Closing Surprises

Physician's Money Digest, September30 2003, Volume 10, Issue 18

One solution:

As a savvy mortgage shopper, youcheck out local lenders, go online toBankrate.com, nail down the best deal,lock in a mortgage rate, and get a goodfaith estimate of the closing costs. But thatgood faith estimate isn't binding, and youcould end up paying thousands of dollarsmore in closing costs than you expected.Comparing interest rates and points iseasy, but closing costs can be a confusingand ever-shifting array of charges, fromlegal costs to document fees. Ask lenders for the interest rate on ano-cost loan, which folds points and closingcosts into the mortgage rate. The resultinginterest rate may be a quarter pointto a half point higher, but this strategymakes comparing rates a simple task andeliminates nasty surprises.