I've recently had the pleasure of selling a house in San Francisco. The long list of random fees in the transaction process encouraged me to dig up the documents from when we bought the house, in 2002, and looked at the random fees we paid then. All told buying and selling the same house in SF cost $3800 in pure administrative friction, or roughly 0.5% of the value of a typical SF home.

Buying: $3215

$900 Escrow fees
$40 Escrow: notary fees

$765 Mortgage: loan origination fee
$400 Mortgage: appraisal
$36 Mortgage: credit report
$61 Mortgage: tax service
$350 Mortgage: loan processing fee
$50 Mortgage: wire fee
$18 Mortgage: flood certification fee
$595 Mortgage: administration fee

Selling: $583

$32 Title: Recording Notice of Default
$50 Escrow: Draw Deed
$17 Escrow: Overnight delivery
$40 Escrow: Notary

$10 Mortgage: county recording fee
$45 Mortgage: reconveyance fee
$30 Mortgage: expedited payoff service fee

$75 Underground tank inspection fee
$160 3R report fee
$124 Hazard for 3R report fee

Mind you, this isn't counting for the big stuff: 5-6% real estate agent fee, 1% county transfer tax, 0.3% title insurance policy, or 1-3% in points paid on the mortgage rate. This is just the little crap. You know, $50 to pay for the frickin wire transfer. Telegrams are expensive, I guess.
  2009-04-17 20:37 Z