What Does it Really Cost to Buy a House and Move?

What Does it Really Cost to Buy a House and Move?

We’re moving! It’s just across town, but still quite exciting for us. You can see from that banner photo that’s it’s also been pure chaos. More info about the house and why we decided to move can be found in this post.

The most obvious money-related part of this is the sticker price of the house. But it turns out the whole buy-a-house-and-move process is a conveyor belt of random fees and expenses, which in the end will make you realize that renting is awesome.

The House as a Savings Plan

Since this is a one-time thing which we will not be repeating until C is done with high school in 2025 and because it was something we saved for and planned on over many months, we did not include these numbers in any one month’s “home” spending report. We will, of course, include it in our total annual spending.

Whether this new house/mortgage counts as an “investment” varies depending on who you talk to. Since it’s sort of a heated topic, let’s just call the money we’re sinking into this house another one of our “savings” plans.

Hypothetically, the effort we make on this place should not be a total financial loss because 1. This town’s housing market is pretty reliable and doesn’t tend to take the hardest hits when the markets get temperamental, 2. We plan to own this piece of property for over 10 years, and 3. We got a good deal on it.

That being said, we know the market is high now and it can’t last forever and a correction is coming and blah blah blah.

I’m a big believer in the advice “If you can’t afford to lose it, you can’t afford to buy it.” So don’t worry – if the house literally collapses on itself tomorrow and the stock market crashes at the same moment, we’ll still be okay. We won’t be pleased, but we’ll be okay.

Average Costs

Average costs of closing on a house and moving are all over the board.

I’ve seen closing costs listed as usually being 2-6% of the cost of a house. For us this would have been $8k to $24k (gah!). Our bank’s original estimate on our closing costs was $10,236. So apparently we got a screamin’ deal there at slightly under $5k (see below).

We did work with a local title company who gave us their “investor discounts” because we have managed several other business and real estate loans through them. And we did not use a realtor for this particular transaction at the seller’s request (although we have always used one in the past and had a great experience).

I put our move into a “moving cost calculator” which I assume included truck rental and help with loading and unloading. It came out to a little over $1k for no help with packing, and a little over $3k for full packing services.

Our Costs

Here’s what we’ve put into this “savings plan” so far:

Actually needed for the home purchase:

Bank fees prior to closing: $585.81

Inspection: $415.00

Down payment: $20,000.00 (5% of purchase price, which was $400k)

Closing costs: $4,764.64

Upcoming mandatory monthly payments:

Principal and interest monthly payment: $1953.73

Taxes and homeowner’s insurance monthly payment: $273.28

PMI: $0 (no PMI because of B of A’s “physician loan”)

Home touch-ups that might improve the house’s value:

Paints and painting supplies: $280.00

Cabinet hardware (hinges, handles): $160.00

Stuff we wanted that won’t change the house’s value:

Private appraisal: $450.00

Deep cleaning: $300.00

Used furniture: $1,550.00

Other related spending:

Moving van rental and gas: ~$100.00

Boxes and packing material: $0 – free from friends who had moved recently!

Roof/gutter cleaning of previous house: $95.00

Deep cleaning/carpet cleaning of previous house: ~$300.00 (came out of our renter’s deposit from 4 years ago).


Inspection, closing, etc, and first month’s mortgage payment: $27,992.46

Leaving the house we were moving out of in really good shape: $395.00

Getting the new house ready for move-in: $2,740.00

Actually moving: $100.00 for the moving van. My little bro and a very nice neighbor helped with heavy lifting.

Grand total: $31,227.46

So there’s that. It’s a heck of a lot more than that $20k that was the down payment, and could have been much higher had we not done the moving/packing/new home touch-ups mostly by ourselves.

guy paint-spraying cabinet doors white

More on our DIY home project adventures (and why you should try some of your own) coming soon.

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