How much does a mortgage cost? The answer depends on where you live. But no matter which your locale, chances are strong that you'll pay more for a mortgage in 2010 as compared to 2009.
According to Bankrate.com and its annual Closing Cost Survey, a typical $200,000, purchase mortgage now carries an average $3,741 in closing costs -- up nearly 37 percent from last year.
As defined by Bankrate.com, "closing costs" is defined as the sum of two numbers. The first group is labeled "origination charges", a category that includes such items as underwriting fees, application fees and processing fees. These fees are paid directly to the loan originator's company at the time of closing.
The second grouping of costs is labeled "third-party fees". Third-party fees include appraisals, credit reports, settlement fees and title searches -- items paid in connection with the loan, but not paid to the lending bank or broker.
It's unclear why closing costs appear to have escalated into 2010, but Bankrate.com suggest that recently-enacted federal lending laws are a culprit:
- The new law requires loan officers to be accountable to a Good Faith Estimate's accuracy. Bankrate.com's prior-year surveys may have been "understated", therefore, because of a lack of accountability.
- The cost of federal compliance is high, and banks may be passing on compliance costs to consumers
To see the complete list of closing costs by state, including where Georgia ranks, visit the Bankrate.com website.