Buying a house is a huge decision – it’s one of the largest investments that most of us will make in our lifetime. Therefore, it goes without saying that there are several big purchases involved in the process. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or an experienced investor, these purchases can amount to a significant chunk of your budget, and as such, they require careful consideration.
But what exactly are these big purchases? Well, for starters, there’s the down payment itself, which can put a major strain on your finances. In addition, you’ll need to factor in closing costs – a broad category of fees associated with buying a home, including everything from appraisal fees to title insurance. And that’s just the beginning; there are also several other large expenses that crop up along the way, such as home inspections, repairs, and renovations.
All of these costs add up, and they can make the already stressful process of buying a home even more daunting. However, by understanding what you’re up against and planning accordingly, you can approach the process with confidence. At the end of the day, purchasing a home is an incredibly exciting milestone – one that should be celebrated, even in the face of these big purchases.
What is considered a big purchase when buying a house
Buying a house is one of the most significant financial decisions one can make, and it involves some big purchases. A few of the most substantial expenses when it comes to buying a house are:
- Down payment
- Closing costs
- Home inspections
- Appraisal fees
- Moving expenses
Before purchasing a home, one must have an understanding of these expenses to budget accordingly. Let’s dive deeper into each one of these costs to understand their significance:
Average cost of a down payment
When it comes to purchasing a house, one of the biggest expenses that buyers need to prepare for is the down payment. A down payment is a lump sum paid upfront which serves as a percentage of the total purchase price of your dream home.
The average cost of a down payment will depend on a variety of factors including the location, the home’s value, and the type of loan you choose. Typically, down payments range from 3% to 20% of the home’s purchase price. In many cases, the larger the down payment you can afford, the better.
Factors that influence the average cost of a down payment
- Location: Down payment requirements can vary depending on the state and city you are buying in. Some states have programs that offer assistance to first-time homebuyers, which can help lower the average cost of the down payment.
- Type of loan: Different types of loans have different down payment requirements. For example, while FHA loans require a down payment of at least 3.5%, conventional loans typically require 20% down, although the amount can be as low as 5% for some borrowers.
- Home value: The down payment you make will increase or decrease in line with the value of the home you are buying. For instance, if you are buying a home for $250,000, making a 20% down payment would require $50,000, while a 5% down payment would only require $12,500.
Why a large down payment is beneficial
While a 20% down payment may seem daunting, it might be worth the investment. Firstly, you will need to borrow less money which means lower monthly mortgage payments. Secondly, you will not have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is an additional expense you have to make when your down payment is below 20% of the home’s value. Lastly, a substantial down payment can give you a better interest rate, which will save you a considerable amount of money over the life of your loan.
Tools to help buyers calculate their down payment
Before purchasing a home, it’s important to prepare a budget and have an idea of how much you can afford for your down payment. There are several free online tools buyers can use to calculate how much they need to save towards their down payment. websites such as Bankrate offer mortgage calculators that can help you determine the average cost of a down payment for your dream home and estimate your monthly mortgage payments.
The above table shows examples of different purchase prices and the corresponding down payment and loan amount (assuming a 20% down payment). Keep in mind that larger down payments may require more time to save up but can ultimately result in better financial outcomes.
Closing costs and fees
When purchasing a house, there are numerous expenses that you need to consider. Closing costs and fees are some of the most significant expenses that you will have to pay when buying a house. These costs are a combination of fees, charges, and expenses that you will have to pay before you can finalize the purchase of a house.
The costs associated with closing a real estate transaction can be confusing and frustrating to comprehend. The following are some closing costs and fees associated with buying a house:
- Appraisal fees
- Home inspection fees
- Origination fees
- Attorney fees
- Recording and Transfer fees
- Property taxes
- Mortgage insurance premiums
- Notary fees
- Title insurance fees
Closing costs and fees break down
The following is a breakdown of some significant expenses you should expect to incur when closing a real estate transaction:
|Typical Price Range
|$1,000 – $6,000
|$300 – $700
|Home inspection fee
|$300 – $500
|Tax service fee
|$50 – $100
|Title search fee
|$400 – $600
|Flood certification fee
|$20 – $40
|$30 – $150
|$300 – $700
It is essential to note that the above table is not exhaustive but gives you an idea of what to expect and how to prepare your budget. Ensure that you ask your real estate agent or attorney about all the expected fees to avoid any unforeseen expenses.
