The REAL Cost of Buying a Home

The REAL Cost of Buying a Home

As most of you know, Chance and I are waiting to close on our house towards the end of the month. It's the first house we're buying together and the anticipation is killing me because I just want to be move in already! While we wait, I thought it would be helpful to share some tips for first time home buyers from my lovely friend Jessica Deleo over at RVA Homes With Jess.

I met Jessica through work 4 years ago in Richmond right after college. We were working closely at a small advertising agency and became quick friends because Jessica had such an ambitious personality and sort of became a mentor to me. Fast forward to today and even though we hadn't really kept in close touch other than the occasional comment on social media, we recently reconnected through our blogs! I'm thrilled to finally have a real life blogger friend that I can collaborate with, which is why I am so excited to share this post today. 

Before buying a house, I definitely did not realize the true cost that goes into it before you even close on your dream home. Like most people, I assumed the downpayment was pretty much it and then we would jump right into mortgage payments next - nope there's actually many other upfront costs associated that I'm going to share with you all courtesy of Jessica and her expertise in real estate! Did I mention she's a Virginia licensed Realtor® in the city of Richmond - so definitely connect with her if you're buying a home in that area and don't forget to read more of her guides here.



The REAL Cost of Buying a Home



Inspection costs – ~ $300-$500

Our inspection costs were almost $800, but the average price can range between $300 - $500 depending on whether you have gas, oil, septic tanks, etc as well as the size of the home and any additional buildings you may want inspected. You may want additional inspections like radon tests, fireplace and flues, lead paint, sewer and water pipers, or asbestos – all of which would be additional fees. We ended up having a radon test done luckily the results weren't bad, but we were able to get the sellers to install to a radon system.


EMD –  ~ $1,000+

Depending on the price of the home or requirements by the seller you will likely be asked to put $1,000 or more into an earnest money account. This is typically money that is held by your real estate agent’s brokerage but the good news is it is often applied to your closing costs or returned to you once your transaction closes. Read more about earnest money deposits.


Closing Costs – Varies

Your closing costs are dependent on your loan type, amount and what you work out with the seller. Sometimes the seller is willing to contribute to closing costs if you ask for that in your original offer for the home. If you are short on cash you can also offer to pay over the asking price for the home so that it is rolled into your loan if they are willing to pay the cash at closing. This is a good tool if you can still buy the home within it’s appraisal value. This is definitely a strategy to discuss with your Realtor®. Ask your loan officer to review all of the options with you as far what your closing costs will look like.  


Materials to fix items found in inspection – Varies

If you have a new build this should be a minimal cost or should be taken care of by the builder. Check your builder’s contract for a 60 and 90 day repair option. The older your home the more potential you’ll need savings to fix or replace major systems like your water heater, air handlers, or appliances.


Getting keys made/locks changed – $2.50-$500

If you are someone who is concerned about who may have previously had keys to your home  you’ll want to change the locks or get them rekeyed. If you a little more of a carefree spirit (or just forgetful like me) you may just make an extra copy or two of your keys once you get them at closing.

Time off work – depending on the type of work you do and how you get paid, this might be a significant cost for you.


Movers – $300+

If you don’t have family or friends where you’re moving (or they have opted out of helping) you’ll likely need to hire movers unless you want to spend multiple days and a ton of money in Advil packing a U-haul.


Overlapping Rent/Mortgage

If you are renting you may be able to perfectly time your rental contract to end by the time you have to move! Wouldn’t that be amazing?! Just incase that isn’t the case (closing gets moved back, you can’t move that weekend, etc.) you should be prepared to pay to extend your lease, pay month-to-month (which is usually a higher cost) or potentially have to rent a storage space if you can’t extend your rental but can’t move into your new place yet.


New Appliances – $200+

If you have a new build or if the previous owners decide to take larger items like the washing machine or the refrigerator with them you’ll need a cash stash to be able to purchase those items. If you move around any American holiday though (Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor Day) or good ol’ Black Friday you can find great deals at the major home improvement stores.

HUGE thanks to Jessica for sharing these tips, which you can also find on her blog by visiting this link here. We seriously cannot wait to share our new home with you all! We have a lot of work to do but I'm so excited to see how we can make our first house our dream home while we are in New York!

Here's a sneak peak into some of the rooms and some of the ways I'm already planning on decorating once we get settled in. Feel free to share your tips in the comments below!



I know this isn't giving you all a whole lot, but I want it to be a surprise when I share the full house with you all - plus I'm already planning to take you through room-by-room when we start to makes changes in order to make it exactly how we'd like. That said, enjoy these photos of the current kitchen in our house that I pulled from the listing. 



Only 20 days until we close on the house and I already have tons of Pinterest boards and ideas for how I'd like to redo certain rooms - starting with the kitchen. I'll definitely be sharing more once we get moved in, but below are some items I'm looking forward to using to remodel the kitchen.