Often, when your first consider buying a home in Oakland or a nearby Piedmont home, your tendancy is to look at the asking price for the home as a working figure to decide whether you can afford it or not.  While that is certainly the most sensible starting point, and knowing that all home prices could be negotiable, you still have other costs that you should put into your budget before moving forward. While some of these fees may also be negotiable among seller and buyer, it is best to include them in your 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. Additional Closing Costs: When you submit your loan application, you must be given a Good Faith Estimate of Closing Costs for your consideration and review. These are not hard and fast prices, just projected ones, but you will need to be prepared financially to cover these, and any others that might arise as negotiations move forward. 

3. Professional Home Inspection Fee:  You should have your future home thoroughly inspected before making your purchase.  If there are any serious issues like mold, termites, structural issues, faulty roofing, etc., you need to know about it right away.  Some of these issues, if discovered, may require additional inspections, so set aside some funds for this vital issue.

4. Move In Costs: Most homes that you will consider purchasing may not necessarily fit your family's needs.  You may want to put in carpeting, paint, new tile, upgrade the bathroom or kitchen, plant new gardens, etc..  Large appliances already in place like the refrigerator, washer or dryer may be old or out of date, and need to be replaced promptly. 

5.The Amenities: These are the things that make your life more comfortable, and some can wait for a while, but will have to be attended to, especially if they do not fit the design of your new home. Things like newer lamps, mirrors, hardware for drawers and kitchen cabinets, and overhead lighting fixtures are just a few examples.

 So, review these issues and make plans to deal with them so you avoid unpleasant surprises when searching for your ideal home. 

Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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