Home Inspection Costs
Home inspections are a crucial aspect of buying a new house. They help identify potential issues that could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs after you move in. The cost of a home inspection typically depends on the size of the house, the location, and the inspector. But on average, you can expect to pay between $300 and $500 for a basic inspection.
- The scope of the inspection: Some inspectors may charge more for a comprehensive inspection that covers everything from the roof to the basement. Others may offer a basic inspection that only covers the major components of the house, such as the HVAC system, electrical, and plumbing.
- The size and location of the house: Larger and more expensive homes typically require more time and effort to inspect, which can drive up the cost. Inspectors may also charge more if the house is located in a hard-to-reach area or if there are additional travel expenses involved.
- The inspector’s experience and qualifications: Experienced and qualified inspectors may charge more for their services due to their expertise and reputation. However, keep in mind that hiring an inexperienced or unqualified inspector could end up costing you more in the long run if they miss any major issues.
While the cost of a home inspection may seem high, it’s a small price to pay when considering the potential savings in repair costs down the line. It’s important to remember that the cost of a home inspection is a one-time expense, but the cost of repairing major issues discovered after you move in could be ongoing.
Here is a breakdown of the average cost of home inspections across the United States:
|Cost of Basic Inspection
|Cost of Comprehensive Inspection
|$350 – $550
|$550 – $800
|$350 – $500
|$500 – $700
|$400 – $600
|$600 – $900
Keep in mind that these are just average prices, and the cost of a home inspection can vary widely depending on your specific circumstances. It’s always a good idea to get multiple quotes and do your research to find a qualified inspector that fits your budget.
When purchasing a home, one of the most important steps is getting the property appraised. This process involves a professional appraiser evaluating the home’s market value and condition, and producing a report on their findings. Appraisal expenses can be a significant cost for homebuyers, and they may vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the property, location, and complexity of the appraisal process.
- Appraisal fees: This is the cost of hiring a professional appraiser who will conduct the property valuation and produce a report. The fee can vary depending on the appraiser’s experience, the size of the property and the complexity of the appraisal process. Generally, appraisal fees can cost up to a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars.
- Property inspection fees: Prior to the appraisal, the appraiser may conduct an inspection of the property to take note of any physical defects or issues that may affect its value. This is an additional cost that buyers need to consider when budgeting for appraisal expenses. The property inspection fee typically ranges from $200 to $500.
- Additional appraisal costs: In some cases, the appraiser may require additional data or information to be able to produce an accurate report. This may include survey costs, land or environmental assessments, or title reports. These additional expenses typically range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars.
Overall, appraisal expenses can be a significant cost for homebuyers. It is important for buyers to budget accordingly and research potential appraisers beforehand to avoid being overcharged for services or surprised by additional costs.
|$300 to $1,500
|Property inspection fees
|$200 to $500
|Additional appraisal costs
|$500 to $2,000
It is important for homebuyers to keep in mind that the cost of appraisal expenses will vary widely depending on the location and complexity of the property. Working with a trusted appraiser and conducting proper research can help ensure buyers are getting a fair price for appraisal services.
Title insurance and escrow fees
When it comes to purchasing a house, there are many big-ticket items you need to consider. Two of the most important ones are title insurance and escrow fees, so let’s delve into what they are and why they are important.
- Title insurance: This type of insurance is designed to protect you against potential financial losses that may arise because of defects in the title of your new home. For example, if someone claims they have a right to the property that wasn’t disclosed when you bought it, title insurance can help cover your financial losses in case you need to defend your ownership of the property. The cost of title insurance varies depending on where you live, the value of the property you’re buying and the coverage you need. On average, expect to pay around $1,000 for title insurance.
- Escrow fees: An escrow account is a neutral account that is set up by a third-party to ensure that all parties involved in the home-buying process are protected. When you purchase a home, you’ll be required to pay a deposit or down payment. This amount is held in an escrow account until the sale is completed. Escrow fees are the fees charged by the third-party that is managing the account on your behalf. These fees typically range between 1-2% of the purchase price of the home.
