“BORROWERS have some weapons for keeping closing costs down, the result of recent guidelines requiring lenders to disclose certain fees, but perhaps the most underutilized consumer tool simply involves old-fashioned haggling.”
“Good-faith estimate rules, part of a tougher Truth in Lending Act that emerged from the mortgage crisis, mean that lenders must provide a clear picture of the costs involved in buying or refinancing a home. Yet consumers may not realize that some of those numbers are actually negotiable, mortgage experts say.”
“Closing costs can run a borrower 3 to 6 percent of the price of a property, according to the Federal Reserve. In 2010, the average cost for a $200,000 purchase rose by nearly 37 percent, to $3,741, according to Bankrate.com, a financial data publisher; the average in New York State was $5,623.”The pitfall in closing is that
“Most borrowers pay less attention to closing costs, focusing instead on the interest rate offered by a lender. But because many of the fees associated with closing are not set in stone, mortgage experts say, consumers should review the line-by-line estimates with a view toward challenging them. Lenders are required to outline all the estimated closing costs within three days of receiving a loan application.”As with many things in life, shop around. But perhaps the most important rule is to ask questions. That's what we're here for.
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