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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)


Buying a home is already an expensive endeavor. To make matters worse, buying invariably comes with closing costs. Closing costs run the gamut from transfer taxes and bank fees to attorney and appraiser fees. The actual tally for closing costs is difficult to determine, since it varies widely depending on the price of the property being purchased and whether one is purchasing a coop or condo. As a rule of thumb, however, buyers in New York City should have at least $8,000 to $10,000 on hand to cover basic closing cost but much more on hand if buying a luxury property, buying a condo, or buying in a coop or condo that requires maintenance fees to be held in an escrow.

Generally, a purchaser’s closing costs fall into two categories: loan costs (money owed to the lender for services) and other costs (costs you owe to the co-op, condo, or seller). While not every purchase will require a buyer to cover all the closing costs outlined in this article (and actual fees vary widely), buyers are generally expected to cover most of the closing costs described in the following sections. Notably, if you’re buying a condo also be prepared for additional closing costs, including both city and state mortgage recording taxes.

Loan Costs (Coops and Condos)

While it may seem counter-intuitive to pay a lender to secure a loan (after all, you’ll be paying them back in interest for decades), when you rely on financing, there are many upfront costs. These costs include origination charges and a host of other smaller fees for services such as appraisals.

Origination Charges

Depending on the lender and whether you opt to purchase points, expect at least some origination charges, including the following:

Application Fee – $175 Many lenders charge an application fee, which is usually $150 to $200

Commitment Fee – $1000 (cost can be fixed or a percentage of the undisbursed loan and will be higher for larger loans). This is a fee (either flat rate or a fixed percentage) that lenders charge as compensation for guaranteeing a loan at some point in the future.

Points – Variable costs If you’re a first-time buyer, origination points may be a new concept. At their most basic, origination points are a fee paid to cover the evaluation, processing, and approval of a home loan. The more points paid, the lower the interest rate on your mortgage. Typically, one point is equivalent to 1 percent of the mortgage.

Other Lending Costs Typically Charged by the Lender to Buyer

In addition to origination fees, buyers will typically be expected to cover the following costs and most lenders will automatically charge these costs (i.e., buyers won’t be able to shop around for other options):

Appraisal – $585
This cost covers the appraisal of the unit carried out by the lender to ensure the unit has not been over- or under-valued.

Credit Report Lender - $24
Generally, lenders pull reports for buyers from all three major credit bureaus and this comes at a cost.

Lender Flood Certification – $5
This small cost is simply a way for the lender to confirm that the property is not in a known flood zone; if the property is in a flood zone, the lender may still proceed with the mortgage but will require the purchaser to take out additional flood insurance.

Title - Settlement / Closing - $1,100
This fee covers the cost of another service provided by the lender—a thorough search to ensure that the property isn’t currently in arrears of its property taxes and that any existing loans or liens on the property have been paid in full. Simply put, this fee ensures a buyer is about to inherit someone else’s financial mess.  

Other Services

Beyond the aforementioned fees, in New York City, anyone purchasing a coop or condo should be prepared to cover a host of other services for which buyers may or may be able to shop around. These fees include:

Bankruptcy Search –$70
This search ensures that you have not declared bankruptcy since applying for your loan (earlier declarations will appear on your credit report—this is a second check).

Co-op Lien Search – $380
Generally, the purchaser’s attorney does a lien search of any UCC filings, judgments and liens against the cooperative corporation or sponsor.

Escrow Service Fee – $75
Once a contract closes, one puts their “earnest money” or down payment into an escrow while the deal moves toward a close. The escrow agent charges a fee (flat or fixed percentage of the sales price) to hold the money during this time.

• Municipal Search – $200-$400
This service, generally carried out by the buyer’s attorney, is essentially a review the title search for the property being purchased.

Patriot Act Search – $70
The Patriot Act Search is another cost that may come as a surprise, but since 2001, anyone buying a property in the United States is subject to a search to ensure they are who they say they are and have no history of involvement in terrorist activities.

Recording Service Fee – $30
After closing, both your mortgage and property transaction will need to be recorded in the county where the closing too place. Locally, this fee is generally no more than $30.

State Tax Search – $125
This additional search is designed to uncover any tax notices related to the property at the state level.  


Other Costs (Coops and Condos)

Taxes and Other Government Fees – Variable and mostly paid by seller

There are two types of taxes that trade hands at closing: recording fees and transfer taxes. Recording fees are generally a minor cost (and covered by the buyer). Transfer taxes, on the other hand, can be significant—fortunately, in New York City, transfer taxes almost always fall on the seller, not buyer. Still, while negotiating your contract be certain to ensure this is the case.


Prepaids - Variable

“Prepaids” refer to any costs that you’ll need to pay before taking possession of your new property. This can include homeowner's insurance, mortgage insurance (if you’ll have it), prepaid interest on your loan, and prepaid property taxes. In New York City, prepaids can add up quickly, especially once you add taxes.

Initial Escrow Payment at Closing – Variable

In many New York City coops and condos, boards ask for anywhere from six months to five years of fees in an Escrow (read more here). If they are due, this additional payment will also be due at the closing.

