How Much Does It Really Cost to Buy a Home in the U.S.?

how much does it cost to buy a home

Say you’re casually browsing for homes. A cute little cottage in the right neighborhood catches your eye. The listing says $200,000, and you think, “Sweet. I can handle that.” But budgeting for a home purchase can be a stressful process, and there are one-off costs that buyers should be aware of.

In fact, the upfront costs of home buying can add up to about $40,000 for the typical U.S. home.

So what are those expenses and how do they add up to so much? First you’ve got the down payment, which is the largest single upfront cost of buying a home. A 15 percent down payment – the typical down payment for a first-time buyer in 2017 – is $32,700.

Buyers should factor in projects they may want to do before they move in. These home improvements, which include interior cleaning, yard cleanup, installing new locks, TV installation and eight hours of moving, can add up to about $1,130.

Then come closing costs — mortgage origination fees, an appraisal, a title search, title insurance, prepaid homeowners insurance and more — which can add up to $6,250 for the typical U.S. home, worth $218,000 in July.

And last but not least, buyers should factor in projects they may want to do before they move in. These home improvements, which include interior cleaning, yard cleanup, installing new locks, TV installation and eight hours of moving, can add up to about $1,130, according to data provided by Thumbtack, a digital platform that connects consumers with local service providers.

One other important thing to consider: The one-time cost varies based on where you live. In the San Francisco Bay Area, where home values are the highest, home buyers could pay as much as $152,059. The one-time costs are lowest in the Rust Belt, in metros like Cleveland, Detroit and Cincinnati.

Wondering how much you might spend to buy your first home? See below for the one-time costs of home buying in the metro area nearest you:

Metropolitan Area Median Home Value (July 2018) 15% Down Payment Total Closing Costs Total Average Costs of Moving Total Average One-Time Costs of Buying a Home
United States $218,000 $32,700 $6,246 $1,134 $40,080
New York, NY $429,700 $64,455 $11,232 $1,160 $76,847
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $643,300 $96,495 $7,674 $1,090 $105,259
Chicago, IL $219,800 $32,970 $7,322 $1,170 $41,462
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX $231,100 $34,665 $6,352 $1,040 $42,057
Philadelphia, PA $228,400 $34,260 $6,701 $1,130 $42,091
Houston, TX $199,300 $29,895 $6,352 $1,100 $37,347
Washington, DC $397,500 $59,625 $8,201 $1,120 $68,946
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL $275,700 $41,355 $7,398 $1,100 $49,853
Atlanta, GA $206,300 $30,945 $4,877 $1,280 $37,102
Boston, MA $456,400 $68,460 $8,410 $1,220 $78,090
San Francisco, CA $954,100 $143,115 $7,674 $1,270 $152,059
Detroit, MI $156,100 $23,415 $4,366 $1,140 $28,921
Riverside, CA $358,600 $53,790 $7,674 $1,160 $62,624
Phoenix, AZ $256,000 $38,400 $4,849 $1,020 $44,269
Seattle, WA $487,600 $73,140 $5,741 $1,210 $80,091
Minneapolis-St Paul, MN $261,300 $39,195 $5,271 $1,320 $45,786
San Diego, CA $584,100 $87,615 $7,674 $1,150 $96,439
St. Louis, MO $161,800 $24,270 $5,705 $1,110 $31,085
Tampa, FL $205,900 $30,885 $7,398 $1,080 $39,363
Baltimore, MD $264,700 $39,705 $8,196 $1,140 $49,041
Denver, CO $397,800 $59,670 $5,962 $1,080 $66,712
Portland, OR $391,800 $58,770 $5,403 $1,310 $65,483
Charlotte, NC $196,800 $29,520 $4,411 $1,220 $35,151
Sacramento, CA $400,800 $60,120 $7,674 $1,260 $69,054
San Antonio, TX $185,900 $27,885 $6,352 $1,090 $35,327
Orlando, FL $228,700 $34,305 $7,398 $1,000 $42,703
Cincinnati, OH $162,000 $24,300 $4,259 $1,130 $29,689
Cleveland, OH $141,500 $21,225 $4,286 $1,130 $26,641
Kansas City, MO $182,600 $27,390 $5,012 $1,110 $33,512
Las Vegas, NV $266,200 $39,930 $5,559 $890 $46,379
Columbus, OH $182,600 $27,390 $4,286 $1,060 $32,736
San Jose, CA $1,292,600 $193,890 $7,674 $1,270 $202,834
Austin, TX $298,000 $44,700 $6,352 $1,090 $52,142