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Isle fees for buying homes no bargain

By Andrew Gomes

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:52 a.m. HST, Aug 17, 2010



Home prices in Hawaii are down from a few years ago, but a survey suggests that the fees for buying a home aren't.

A Bankrate.com survey said the average closing cost in Hawaii this year for a $200,000 home loan is $3,442 based on lender estimates, a 26 percent jump from $2,739 last year.

The relatively large increase, the survey noted, may be the result of more accurate fee estimates by lenders.

Lenders are required by federal law to provide buyers a "good faith estimate" of closing costs, but until this year there were no penalties for low-balling fees, Bankrate said.

"Some of this year's increase (in fees) can be attributed to the regulatory requirement for higher accuracy," the report said.

THE COST OF A HOME LOAN

Average closing cost estimate on a $200,000 mortgage:
Three most expensive states
New York $5,623
Texas $4,708
Utah $4,605
Three least expensive states
Arkansas $3,007
North Carolina $3,255
Iowa $3,261
 
Hawaii $3,442
Source: Bankrate.com

Hawaii's average closing cost included a $1,303 loan origination fee and $2,139 in third-party and title fees that typically include an appraisal and title search.

Discount points tied to reduced interest rates are not included.

Nationally the average closing cost estimate was $3,741, up 37 percent from $2,739 last year.

Thirty-four other states plus the District of Columbia had higher averages than Hawaii's. Last year only 20 other states had higher averages. In 2007 Hawaii had the sixth-highest average.

Bankrate's closing cost estimate is based on a 30-year fixed mortgage of $200,000 with a 20 percent down payment and a buyer with good credit.

But the study doesn't take into consideration that actual closing costs in Hawaii might be higher because home prices are higher than most other states.






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