No Comments

Buyer Settlement Fees

mortgage, house, cash, business, buy, estate, exchange, finance, home, investment, money, payment, purchase, real, sell, transfer, banking, loan, wealth, bank, earn, rent, pink, font, illustration, graphic design, graphics, icon, art, Free Images In PxHereBuyer’s Closing Costs

When buying a new home, there are several fees that need to be taken into account. Buyers need to be aware of these fees, as lenders will want to be sure the buyers have the funds available to close.

Closing costs of a home vary and can range from 2-5% of the home’s sale price. Your lender will be able to give you an estimate, when applying for your mortgage.

Other fees that may not be included are those charged by the title or escrow company.

A Closing Disclosure (CD) is required to be provided to a buyer 3 business days before the closing date of the mortgage. The CD will also include items such as monthly payments, loan fees, loan terms, and any other outstanding charges. A buyer can compare this to the estimate provided by the lender at the application time.

Mortgage Fees

Loan origination fee: The amount the lender charges for for processing the mortgage application. The fee varies, but typically runs around 1% of the mortgage. This fee may be negotiated into the rate of the mortgage.

VA funding fee: This only applies to a VA loan. It is a fee charged to the veteran to close the loan, and can be paid in cash or rolled into mortgage. This amount is based veteran status, down payment, and whether they have had a VA loan before.

Appraisal: A fee paid for a licensed appraiser to determine the value of the property.

Attorney fee: This fee only applies when using an attorney within the transaction.

Discount points: These can be used to adjust the mortgage interest rate, and are considered prepaid interest. A point is 1% of the mortgage.

Lender’s title insurance: This covers the lender and allows the lender to hold an enforceable lien from title claims on the house.  It is usually issued with an owner’s title policy and is priced separately at closing.

Mortgage insurance: For most loans in excess of 80% of loan to value (LTV), they will require mortgage insurance to protect the lender from loss if the property in the event the property is foreclosed.  VA loans do not have this requirement. There are 2 parts for FHA. The 1st is a charge of 1.75% of loan amount. The 2nd is a monthly amount which is added to the payment.  Conventional loans typically collect the 1st month’s premium in advance, while subsequent amounts are rolled into the mortgage payment.

Recording fees: These are fees charged by the closing company for filing legal documents with the municipal or county recorders.  Theses documents include the mortgage and the deed.

Survey fees: This is not a typical fee in an ordinary real estate transaction. This fee is required by a lender, to verify property lines, shared fences and driveways, and to identify any other encumbrances.

Underwriting fee: This fee covers the lender’s research and determination for the mortgage package to meet the lender’s requirements.

Mortgage Escrow Fees

Property taxes: Lenders may require 2-3  months of taxes be held in escrow. These are typically paid 60-90 by the lender before they are due. They are prorated from the date of closing.

Property insurance: Insurance is pre-paid in advance, with the annual premium is due at closing.  The lender may also require 1 additional month, so that the premium may be paid 1 month prior to renewal.

Flood insurance: This fee only applies to lenders that require flood insurance on a home based on the assessed location in a flood zone or proximity to a flood zone.

Home Purchase Fees

Settlement fee: Upon the closing of the property, this fee is paid to the title, escrow company, or attorney that closes the transaction.

HOA Fee: This only applies to properties within a Home Owner Association (HOA). HOA fees are usually prepaid and are prorated at closing.

Owner’s Title insurance: This insures the buyer, clear and marketable title from the seller.  It serves the purpose of protecting the new owners’ interests if they are challenged.  It may not be required, but is recommended.

Pest inspection: This fee may not pertain in most transactions, but is performed by a licensed exterminator.

Property inspection: After the purchase agreement is signed, a professional home inspection is completed to determine the condition of the property.

Title search: This fee covers the title search of a property. It is a separate fee charged in addition to the premium for the title insurance.

Transfer taxes: Taxes to be collected by a government entity.

For more details, you can download a Closing Disclosure Explainer from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.

No Comments

April 2022 Housing Report

By MNR News posted 5/11/22

New listings shrink, interest rates creep up, and demand remains high

MINNEAPOLIS (May 10, 2022) — With closed sales down by almost 11% over last April, the sales season was off to a comparatively slower start. Historically, the numbers indicated a return to more normal patterns for this time of year. Declines in new listings, which were down nearly 7% compared to a year ago, contributed to softening sales. Statewide, there were 8,567 homes for sale, down 9.6% from April 2021. This equates to just over a one-month supply of properties on the market, a trend that has persisted since the end of 2020. Despite the limited inventory, buyer demand remains high, pushing the median home sales price in Minnesota up 11.5% to $340,000. On average, sellers received 102.8% percent of their asking price, a 0.7% increase over April 2021.

“As low inventories and high consumer demand have become the new normal, market pressures continue driving up the median price of a home,” said Chris Galler, CEO of Minnesota Realtors. “Interest rates continue to rise, too. A 30-year fixed mortgage is now 5.6% and still climbing. That’s why the affordability index, which measures whether the average family earns enough to obtain a mortgage on a typical home, dropped 29% over last year. This environment disproportionately impacts lower- and mid-income buyers—especially first-time homebuyers. Increasing the availability of affordable homes calls for a range of solutions, from down-payment assistance and more new construction to incentives for fence-sitting homeowners to sell their properties. There are no magic bullets, but over time these approaches will yield good results.”

