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Closing Costs Rise 14 Percent This Year

The cost of getting a mortgage continued to climb last year, despite historic industry headwinds that saw demand for mortgages drop dramatically -- a study of average closing costs, released Thursday morning, found that 2007's average cost of $2,736 has jumped 14 percent to $3,118 in 2008. Which means that borrowers aren't just having a tougher time finding a mortgage, they're paying more to get it, too. Bankrate, Inc., which conducted the study, said that New York City led the nation with an average closing fee of $4,106; the states of Texas and Oklahoma, as well as the cities of Buffalo, New York and Miami rounded out the top five most costly locations in which to get a mortgage. North Carolina took the bottom seat as the least expensive area with an average fee of $2650, bankrate said, replacing Indiana -- which is now ranked 45th on the company's list, with an average fee of $2878. (Interestingly, Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita revoked the licenses of more than 40 percent of his state's mortgage brokers earlier this week for failing basic licensing requirements.) "Often times, consumers forget about the added fees involved in buying a home," said Holden Lewis, senior reporter with Bankrate.com. "Closing costs can be extremely expensive if not researched thoroughly. Keeping closing costs at a minimum can make a big difference to homebuyers during difficult economic times." Bankrate's survey of closing costs centers on associated fees for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for a borrower with 20 percent down and good credit to buy a single-family home. Fees include origination fees and title and settlement fees, and not taxes or prepaid items. For more information on the study, visit http://www.bankrate.com/closingcosts.

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