Common Costs and Expenses when Buying Lake Oconee Real Estate

Buying a home is more than just purchasing a piece of real estate for a set price point. Though you will pay for the home based on the sales price you agree to, there are often other costs to consider, too. If you are planning to buy a home within the Lake Oconee real estate market, it helps to have a bit of an understanding of what the other expenses may be. Doing so could help you to save some frustrations later on. It is always in your best interest to work with an experienced real estate agent and we have the best and brightest team around!

Common Expenses to Expect When Buying a Home

What are some of the costs of buying a home? Let’s break down some of the most common costs you should expect in Eatonton and Putnam Counties, Georgia.

Down Payment

The first and largest out-of-pocket expense for most people is the actual down payment. A down payment is money you pay to buy the home that comes from savings or another reserve. It’s not a part of your loan. Most of the time, conventional lenders expect 20% down, but there are numerous ways to reduce that amount including through FHA and VA loans (as well as other programs). You may also qualify for down payment assistance programs. 

The larger your down payment is now, the better it is in terms of costs because it will:

  • Help you avoid paying private mortgage insurance, which saves you money each month
  • May help you to get a lower interest rate 
  • May help you to get a lower monthly payment

Down payments need to be affordable to you, though. You do not want to hand over your entire life savings and then not have the money you need to make updates to the home or pay for moving costs.

Closing Costs

Closing costs are a type of administrative fees that are paid during the closing of the loan. Some closing costs are paid by the seller, but most fall on the shoulders of the buyer. Closing costs may range from 3 to 5% of the home sale price. In some cases, you may be able to wrap them into your loan, but in others, you will need to pay them out of pocket. 

Some examples of common closing costs include:

  • Origination fees
  • Appraisal costs
  • Application fees
  • Closing fees
  • Credit reporting fees
  • Discount points 
  • Flood certification
  • Loan origination fees

Your lender will provide you with a full list of all associated closing costs. Be sure to plan for these now so that you do not have to pay interest on them (if you roll them into your loan, you’ll pay interest on the costs throughout the lifetime of your loan, increasing your overall costs).

Property Taxes

Property taxes can change year-to-year in Lake Oconee, but most property owners will need to pay them at the time of purchasing their home or within a short period after. You can get an estimate of the property taxes associated with the real estate you are buying directly from the real estate agent.

Homeowners Insurance

Be sure to contact your insurance agent to learn what the cost of homeowners insurance will be. Most often, your mortgage lenders expect you to have enough insurance in place to cover the value of the home should a total loss occur. Your insurance agent can provide you with a specific quote based on the size, location, and other factors associated with the property.

Upgrades, Maintenance, and Repairs

One of the hardest parts of planning for your new home is knowing what type of work needs to be done to it. A good start is with a home inspection (which is very different from an appraisal). The home inspection will provide you with insight into the condition of all major systems and offer you insight into what may need to be repaired. 

Consider the following:

  • If there are substantial concerns with major systems, the foundation, or the roof, discuss these with your agent and ask for concessions on the offer you put in or plan to pay for them.
  • Consider updates that need to happen right away, such as carpet cleaning, painting, and any repairs to mechanical systems. 
  • Think about both inside and outside needs, as often there are repairs needed to landscaping and outdoor lighting.
  • Plan to pay for new door locks added to the home. 
  • Consider long-term projects and the costs associated with them.

Also, work with your real estate agent to get a good idea of what to expect in terms of costs for utilities for that area. 

Are You Considering a Purchase?

If you are thinking about Lake Oconee real estate, you need a team you can rely on by your side to help you to plan for and manage the costs related to buying a new home. For help in Eatonton and Putnam Counties, Georgia, put our team to work for you. Contact Kim and Lin Logan Real Estate, the top-selling real estate team in Lake Oconee since 2008.