While title insurance and escrow fees may seem like additional expenses you could do without, they can actually provide you with some much-needed peace of mind when buying a home. Protecting your investment and ensuring a smooth transaction are well worth the cost in the long run.
Property taxes and insurance costs
One of the biggest ongoing expenses involved in owning a house includes property taxes and insurance costs. These expenses vary depending on the location, size, and value of the property. Therefore, it is important to research and understand the expected costs before making a big purchase.
- Property taxes: Property taxes are based on the value of the property you own and are calculated by the local taxing authority. The tax rate varies between municipalities and can increase or decrease depending on the local economy and government policies. The property tax bill is usually paid annually and is a significant expense that should be considered when calculating the monthly budget for owning a house.
- Home insurance: Home insurance is essential for protecting your home against potential damage or loss due to various events, such as fire, theft, and natural disasters. The cost of home insurance varies based on the location, age, construction type, and overall value of the property, as well as the selected coverage options. The premium can be paid annually or monthly.
It is also essential to understand the factors that affect property taxes and insurance costs, such as:
- Location: Properties located in high-risk areas, such as flood zones or earthquake-prone zones, will have higher insurance costs. In addition, some municipalities have higher property tax rates than others.
- Property value: The higher the value of the property, the higher the property taxes and insurance costs. It is important to note that property taxes can increase if significant improvements are made to the property, such as adding a swimming pool or an extra bedroom.
- Age and condition of the property: Older properties may have higher insurance costs due to the higher risk of damage or maintenance issues. In addition, the condition of the property can affect the insurance premium, as poorly maintained properties are at higher risk of damage.
- Selected coverage options: The coverage options selected for home insurance can affect the premium. For example, a higher deductible may lead to lower insurance costs but higher out-of-pocket expenses in case of a claim.
Finally, it is important to shop around and compare prices and coverage options when selecting insurance policies to ensure the best deal. It is also recommended to consult with a tax professional to understand and ensure compliance with local property tax regulations.
|Property tax rate (per $1,000)
|New York, NY
|Los Angeles, CA
As seen in the above table, property tax rates vary significantly between different locations. Therefore, it is important to consider these rates when selecting a property to purchase and when budgeting for ongoing expenses.
Cost of renovations and repairs
When buying a house, one of the most commonly overlooked costs is the expense of renovations and repairs. Even if you think you’ve found your dream home, the reality is that every house comes with a unique set of issues that must be addressed over time.
To avoid unpleasant surprises down the road, it’s important to budget for renovation and repair costs from the outset. As a general rule of thumb, experts suggest setting aside 1-2% of the home’s value each year for ongoing maintenance and repairs.
Common repair and renovation costs
- Roof repairs or replacement: Depending on the size and complexity of your roof, replacement costs can range anywhere from $5,000 to upwards of $15,000.
- Foundation repairs: These can be some of the most expensive repairs, with costs ranging from $10,000 to $40,000.
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems: A new furnace or air conditioning unit can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the size and brand.
Assessing renovation costs
If you’re considering purchasing a fixer-upper, it is essential to do your research and have a solid understanding of the renovation costs associated with the property. It’s important to hire a professional contractor to assess the property and provide a detailed estimate for the renovation costs.
It’s also advisable to have a contingency plan in place in case the renovation costs exceed the initial estimate. Experts recommend setting aside an additional 10-20% of the initial estimate for unforeseen issues that may arise during the renovation process.
|$5,000 – $15,000
|$10,000 – $40,000
|New HVAC system
|$3,000 – $10,000
Being aware of renovation and repair costs is an important part of purchasing a house. By understanding the potential costs associated with maintaining your home, you can ensure that you are financially prepared for the responsibilities of homeownership.
Furniture and Decor Expenses
Furnishing a new house can be an exciting and daunting task, especially considering the costs involved in purchasing furniture and decor items. However, it is important to note that furnishing a new home is considered a big purchase, and it is important to budget accordingly. Here are some furniture and decor expenses to keep in mind while purchasing a new house:
- Sofas and chairs
- Dining table and chairs
- Beds and mattresses
- Dressers and nightstands
- Coffee and end tables
- Rugs and curtains
- Wall art and decor items
- Lighting fixtures
- Outdoor furniture and decor
It is important to remember that quality furniture and decor items can be a worthwhile investment, as they can last for a long time. It is also important to shop around and compare prices, as many furniture and decor stores offer sales and discounts throughout the year.