April year-over-year summary of key market indicators:

  • Closed sales decreased 10.9% to 6,444
  • Median sales price increased 11.5% to $340,000
  • Average sales price increased 12.6% to $388,667
  • New listings decreased 6.7% to 9,814
  • Pending sales decreased 9.5% to 8,124
  • Days on the market decreased 16.7% to 30 days
  • Homes for sale decreased 9.6% to 8,567

May be an image of text that says '8,567 Homes for Sale $340,000 Median Sales Price -9.6% vs April 2021 11.5% vS April 2021 Minnesota Realtors® April 2022 Housing Report 30 6,444 Closed Sales Days on Market -10.9% vsApril vS April 2021 vs April 2021'

Closed Home Sales Across Minnesota by Region

In April, closed sales declined in 12 out of 13 regions compared to a year ago, bringing Minnesota’s average number of closed home sales down 10.9% year over year. Only one region reported an increase: Southwest Central at 3.6%. The smallest declines were seen in Southeast at 7.3%, 7-County Twin Cities at 8.5%, and Southwest at 8.9%. The largest declines were reported in South Central at 19.8%, Headwaters at 22.9%, and West Central at 28.6%. See the chart below for more details comparing closed home sales for April 2022 to April 2021.

The seven-county Twin Cities region comprises Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties. The official Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan statistical area recognized by the Census Bureau consists of 16 counties, on
which MAR & SPAAR local associations report.

View full regional and county reports here.

View statewide report here.

No Comments

4 Outdoor Trends on the Rise

By MNR News 

After a long tough winter, Minnesotans are ready reclaim the fresh air and natural spaces of their yards. Sure, the grass is matted and garden beds are disheveled, but it’s all a canvas for your imagination. With a few tools, supplies, and a little sweat, you can turn it into a colorful oasis for relaxation, play, and a socially distanced garden party or two. Here are a few tips to get you started. 

 the Front Yard  

Until recently, front yards were strictly ornamental. A few bushes; a smattering of flowers; and maybe a lawn gnome to keep the maple tree company. Then the pandemic happened, and this overlooked space became a nexus for spontaneous, safe gatherings with friends and neighbors. Some emerging trends for revitalizing your front lawn include: 


  • Firepits circled with comfortable camp chairs or, if budget permits, stone pavers and masonry seating walls 
  • Bistro-style table and cushioned outdoor chairs 
  • Walkways bordered with bright flowers, bushes, and attractive ground-cover plants 
  • Bird feeders help wildlife and bring beautiful visitors to your yard 
  • White picket fence that frames the perimeter 


And don’t forget about the porch. Cover that concrete slab with a colorful outdoor rug. Add a rustic touch with a vintage accent table topped with a vibrant potted fern. And turn your front door into a beacon for good times with a coat of bold primary color. And paint those shutters to match! String some party lights overhead and let the good times roll! 

Bring the Indoors Out and the Outdoors In

Make the most of Minnesota’s precious sunny seasons by blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living space. Whether you’re on a tight budget or have big dreams and the money to match, there are many ways to create seamless flow between your indoor sanctuary and private outdoor haven. 


  • Add an outdoor couch and other lounge furniture to the patio or deck 
  • Create a private courtyard with a vine-covered or glass-roofed pergola 
  • Bring the natural vista inside by installing expansive accordion or sliding-glass doors or full glass walls 
  • Build an outdoor kitchen replete with a gas or charcoal grill or smoker with generous counter and workspace 
  • Bring a touch of Florida to Minnesota with an outdoor bar 
  • Enjoy your own private spa with a jacuzzi or hot tub 
  • Stretch the season into fall and beyond with an outdoor heating lamp on the deck or patio 

Create a Garden Fit for a Party 

Not only do gardens enhance your yard with color and beauty, they can also grace your table with fresh veggies, herbs, and fruit from spring through fall. When well designed, gardens create focal points and can make even the smallest yard seem bigger than its actual size. 


  • Use raised beds to elevate flower or vegetable gardens 
  • Create curving walkways between garden beds with stone pavers 
  • Soften the hard lines of a patio slab with a border of flowers or prairie grass 
  • Bring life to the deck with decorative terracotta urns planted with herbs 
  • Make a fountain, pond or other water element the center of a garden 

Pro Tip : Make a plan or sketch showing all the elements you want to incorporate, from raised beds to walkways, border plants, and patio. This helps you see the complete “canvas” of your backyard composition before you break ground. 

Landscape for Year-Round Beauty

Minnesota’s winter doesn’t have to end enjoyment of your home’s outdoor spaces. By choosing the right mix of evergreens, perennials, and ornamental grasses, you can take in heart-warming views from your windows, even when it’s far too cold to venture outside. 


Select a mix of plants with different heights, silhouettes, textures and colors. Pines spruces and cedars are evergreen, look stunning after a snowstorm, and light up the holidays when you add strings of lights. Ornamental grasses with feathery heads are radiant in the winter sun. Wintergreen Boxwoods are broad-leafed evergreen shrubs that can be pruned into French-garden-style geometries or left wild and bushy for a touch of English-cottage warmth. Some other plants to consider for you winter landscape include: 


  • Paper Bark Maple with attractive exfoliating bark 
  • Ground-covering Pachysandra for a lush green carpet 
  • Winterberry Holly with round orange berries 
  • Cheery green Hellebores that flower brilliantly in early spring