When you begin to consider whether or not you might be able to afford your Piedmont home, you tend to concentrate on the initial sales price, and of course, the monthly mortgage payment.  As I will advise you when we begin considering a home in Oakland or Piedmont, money needs to be set aside for other expected, and, often unexpected, costs that will arise as we move through the purchase process.  While all of these costs may not apply because some of these fees are often negotiated between the buyer and the seller, here is a good summary to consider:

a. Professional Home Inspection Fees: It is very important to have the home thoroughly inspected before making your final purchase.  Costs will vary among areas and size of home, but they are usually $400-700.  If there are structural issues, or mold or termite problems, there maybe extra inspections required.

b. Appraisal Fee: Most likely, you will be required to pay this fee in order to obtain your loan.  Costs are usually around $500.

c. Additional Closing Costs: After you submit your loan application, you will be given a Good Faith Estimate of Closing Costs for your review.  These are just projected costs, so don't count on them as hard and final figures.  Have extra funds set aside in anticipation of additional fees that might arise.

d. Move In Costs: Most newly purchased homes will need to be fixed up to fit your family's own particular living needs.  Potential costs could involve fees for upgrading the plumbing, installing new kitchen counter tops, renovating closets or storage spaces, expanding a room, painting, etc.. Be sure to consider and plan for these when you are considering your purchase costs.

e. Large Appliance Costs: If you are buying an older home, you might need to upgrade the kitchen appliances by purchasing a stove or refrigerator.  You might have to consider a new washer and dryer, especially if you are renovating the basement area.

f. The Little Things: These are what could be called the the truly unexpected expenses.  They would include new lamps, mirrors, hardware for a for a garage door, pulls for the kitchen cabinet, and decorative items that would make the rooms more pleasing throughout the house.

 With a plan, you can keep these costs in line, and avoid fewer surprises.

Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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