My closing costs are how much!!?? See where Florida ranks

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With mortgage rates near record lows, savvy homeowners are doing a bit of arithmetic aimed at solving this classic word problem: Does it make sense to refinance my loan?

Closing costs in Florida are about average, according to a study released Tuesday by Bankrate.com. Fees on a $200,000 mortgage total $2,180, a bit above the national average of $2,128 but well below Hawaii’s $2,655 and New York’s $2,560.

Alas, the bottom line is complicated by Florida’s unique tax structure. Bankrate’s survey looks at such standard expenses as appraisal fees, credit reports and loan origination fees. But it doesn’t include Florida’s documentary stamp tax or intangibles tax, two tolls that can sneak up on borrowers.

Because Florida doesn’t have a state income tax, the state imposes a documentary stamp tax collected on mortgages at a rate of 0.35 percent, plus an intangibles tax that costs an additional 0.2 percent. Together, they add $1,100 to the cost of borrowing $200,000. That might not be enough of a hit to kill your refi, but they’re costs worth keeping in mind.

In general, a refi makes sense if the savings from lower payments offset closing costs within two or three years.

“If it’s a period your comfortable with, go ahead and do it,” said Holden Lewis, Bankrate’s senior mortgage analyst.

 

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