One way to save on furniture and decor expenses is to purchase items second-hand. Thrift stores, online marketplaces, and garage sales can offer great deals on quality items. It is also possible to upcycle and repurpose furniture and decor items, giving them a new lease on life for a fraction of the cost of buying new.
|$1,000 – $3,000
|$500 – $1,500
|$500 – $2,500
|$200 – $800
|$50 – $200
Remember, furnishing a new home can be expensive, but it is possible to do it on a budget. With some creativity and smart shopping, you can create a comfy and stylish space without breaking the bank.
Moving and Relocation Costs
When it comes to buying a new house, one of the biggest costs that often gets overlooked is the cost of moving and relocation. Whether you are moving across town or across the country, there are a number of expenses that you need to factor in.
- Hiring professional movers: Unless you have access to a large truck and a group of willing friends, you may need to hire professional movers to help transport all your belongings to your new location. The cost of movers can vary widely depending on the distance, the amount of stuff you have, and the time of year.
- Packing and supplies: Even if you decide to do the moving yourself, you will still need to factor in the cost of packing materials like boxes, tape, and bubble wrap. These can really add up, especially if you have a lot of fragile items that require extra care.
- Transportation: Depending on the distance of your move, you may need to arrange for transportation for your vehicles. This can include the cost of shipping your car, or renting a trailer to tow it behind your moving truck.
It’s important to budget for these costs in advance, so that you are not caught off guard by unexpected expenses. In addition, it’s a good idea to get quotes from multiple moving companies, and to compare prices for packing supplies and other materials, in order to get the best deal possible.
Another important factor to consider is the cost of relocating to a new city or town. Depending on where you are moving, you may need to pay for travel expenses, temporary housing, and more.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the other costs you should consider when relocating:
|If you need to stay in a hotel or Airbnb before your new home is ready, this can add up quickly. Be sure to factor in the cost of food, transportation, and other expenses as well.
|If you need to store your belongings for any period of time, you may need to pay for a storage unit. Depending on the size and location, these can be quite expensive, so be sure to shop around for the best deal.
|If you need to fly or drive to your new location, be sure to factor in the cost of gas, airfare, and other travel expenses. This can add up quickly, especially if you are moving a long distance.
|When you move into a new home, you may need to pay deposits for utilities like electricity, gas, and water. These can range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand, depending on where you are moving.
By being proactive and planning ahead, you can reduce the stress that often comes with moving and relocation. By factoring in all of the costs associated with moving, you will be better prepared to handle unexpected expenses and ensure a smooth transition to your new home.
FAQs: What Is Considered a Big Purchase When Buying a House?
1. Is a new roof considered a big purchase when buying a house?
Yes, a new roof can be a big purchase when buying a house. The cost of a new roof can vary depending on the size and type of the roof.
2. Are appliances considered a big purchase when buying a house?
Yes, appliances can be a big purchase when buying a house. This includes refrigerators, ovens, stovetops, and more.
3. Is a new heating and cooling system considered a big purchase when buying a house?
Yes, a new heating and cooling system can be a big purchase when buying a house, especially if the system needs to be installed from scratch.
4. Are new windows considered a big purchase when buying a house?
Yes, new windows can be a big purchase when buying a house. The cost of new windows can vary depending on the size and type of the windows.
5. Is a new garage door considered a big purchase when buying a house?
Yes, a new garage door can be a big purchase when buying a house, especially if the door is custom-made or the opening needs to be resized.
6. Are home renovations considered a big purchase when buying a house?
Yes, home renovations can be a big purchase when buying a house. This includes things like updating the kitchen or bathroom, installing new flooring, and more.
7. Is furniture considered a big purchase when buying a house?
Yes, furniture can be a big purchase when buying a house, especially if the buyer is starting with an empty space and needs to furnish the entire home.
Thanks for reading our FAQs about what is considered a big purchase when buying a house. We hope you found this information helpful in preparing to make your home purchase. Remember to visit our site again for more helpful tips and information about the home buying process!