Mortgage Closing Costs Up 6% Driven by New Regulations
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) Mortgage closing costs rose by 6% over the past year and now average $2,539 on a $200,000 loan, according to Bankrate.com.
Closing costs consist of origination fees that are also known as the lender fees and third-party fees which include the appraisal cost and credit score checks.
Origination fees increased by 9% to $1,877 and third-party fees rose 1% to $662. The highest closing costs are in Texas and the cheapest is in Nevada.
Texas's average closing costs of $3,046 are the highest in the nation. Alaska ($2,897), New York ($2,892), Hawaii ($2,808) and Wisconsin ($2,706) round out the top five.
The cheapest closing costs are in Nevada with an average of $2,265. Tennessee ($2,366), Missouri ($2,387), Ohio ($2,392) and Washington, D.C. ($2,402) comprise the rest of the bottom five.
"New mortgage regulations are the biggest reasons why closing costs went up over the past year," said Polyana da Costa, senior mortgage analyst, Bankrate.com. "The good news is that some lenders have not increased fees. To get the best deal, consumers should compare good faith estimates from at least three different lenders."
Consumers need to look beyond the interest rate when they are getting a mortgage. The best method is to ask a lender for a good faith estimate form in writing, she said. By law, consumers can receive the report in three days.
Another strategy is to call lenders and ask them what their current closing costs are, da Costa said.
"It's a good way to start," she said. "Look at the big picture by shopping around and ask about closing costs."
Too many consumers are focused solely on the mortgage interest rate that they do not even think about the closing costs, da Costa said.
"I would keep both the closing costs and mortgage interest rate in mind as soon as you start shopping for a mortgage," she said. "Don't get too hung up on the interest rate." While some lenders claim their closing costs are lower, some of them will make up the difference with a higher mortgage rate, da Costa cautions.
Consumers should be aware of lenders who claim they can offer deals without any closing costs.
"There is no such thing," she said. "Consumers may not be paying upfront, but somehow it is built into the mortgage rate. You're not getting free closing costs."
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Consumers should focus on their lender or origination fees since it is negotiable. "Consumers need to be aware this is how lenders get paid," da Costa said. "Don't settle for first lender you talk to. Get quotes from several lenders."