Homebuyers spend an average $40,000 in one-time fees

The number rises to near $203,000 in San Jose, according to a study from RealEstate.com and Thumbtack

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The one-time fees of buying and moving into a new home could set you back roughly $40,000, according to a new study from RealEstate.com — a Zillow Group company — and Thumbtack. It’s a cost that comes as a shock to many first-time homebuyers, the companies say.

“Buying a home, especially for the first time, is an exciting but stressful experience,” said Justin LaJoie, RealEstate.com’s general manager. “Some of that stress can be eased by making sure you know all of the costs that come with buying and owning a home, so you can budget appropriately and not get caught off guard well into the buying process.”

The single biggest cost is the down payment, which averages 15 percent for first-time buyers, according to a Zillow Group report on consumer housing trends. With the typical U.S. home costing $218,000 in July, that would result in a $32,700 down payment.

On top of the down payment, closing costs — including origination fee, appraisal, transfer taxes, the first year of homeowners insurance, title insurance, and more — add about $6,250 more to purchase the median home.

The actual cost of moving can hit your wallet hard as well. Data from Thumbtack, an online services company which matches clients with professional vendors for a variety of services, show that eight hours of moving, installing new locks, mounting a television and a full interior and yard cleaning costs $1,130 on average.

“It’s imperative first-time homebuyers do their research around unexpected homeownership costs, including projects that help them prepare for the big move,” said Thumbtack Lead Economist Lucas Puente. “While there may be some initial sticker shock, these projects can help get a house move-in ready.”

In San Jose, where tech companies have driven up the cost of housing it would cost buyers $202,834 on average, in one-time payments alone to move into a new median-priced home — which is more than the median home price in 11 cities.

(Credit: Zillow Group)

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