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Just how much cash do I need to buy a house?

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POSTED July 19, 2013 9:00 p.m.

Hey Real Estate Boys: My husband and I are thinking of jumping into the housing market and have a question about the costs of the purchase.  My husband says the down payment is just that, the down payment.  OK, then what other associated costs are there for us to consider?  We have yet to meet with a lender and have not even thought of looking at homes, but we sure would love to own rather than rent.  We both work and have saved up what we consider a tidy sum of money.  Our hope is to buy something at about $200,000 with a down payment of 20 percent.  If I read correctly, you Boys say that with 20 percent we’ll save some money, right?  So, the real question is how much more cash do we need to get a house? 

— Eddy and Eddie Haskell


What’d you want Beaver? 

Wally, is it true Eddy and his wife are thinking of buying a house? 

That’s what I heard Eddy say yesterday. Why? 

Wally, do you think Eddy really has that much money? 

Well, yeah Beaver, why’d you think he’d be looking if he didn’t have the money? 

Wally, how much money does it take to buy a house in Mayfield? 

Gosh Beaver, I don’t know.   I guess Eddy has figured it out. 

(Knock, knock, knock.)  Well, hello Mrs. Cleaver.  My, don’t you look stunning today in your white pearls and your apron.  Oh, and you and Mr. Cleaver must be very proud of young Theodore for finally finishing the 6th grade.  

Yes Eddy, June and I are very proud.  With Miss Landers finally retiring it just seemed right.   The boys are upstairs.  

Thank you Mrs. Cleaver.

Eh, gentlemen.

Oh hi Eddy.  I just heard from the Beav that you and Eddie are buying a house. 

Yeah, my old man and I have this deal going and it’s working out real good.  He’s buying these old junk houses, fixes’em up and then sells them again to some poor sap at a profit.  He said he’d buy one for Eddie and I, cool deal eh? 


What do you want kid? 

How much will it cost to buy a house Eddy? 

Not much Beav. 

Wally, do you want to go get a soda at the drug store? 

Naw Eddy, I gotta get some work done around here. 

OK, later guys. 

Wally?  Is it that simple to buy a house?  I don’t know Beav.  Let’s go ask Dad. 

Dad?  Eddy say he’s going to buy a house and The Beav and I were kinda wondering how much it costs to buy a house. 

Well boys it costs a great deal to buy a house.  Let’s see.  There’s the down payment of course, 3, 5, 10, 20 percent or more.  Then of course there are all the closing costs. 

Yeah, it’s that stuff Wally and I are confused about Dad.  The closing costs.  How much are they? 

Now boys, what have I always told you about Eddy? 

We remember Dad.  OK. 

June, would you come in here and help me explain closing costs to the boys? 

First off, boys, to buy a house you need to go out and find a good lender.  Wally, isn’t Lumpy a lender? 

Yeah dad.  And I heard he’s pretty good.

 OK.  Then, go meet with someone like Lumpy and he will pre-approve you for a certain loan amount based on what you can afford.  The he’ll give you an “Itemized Fee Worksheet” that will tell you how much you’ll need to have to buy.  But based on my experience at the insurance office, here’s an idea of the costs:  Let’s just say the house is priced at $200,000 and near Mayfield High.  At $200k the fees Lumpy (your lender) will get are about $1,600.  You have the appraisal that will cost about $500.  Credit reports are $60.  Appraisal review and re-inspection fee about $250. 

Golly Dad, does it really cost that much? 

Hold on Beav, there’s a lot more I haven’t talked about yet.  We still have the title and escrow fees and the associated costs of the title company which could be as high as $2,600. 

Gosh Dad, Eddy’s not a millionaire is there still more to the costs?

Yes Wally there are.  Buying a home is very expensive.  Now if I may continue?  Interest is charged up front and one year’s insurance on the home.  Then you have to pay the property tax and insurance impounds about $2,500.  Beaver, have you been adding all this up for me? 

Yes Dad.  I think that is about $7,500 so far. 

That’s correct Beaver.  Then you have to add in the down payment.  In this case Eddy will have to pay $40,000 for the down payment I’d imagine, knowing his credit history.  So boys, that totals up to be $47,500 Eddy and Eddie will have to come up with to buy a house in Mayfield.  What is it Wally? 

Golly Dad, I never thought much about how much it costs to buy a house.  Where do ya think Eddy got so much money?  That I don’t know Wally, it’s a good question.  I think maybe his father may be helping him.  June do you have anything to add to what I’ve said? 

Just that buying a house is a big step and so is the responsibility.  Your father works very hard for us to make the house payments every month and then the money I use to buy food for our table every day. 

Gee Mom, maybe Eddy will buy the house across the street that’s for sale.  That would be neat huh?  Eddy across the street, neat? 

Lloyd, Lloyd wake up! You must be having a bad dream or something. 

Thanks must be given to Ed Walters from Commerce Bank in Modesto.  If you need a loan like Eddy call Ed at his office at 968-6132.

— A little about us, Lloyd is a retired farmer of 27 years and a realtor for about 10 years.  Lloyd is an active member of the Central Valley Association of Realtors and sits on the CVAR Board of Directors.  Lloyd is a long time member of CVAR’s Master Club for his sales production.   

Larry has been involved in Turlock real estate for 30 years and has been a broker for almost 27 years.  He is also active in CVAR activities and is a past president of CVAR.  If you have questions please call Lloyd at 531-4853 or Larry at 484-4216.  E-mail questions for future columns to: or

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