Buying a home in Berks County, or anywhere, can be a tricky process. There are a bunch of little costs that can add up if you're no prepared.

Most people in Berks County focus on the larger costs of buying a home, like the down payment and monthly mortgage payments. As such, it's easy to overlook other costs.

Here are a few of these lesser known fees and what they could cost you.

Home Inspection

Home inspections are a necessary part of buying a home. It protects you from hidden problems that could catch up with you after buying a home. 

Inspections cost between $300 and $500. This is a fee that must be paid whether or not you end up buying the home. A specialist may also be needed if specific issues are discovered, such as foundation issues.

Appraisal Fee

You lender will likely require an appraisal of the property to make sure it's worth what the seller is asking for it. If you are the seller, you should review the appraisal for accuracy. An appraisal can take about 2 hours and costs between $200 and $425.

Application Fees

Your lender will run a credit report and charge an application fee, which is usually included in the credit report fee. This can run $75 to $300. Be sure to ask for a breakdown of the application fees to understand all costs.

Title Services

Title fees will include the costs for a title search of the public records for the property you’re buying, notary fees for the person witnessing your signature on documents, government filing fees, and more. These can cost between $150 and $400, and it’s important to get a line item for each cost.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

When you put down less than 20% on your new home, the lender requires that you purchase PMI once you reach 78% of your loan-to-value ratio or you have 22% equity. So PMI is a policy that you have to buy to protect the lender from you. PMI rates can vary from 0.3% to 1.5% of your original loan amount annually.

Tax Service Fee

This is the cost (about $50) to ensure that all property tax payments are up to date and that the payments you make are appropriately credited to the right home.

Make sure you ask about the fees you're paying. Talk to your lender or real estate agent to see if any of those fees can be reduced.

Don’t be afraid to price shop to ensure you’re getting the best value. Just because you’re spending hundreds of thousands on a home doesn’t mean you should be comfortable throwing thousands of dollars at fees.

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