During the first 3 days following the acceptance of your offer on a house, be prepared to pay the following typical fees:
Option period - $100
Earnest money - $1,000
Inspection - $350
A couple of weeks later:
Appraisal - $385 to $550
Here's what happens:
You've looked at houses and selected the one you want to buy. You make an offer, negotiate, and come to an agreement with the seller. Along with your contract, you must be prepared to write two checks: one that will go to the title company with the contract and one that will go to the seller (if you choose to go through an option period).
The earnest money isn't the same as option money. For one thing, the earnest money check is much bigger than the option money check; it goes to the title company and is refundable under certain circumstances. The amount of earnest money deposited varies, but is usually somewhere between $500 and $2,000 with the most frequent amount being $1,000.
The option money goes to the seller and buys you a period of time (10 days is typical) during which you can back out of the transaction for any reason. For example, those 10 days give you time to get an inspection on the house and either renegotiate for repairs or walk away. The inspector will charge a fee, usually somewhere between $250 and $450 depending on the size of the house. (The fee on a huge house is likely to be much higher than $450.)
Once you've decided to proceed with the transaction, your lender will require you to get an appraisal on the property. The cost will vary with the type of loan and the type of property.
Before closing you should be ready to write checks for a total of about $2,000 on the house you want to purchase. You'll have to have at least that much money in your bank account.