You will be writing lots of checks. Expenses typically borne by the buyer include: Down payment - Exactly how big the down payment must be depends on the type of loan you are trying to get. Expect to have at least 3.5% of the purchase price for a down payment for an FHA-backed loan, and as much as 30% of the purchase price for a down payment on a large loan through a bank. Earnest money - Will you keep your word to buy the house? The earnest money ¿ usually $1,000 to $5,000 - is the seller's to keep if you back out for no good reason. Appraisal - The mortgage lender has veto power over the price you and the seller agree on. The appraiser provides an informed, independent opinion as to the market value of the house. If the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase offer, the lender will not make the loan. You will have to either renegotiate the price or walk away from the house. Inspection - No surprises, that's the goal of the home inspection. A licensed inspector will go over the structural and mechanical systems of the house and flag potential problems. If unexpected problems turn up, you will probably ask the seller to cover the costs to fix them. Loan application fees - Expect to pay at least $500 for the privilege of completing paperwork for the bank. Currently, loan closing costs are negotiable, with sellers often absorbing this $2,000 - $4,000 fee. Gas, eating out and babysitting costs will add up, too, as you househunt and meet with professionals. Survey - The survey confirms that the legal description of the house is accurate. You don't want to buy property that isn¿t yours, or find out later that part of your property actually belongs to somebody else. Title search and insurance - The title search ensures that the seller actually owns the house, and has the right to sell it to you. What if it turns out later that a contractor put a lien against the property because the seller didn¿t pay for the paint job that made the house so appealing? Title insurance covers such situations. Commission - Buyers don't pay the 6% commission to the agents involved in the sale. The seller pays.