Closing Costs for Buyers in Florida: Total Calculation for 2024

Closing costs are the fees charged to both the buyer and seller to complete a real estate transaction. When you purchase a home in Florida, you can expect to pay around 2% and 3% of the home sales price in closing costs as the buyer.

These fees pay for items such as inspections, appraisals, title insurance, recording fees, attorney fees, and more. The exact percentage varies based on factors like the purchase price and location, but overall, Florida has moderate closing costs compared to the national average.

Key Takeaways

  • Closing costs for buyers in Florida average 2-3% of the home’s sales price.
  • The most expensive closing costs are title insurance fees, government recording charges, and transfer taxes.
  • You may be able to lower your closing costs by shopping around for title insurance, negotiating with the seller, or applying for closing cost assistance programs.
  • Work closing costs into your homebuying budget by saving at least 3% of the home’s price.

What are Closing Costs?

Closing costs are fees charged to both the home buyer and seller to cover the expenses required to complete a real estate transaction. These fees are paid at closing when the seller transfers the deed to the property to the buyer.

Closing costs cover third-party services related to the closing, such as:

  • Title searches and insurance
  • Appraisals and inspections
  • Government taxes and fees
  • Lender origination fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Recording documentation

Average Closing Costs in Florida

Typical closing costs for home buyers in Florida is approximately 2.3% of the home purchase price. On a $300,000 home, you would pay around $6,000 to $9,000 in closing costs. The national average is slightly higher at 2.5% to 3% of the sales price.

Here’s a breakdown of the common fees included in closing costs for Florida home buyers:

  • Title insurance fees – This pays for a title search to ensure there are no issues with the property title and for a lender’s insurance policy. Title fees are usually the biggest closing cost, averaging 0.5% to 1% of the home price.
  • Government recording charges – Recording fees charged by the clerk of courts to record and process the real estate documents range from $100-$500 in Florida. Some counties charge extra for document stamps.
  • Transfer taxes – Florida imposes a state real estate transfer tax of $0.70 per $100 of the sales price. Some counties add on an additional 0.5-1.5% transfer tax as well.
  • Lender fees – The lender may charge 1% to 2% of the loan amount in origination fees and points to process the mortgage loan.
  • Appraisal fees – Expect to pay $300-$500 for a licensed appraiser to assess the property’s market value.
  • Inspection fees – A home inspection costs $300-$500 in Florida. You may also opt for additional pest or septic inspections.
  • Attorney fees – Florida is not required to have a real estate attorney, but expect at least $500 in fees if you do hire one.
  • Survey charges – A mortgage lender may require a survey of $150-$500 to confirm the property lines.
  • Homeowner’s insurance – Your first year of homeowners insurance premiums are due at closing, which could be $800-$2000 depending on the home value and location.
  • Property taxes – You’ll need to reimburse the seller for any prorated property taxes already paid for the portion of the year when you’ll own the home.
  • HOA fees – If it’s a condo or planned community, you may have to pay the HOA dues starting from your closing date.

Your real estate agent or mortgage lender can provide a more personalized estimate of costs when you make an offer on a home. The costs can vary significantly based on factors like loan type, property location, and title company used.

How to calculate closing costs?

Get a closing cost estimate from your lender. Add 2-5% of the home purchase price for third party fees like title and recording. Factor in down payment, prepaid costs like taxes and insurance, and wiggle room. Review the closing disclosure once under contract to confirm actual costs. Work with your lender and agent to accurately estimate and budget for all expected closing fees.

Also read: How Much does it Cost to Build a House in Florida

Ways to Lower Closing Costs in Florida

If your closing costs are exceeding your budget, here are some potential ways to reduce the fees:

  • Shop around for title insurance – Get quotes from multiple providers, as title fees can vary by hundreds of dollars.
  • Negotiate with the seller – Some sellers may agree to lower the price to help cover closing costs or pay for specific fees like the transfer taxes.
  • Apply for down payment/closing cost assistance programs – First-time Florida home buyers may qualify for state, county, or municipal grant programs.
  • Choose a lower-cost lender – Online lenders tend to have lower origination fees than traditional banks. Credit unions also offer good rates.
  • Opt for a VA or USDA loan – These programs allow the lender fees to be rolled into the loan amount rather than paid upfront if eligible.
  • Increase your down payment – A larger down payment lowers the loan amount, which decreases lender fees that are based on a percentage.
  • Buy in the off-season – Home prices dip slightly in Florida’s fall and winter months, so closing costs as a percentage may be less too.

