Beware 'Junk Fees' When Buying a Home

Junk fees could add thousands to the cost of a property. Here’s what you need to know about these hidden mortgage costs.

Cartoon man in having money fly put of his pockets to a large U shaped magnet in someone's hand
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Buying a home is likely the most substantial financial decision any of us will make in our lifetime, but the recent trend of mortgage ‘junk’ fees is adding another layer of cost and complexity to the home-buying process.

These expenses — perhaps listed as a transaction fee or an administrative fee — can total hundreds or thousands of dollars. They come on top of the commission payable to brokerage agents by both buyers and sellers but rarely come with an explanation of what the fee covers or why it’s so high.

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Tom Higgins

Tom is a journalist and writer with an interest in sustainability, economic policy and pensions, looking into how personal finances can be used to make a positive impact. He graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a BA in journalism before moving to a financial content agency. His work has appeared in titles Investment Week and Money Marketing, as well as social media copy for Reuters and Bloomberg in addition to corporate content for financial giants including Mercer, State Street Global Advisors and the PLSA. He has also written for the  Financial Times Group.

When not working out of the Future’s Cardiff office, Tom can be found exploring the hills and coasts of South Wales but is sometimes east of the border supporting Bristol Rovers.