Tips for keeping closing costs low

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Standing between a buyer and their dream home is a mountain of costs, including agent commissions, attorney fees, lender fees, mortgage insurance, a title search, recording fees, real-estate taxes, survey costs and an appraisal. Here are a few tips to lower those costs via the Wall Street Journal.

Shop around: Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com, told the Journal that buyers should apply with more than one lender to compare origination fees quoted in good-faith estimates. “Be prepared to comparison shop and to negotiate to get the best deal,” he said.

Relationship discounts: Lenders may offer lower origination fees for their customers. For example, Bank of America just rolled out a “Preferred Rewards” program that offers up to $600 in reduced rates.

Closing attorney: While most borrowers stick with a lender-appointed attorney at the closing, they are not required to.

Title insurance: Some states dictate the rate that title insurance providers charge, but not all, McBride told the Journal. [WSJ]Christopher Cameron

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