How Much to Budget for Closing Costs

As a general rule for Florida, you should budget 3% of the home’s purchase price for closing costs. Having this amount ready will prevent any surprises and shortfalls when it comes time to close. Some tips for preparing include:

  • Get pre-approved for your mortgage early so you know how much home you can afford with closing costs included. Lenders can provide a closing cost estimate.
  • Save the recommended 3% down payment plus closing cost amount before house hunting. Try to save extra if you can.
  • Ask the seller to provide a CD or ALTA settlement statement from when they bought it so you can see the property’s recent costs.
  • Once an offer is accepted, verify the exact fees with your lender and title company. Adjust your savings goal as needed.
  • Let your loan officer know upfront if you need assistance with closing costs so they can find suitable programs or adjust the loan amount.

Allow 1-2 months to save up your closing cost funds after your offer is accepted. Avoid paying for closing fees by depleting retirement accounts or taking on additional debt.

Also read: How Much does it Cost for a Home Inspection

Factors Influencing Closing Costs

The exact percentage you’ll pay in closing costs depends on several factors, including:

  • Purchase price – Closing costs are generally higher on more expensive homes. Costs on a $500,000 home will be greater than a $200,000 home in flat fees and percentage-based costs.
  • Down payment amount – A lower down payment results in higher loan fees, so your overall closing costs rise. A 20% down payment can lower costs.
  • Loan type – FHA and VA loans require upfront mortgage insurance, whereas conventional loans add it into the payments.
  • Location – Closing costs can vary significantly by county based on local taxes, fees, and title company rates. Shop location-specific estimates.
  • Lender – Compare multiple lender quotes. Discounts may also apply for working with preferred title companies.
  • Seller negotiations – Some sellers will agree to cover certain fees like transfer taxes to help the sale go through.

Who Pays Closing Costs in Florida?

In Florida, it is customary for the buyer and seller to split closing costs:

  • Buyer pays: Inspection fees, appraisal fees, lender fees, title insurance premiums, homeowner’s insurance, prorated property taxes
  • Seller pays: Owner’s title insurance premium, real estate commission, outstanding property taxes, any negotiated repairs
  • Split 50/50: Transfer taxes, government recording charges

However, the buyer and seller can negotiate who pays which fees in the purchase contract. For example, the seller could agree to pay all transfer taxes and recording fees to entice a buyer.

First-time homebuyers may also receive down payment or closing cost assistance through state, local, or mortgage lender programs.

How can I find a top real estate agent in Florida?

  • Ask for referrals – Talk to friends, family members, coworkers, neighbors, etc. who have recently bought or sold homes in Florida. A referral from someone who had a good experience is invaluable.
  • Look at reviews – Search for agents on sites like Zillow or Realtor.com and read their customer reviews. Look for agents with a high number of 5-star reviews.
  • Interview multiple agents – Meet or call 3-5 agents to get a sense of their experience, communication style, market knowledge, and how they would meet your needs. Ask about their typical client, average days on market, marketing strategy, etc.
  • Make sure they specialize in your area – Look for agents who live in and focus on your desired city or neighborhood. Local expertise is crucial.
  • Verify their credentials – Agents should have an active real estate license, MLS access, membership in the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and several years of experience. New agents can still be talented though.
  • Consider smaller/boutique agencies – You may get more personalized service from an agent at a smaller brokerage. But larger networks have benefits too.
  • Look for award winners – Search for agents who have won awards or recognition for sales volume, customer service, or other achievements. This can indicate quality.

The Bottom Line

Closing costs are a significant, but necessary, expense when purchasing a home in Florida. Aim to budget around 2-3% of the purchase price – usually between $6,000 to $9,000 total on a $300,000 home. Shop around, negotiate where possible, and give yourself plenty of time to save. Preparation and research will help Florida homebuyers cover these fees without derailing your homebuying plans.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much are closing costs in Florida on average?

Closing costs for buyers in Florida typically range between 2% and 3% of the purchase price.

What factors affect closing costs?

Purchase price, down payment amount, loan type, property location, and lender can impact your closing costs. Higher priced homes have greater fees. Lower down payments mean higher loan costs.

How can I reduce my closing costs?

Shop around for title insurance quotes, negotiate with the seller, choose a lower-cost lender, increase your down payment, or apply for down payment assistance programs.

When are closing costs due?

Closing costs are due on the closing date, which is usually 30-45 days after an offer is accepted. Ensure you have cash on-hand by setting aside savings ahead of time.

How much of the closing costs are deductible?

Generally, loan fees, interest, and property taxes are deductible mortgage expenses. Title insurance and transfer taxes are not. Consult your tax advisor to maximize deductions.

Razib

Razib is a skilled writer with 5 years of experience specializing in technology, finance, automotive and real estate. A BBA graduate from 2014, Razib's passion for these industries shines through in his informative and engaging content. His ability to break down complex topics and stay current on the latest trends makes him a valuable resource for readers seeking to understand these dynamic fields.

Related Articles