Understanding Hidden Costs: What Buyers Need to Know When Purchasing a Home in MA or NH

Are you considering buying a home in Massachusetts or New Hampshire? While a home search can be exciting, it's important to be aware of the various fees and costs that often come with the home buying process. In addition to the purchase price of the home, there are several fees that buyers may not be aware of. Understanding these costs upfront can help you budget effectively and avoid any surprises along the way. Here are some key fees to consider:

Home Inspection: Typically ranging from $600 to $1000, a home inspection is important in the home buying process. This fee covers the cost of hiring a professional inspector to assess the condition of the property and identify any potential issues. It may also cover things like a pest inspection, water and/or radon tests. Be sure to ask your inspector details on the types of inspections they offer. 

Appraisal: An appraisal, which can cost between $500 and $1000, is required by lenders to ensure that the property's value supports the loan amount. This fee is paid by the buyer to the lender directly. Usually an appraiser visits the home, looks at similar properties online and meets with the list agent before finalizing their report. 

Attorney or Title Company Fees: In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, buyers can expect to pay between $1000 and $2000 for attorney or title company fees. These professionals handle the legal aspects of the home purchase, including reviewing the purchase and sale, the title search, document preparation, and closing process. This fee is usually rolled into the closing costs.

Down Payment: Buyers are generally required to make a down payment when purchasing a home (there are some exceptions). The minimum down payment is typically at least 3% of the purchase price, although higher percentages are often recommended to secure better loan terms and make your offer more competitive.

Closing Costs: Closing costs can range from $5000 to $12000, covering expenses such as loan origination fees, property taxes, homeowner's insurance, and prepaid interest. It's important to budget for these costs in addition to the down payment.

Movers: The cost of hiring professional movers can vary depending on the distance of the move, the size of the home, the amount of furniture and additional services required. Buyers should factor in moving expenses when planning their budget.

Buyer Agent Fees: In both states, buyer agent representation fees typically range from 2% to 3% of the purchase price. While in many cases, these fees may be covered by the seller's proceeds of the sale, buyers should be prepared to cover this cost if necessary.

Transfer Tax (NH Only): In New Hampshire, a transfer tax of 1.5% is usually split between the buyer and seller. This fee is based on the purchase price of the property and is paid at the time of closing.

Understanding these fees and costs associated with purchasing a home in Massachusetts or New Hampshire is essential for a smooth and successful home buying experience. By being prepared and informed, buyers can navigate the process with confidence and avoid any unexpected financial burdens. If you have any questions about these fees or need further assistance with your home purchase, don't hesitate to reach out!

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