. 5, you have to pay the per diem interest from the 5th to the 30th, but if you close on Nov. 28, it’s only three days,” says John Walsh, president of Total Mortgage, based in Milford, Conn.
- Seek out relationship discounts. Sometimes lenders offer lower origination fees to loyal customers. For example, Bank of America offers a program called “Preferred Rewards.” The program offers up to $600 in reduced rates on a mortgage depending on the customers’ dollar amount of deposits at the bank.
- Lump closing costs into the loan. For buyers who just can’t afford to bring anymore to closing, they may look into reducing their out-of-pocket expenditures by rolling the closing costs into the total loan amount. However, lenders will likely charge a slightly interest rate so buyers need to weigh carefully if that’s the best choice, Lawlor says.
- Look into title insurance discounts. The cost of title insurance can vary greatly among states and even by the type of home. Some states mandate the rate that title insurance providers charge. However, not all do — so find out whether your state does, McBride says.
Source: “How Home Buyers Can Lower Closing Costs,” The Wall Street Journal (Dec. 10, 2014)