Coop or Condo Approval Fee - $500 on average

Most coops and condos charge an application fee (generally about $500). Some coops and condos also charge a move in fee but the latter is usually reimbursed—assuming you or your movers don’t damage the building during the move in.

Additional Condo Closing Costs

As a rule of thumb, closing costs in coops are one to two percent of the purchase price, but in condos, closing costs are two to four percent of the purchase price. This reflects the fact that condo purchases also entail two other closing costs.

Mortgage recording tax – Variable (percent of purchase price)

Mortgage recording taxes are generally the largest costs that condo owners face at closing. This tax, which is applied at the city and state level, essentially taxes buyers on any money they borrow to purchase a home. At the city level, the mortgage recording tax is 1.8 percent on mortgage amounts under $500,000 and 1.925 percent on mortgage amounts above $500,000. New York State has its own 0.5 percent tax. So, how high can your mortgage recording tax be? If you put 20% down on a $2,000,000 condo, you can expect to pay over $30,000 in mortgage recording taxes at closing. For more details, visit the New York City mortgage recording tax site and New York State mortgage recording tax site.

Title insurance - $500 to $3,500

Title insurance protects buyers if there is something amiss with the title of their property. While rare, title conflicts do arise. Let’s say someone left a condo to a distant relative in their will but the relative never claimed title to the property and it was subsequently sold. Title insurance is designed to protect buyers from such disputes and from any other problems (e.g., liens or defects) that arose before you made your purchase.

Assistance With Closing Cost

In most cases, buyers are on their own. However, if you’re a first-time buyer, you may be in luck. Some mortgage programs targeting first-time buyers either cover closing costs or include a “closing cost grant,” which is generally a fixed amount (e.g., $5,000 toward closing cost). Be certain to inquire with your lender about closing cost programs.

↓ Alexandra House, 2222 Ocean Avenue, #3B – Midwood

$825,000 | Condo | 2 beds, 2 baths | 1,220 ft2

1 year credit of common charges, real estate taxes, and purchaser closing costs

2222-Ocean-Avenue-01 Alexandra House via The Lion Real Estate
From the listing: With a large west facing exposure, and a second south facing exposure, this space is flooded in light and offers views of a sunset sky. This apartment features high quality Italian porcelain floors, with hard wood floors in the bedrooms. The western exposures are large sliding glass doors leading to you generously sized balcony that can also be accessed from the first bedroom. See floor plan and full details here.

385-First-Avenue-01 Coda Condominium via Compass
From the listing: World-renowned designer, Francis DHaene of DApostrophe Design has combined exquisite finishes and modern touches to create this one of a kind residence. Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase electric city views while flooding the space with natural light. Refined finishes and detailing are found throughout this spacious one bedroom home. Entry foyer features large coat closet and flows into the open U shaped kitchen featuring glossy white Italian lacquer cabinetry.See floor plan and full details here.

42-14-Crescent-Street-01 The Independent via MNS
From the listing: Welcome to residence 8A - a striking and spacious, floor-through home with Manhattan views! The open kitchen with island overlook the grand living and dining space, perfect for entertaining and taking in the views. The incredibly private and spacious primary suite is graced with a large walk-in closet, southern exposure and room for a king-sized bed. See floor plan and full details here.

427-West-154th-Stret-01 The Leo via LG Fairmont Group
From the listing: No expense has been spared in planning this condo, together with maximizing the usage of every square foot. Everything has been carefully selected and are most appreciated by the discerning eye. High ceilings and hardwood floors throughout with a decorative fireplace and exposed brick. Classic pre-war renewed windows with custom electric shades facing south, allow for an abundance of natural light throughout the day. See floor plan and full details here.

↓ The Rutland, 401 Rutland Road, #4C – Prospect Lefferts Gardens

$895,000 | Condo | 2 beds, 2 baths | 918 ft2

Sponsor pays one year of common charges and taxes for all deals signed into contract by March 31st, 2021

401-Rutland-Road-01 The Rutland via Douglas Elliman
From the listing: Residence 4C is a sun-filled 918-square-foot two-bedroom apartment with a 20-square-foot private balcony designed by the prolific and beloved architect Karl Fischer. This building offers a trendy, modern lifestyle in a historic neighborhood famed for its townhouses and tree-lined blocks. All homes in The Rutland offer oversized windows, 7 inch white oak floors, central AC, solid core doors, chic modern kitchens with Samsung & Bosch appliances, quartz counters, and custom cabinetry. A 15-year 421a tax abatement is in effect. See floor plan and full details here.

269-Bennett-Avenue-01 269 Bennett Avenue via LL Real Estate Services LLC
From the listing: This gorgeous home features custom white cabinetry, stone countertops with a breakfast bar and stainless steel appliances. The unit features new hardwood plank flooring throughout, crown molding and a renovated bathroom. See floor plan and full details here.

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Contributing Writer Cait Etherington Cait Etherington has over twenty years of experience working as a journalist and communications consultant. Her articles and reviews have been published in newspapers and magazines across the United States and internationally. An experienced financial writer, Cait is committed to exposing the human side of stories about contemporary business, banking and workplace relations. She also enjoys writing about trends, lifestyles and real estate in New York City where she lives with her family in a cozy apartment on the twentieth floor of a Manhattan high rise.