Upfront Home Costs Add Up – Especially if Downpayment is Included


Two Zillow subsidiaries are estimating it will cost the average U.S. homebuyer $40,000 to get in the door of their new home. Depending on where the home is located, according to a new analysis from RealEstate.com and Thumbtack, the number could be $26,641 (in Cleveland) or $202,834 (San Jose.) That headline number however is a little misleading.

The study looked at the one-time fees that homebuyers can expect as they close and move into those homes, and the largest chunk is, of course, the downpayment. In their analysis the two companies estimated the amount needed for a 15 percent downpayment on a typical U.S. home ($32,700 in July 2018) plus additional costs.

First there are closing costs, including the origination fee, appraisal, transfer taxes, title insurance, the first year of homeowners’ insurance. These add about $6,250 to the cash needed to close on a loan. Other costs are those for moving (eight hours of a moving van and movers and/or pizza and beer for friends who volunteer to help), changing the locks, mounting the television, cleaning the house and yard; figure another $1,130 on average.

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