As you begin your search for your future Oakland or Piedmont home, there is a tendency to look at the asking price as the cost of your new home.  While there is no doubt that is a good starting point, common sense tells you that home prices are often negotiable, and that competition is particularly stiff right now in many neighborhoods.  In addition to the purchase price, you need to put additional items into your budget to see if you can truly afford the home that you are looking at.  

While some of these fees below are negotiable between seller and buyer, it is best to include them in your financial plans:

1. A Home Appraisal Fee:  Your lender needs to know the value of the home, so you should plan on paying this fee.  Costs vary, but are usually around $500.

2. Professional Home Inspection Fee:  You should have your future home professionally inspected before making your purchase.  I encourage buyers to fund these inspections.  If there are serious issues like termites, mold, foundation problems, etc. you will want to know about them before you buy. It puts you in an excellent negotiating position when you working with the seller.

3. Move In Costs:  Many potential homes may not fit your current home design.  You may need to purchase newer, fresher furniture, rugs, curtains or decor.  You might want to repaint portions of the home, upgrade the kitchen or bathroom, etc.. Obviously, money needs to be estimated for these costs, and set aside. Additionally, you may negotiate with the seller to take on needed repair fees if the deal is right. Moving fees and packing materials often are forgotten, so be sure to include them.   

4. Additional Closing Costs:  When you submit your loan application, you will be given a estimate of your closing costs by the financing agency.  These are projected costs, not hard and fast figures, and could prove to be more than projected.  As a result, you will need to be prepared financially to cover these fees, and any other ones that might arise as purchase negotiations move forward.

One of my roles as your agent is to assist you, and take you through each of the steps involved in buying your new home.  While these costs above may seem a bit overwhelming to start with, and may not represent all of what you will be dealing with as you move forward, you will at least have some sense of what to expect, and, as a result, make an intelligent plan to deal with them.  

Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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