Barring a big lottery jackpot or sudden windfall, chances are you’ll have to take out a loan to buy a home. Even if you’re refinancing a home you already own, you’ll incur some out-of-pocket expenses up front. The best loan officer in Las Vegas will be able to give you the low-down on the total cost of your mortgage, but here are some things to expect.


Factors That Affect Your Costs

When you’re shopping for a home loan, you usually look at what kind of interest rates you can get. You may also expect closing costs unless you’ve negotiated a deal for the seller to pay them. There’s another loan fee you may not know about: points. One point is equal to one percent of your loan amount. Buyers usually pay between one and four points. Points can lower your interest rate.


Refinancing Your Mortgage

A refinance is the same as taking out a new loan. You can lower your balance by getting a better rate of interest, but the upfront costs can be higher than your original loan. You may also have to pay an application fee, which isn’t refundable if you don’t qualify. If the appraisal is separate from the application fee, expect to come out-of-pocket with that also.


Shaving Money off Your Mortgage

To figure out if the cost of a refinance is worth what you’ll save, you can calculate your break-even point. This is determined by adding the total of your loan origination fee and other closing costs and dividing that amount by your total monthly savings. The result is the number of months it will take you to break even. If it’s less than a year, you’re okay.

Shortening the duration of your loan can shave more than $100,000 off the final price of your home. If you can’t afford to take out a 15-year loan, you can still save tens of thousands of dollars just by paying an extra $100 a month on your conventional 30-year mortgage. You can also reduce the principle with a larger down payment.

You can find lenders who will offer competitive rates and omit closing charges by shopping around.