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receiving home keysIf you’ve ever talked to a first-time home buyer about buying a home, they probably warned you about the hidden costs of buying a home. Many who are buying a home for the first time, after all, find themselves surprised by the costs involved. The reality, however, is that while there are always (often unexpected) costs that lie outside of the home listing price, you can prepare for these costs beforehand. As part one of a two-part series, here is a look at some of the most common “hidden costs” associated with buying a home.

Home inspection

A home inspection isn’t necessarily required of you as a home buyer, but it’s always a good idea to have your home inspected before buying. A good home inspection will outline estimated costs of needed repairs, as well as details on the condition of the home relative to other homes of the same age. A home inspection can catch major issues, which 1) might help you decide whether or not you want to buy the home, and 2) you might use in your negotiations over home price if you do choose to buy the home. A home inspector typically won’t cover every potential pitfall of a listed home (they won’t look inside the walls, for example), but they will examine the state of the foundation, heating and cooling systems, electrical work, plumbing, the state of the roof, and other major structural factors. Costs vary depending on the size of the home, but expect to pay between $300 and $500.

Pest inspection

Getting a pest inspection during the home buying process is less common, but it’s definitely a good idea when there could be wood-destroying insects taking shelter in your future home. This will typically cost between $50 and $200.

Adjustment costs

Adjustment costs cover any prepaid costs, such as property taxes, filling the oil tank, and gas and water bills.

Legal fees

It is a good idea as a homebuyer to have an attorney who specializes in property law review the terms of the offer before signing on the dotted line. An attorney will also perform a title search, register a new title, and gather the documents needed to figure out adjustment costs. Expect to pay between $1,500 and $2,500 here.

Keep an eye out on the blog for our next blog post in this two-part series, which will detail the remainder of “hidden costs” you can expect when buying a home.