WHAT ARE THE UPFRONT COSTS TO PURCHASE A HOME I MIGHT NOT BE AWARE OF?
Whether you are buying a home for the first time, or it has been a few years, there are some expenses that can catch you off guard that you should be prepared for. The most obvious expenses are going to be your closing costs and down payment. However, there are costs you need to be prepared for before the closing table, and be able to pay for out of pocket. These include: the home inspection, radon, well, septic, appraisal, and other follow up inspections that may be necessary depending on what comes up in the home inspection.
Home Inspection and Radon – $300-750 A standard home inspection cost depends on your area, and the square footage of the property. Typically, in our area, a home inspection can cost between $300-$600. An additional expense for a radon test is $125-150. Home inspectors will look at the house top to bottom, and will find everything that is wrong with the property, from water leaks, to making sure all the appliances work. If they find something that seems to be a little more serious, they will recommend a professional in that field come out and give their opinion.
Septic Inspection – $350-$1,200
If your property is on a septic, getting it inspected can be a large upfront cost, but it is better to pay for the inspection rather than purchase the house, and then your septic system fails and you have to replace the system. These types of inspections can vary between $350-$1,200, depending on the type of inspection. They will typically pump the tank, and then inspect the lines and the tanks to make sure that everything is in working order, and there are no roots growing in the lines, and nothing is deteriorating. Sometimes you can get lucky and a seller will cover the cost of this, but if you are in a multiple offer situation, be prepared to take on this expense, and risk.
Well Inspection – $300-$500 A well inspection will evaluate and make sure that there is enough water pressure for the household. They will look at how deep it is, and make sure that the pump is still pumping adequately. You can expect to pay $300-$500 for this. On the plus side, the Seller of the property has to provide you, as the Purchaser with a clean water test prior to closing. If there is any bacteria in the system, the Seller is required to treat the water and take another test until the water is clean.
Appraisal – $300-$750 If you are getting a loan, unfortunately you cannot skip an appraisal. If you have really great credit, you may qualify for an exemption from your bank, but we are seeing that a lot less these days. An appraisal is done to make sure the bank is lending on a decent property, and they will not loan more than the market value of the property.
Ultimately, these expenses are completely up to you as the Buyer, except for the appraisal for a loan, of course, unless you are paying cash. However, inspections should be considered part of your due diligence when purchasing a home. I always tell clients it is better to be safe than sorry, and to know what you are getting into before making a large investment on a property.
Make sure you are working with an agent that will protect your best interests and help educate you on the process.