October 29, 2023

House Hunter Guide

Rates are up and home buying is... well, down (for now) – but that won’t stop house hunters from scoring their dream house (and refinancing later). If you're in the market for a new place, take note of these three payments you make before your mortgage payments: 

  • Earnest Money: A portion of your down payment money offered to the seller as part of your purchase contract. It represents good faith and intent to make the transaction – usually 1-3% of your home purchase price.

  • Down Payment: The amount of money you have available to put towards your purchase. Typically, the down payment is 5-20% of the home price.

  • Closing Cost: The amount of funds paid when transferring titles from seller to buyer. Typically, these costs are 2-5% of the home purchase price and may include attorney or closing fees, title fees, taxes, lender costs, appraisal costs, HOA transfer fees, and more.

Ready, set, get saving (and house hunting, too)! For more tips on saving and budgeting for a big purchase, subscribe to the Life. Money. You.® program at or download our financial wellness app, MoneyTracks™.


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