top of page
  • Writer's pictureNathan Zarcaro

Closing Costs in Utah: What Will You Pay?

Updated: Jun 13, 2023


Utah is home to a hundreds of thousands of Millennials and Generation Z members, the very generations that are struggling to afford the expenses of homeownership. For too many, the rigors of student loan debt and the financial pressures of everyday life have proven too large an obstacle, at least in the present.


But eventually, this obstacle will be overcome. When you're ready to buy your home, you'll want to remember to budget for the other initial expenses that usually accompany the early stages of homeownership.


Things like down payments and closing costs can really add up, so it is important to be prepared for them.


This article will explain what you can expect in closing costs across Utah.



The Utah real estate market


Home prices in Utah increased by 19.5% from June 2021-July 2022, though they have recently started to moderate. Still, as of July 2022, the average home in Utah cost an astonishing $572,971, according to Zillow.


Home prices in Utah

In fact, depending on the exact metrics tracked, Utah has either the 5th or 6th most expensive real estate market in the entire country. These statistics only complicate the math for want-to-be home buyers.


Though Utah is far more expensive than the average state nationwide, there are still affordable areas. In fact, areas like Logan, American Fork, Provo, and Eagle Mountain are very affordable, and all four carry median home costs below the national average.



How much are closing costs in Utah?


Unfortunately, closing expenses in Utah are also very expensive. We estimate that most buyers in Utah will encounter closing costs equal to 2% to 4% of the home's purchase price, with totals equal to 5% not necessarily out of the question. So, with an average home price of $573,000, your costs would be expected to be between $11,460-$22,920.


This is only a best guess, however. In reality, you may pay or more less, based on a number of factors.



Who pays closing costs in Utah?


In The Beehive State, both buyers and sellers have certain closing expenses that they are responsible for. Buyers have many lender, title, and property-related fees, all of which will be discussed in the context of this article, but sellers in Utah are also responsible for some fees, including:


  1. Title services

  2. Local transfer taxes

  3. Recording fees



What factors determine your closing costs?


Your Utah closing costs will depend on a number of variables. But the largest determinants in what you'll need to pay are (in order of increasing :


  • Whether your new home is part of a homeowner's association

  • Your home's purchase price

  • Your actual closing date within a month

  • The property tax rates within your county/town



Homeowner's associations


About 700,000 Utahans live in communities that are part of a homeowner's association (HOA). These associations oftentimes provide perks such as landscaping, trash removal, and snow removal. Of course, these services come with a monthly fee, and they can be hefty.


But many Utahans don't realize that HOAs oftentimes levy other fees when properties are closed on. And while these fees aren't enormous, it is normal to pay a couple hundred dollars in transfer and other miscellaneous fees.



Your home's purchase price


Another determining factor is your home's purchase price. This also is not an enormous factor, but does contribute since costs like loan origination fees are based on a percentage basis of the amount that you finance.


With loan origination fees averaging 0.5%-1% of the loan amount, the difference between financing $300,000 and $400,000 could alter your closing expenses by $500-$1,000.



Your closing date


Many people don't realize that the actual date in which your closing happens also alters your costs. This is because the month in which you legally take ownership of your home is the only time that you'll be required to prepay your mortgage interest.


So, if you close on the first day of a new month, you'll owe an entire month of interest, which is costly early on due to the way home loans amortize. Compare this to taking ownership on your new home on the last day of the month, where you'll only owe a day of interest.


This factor can alter your expenses by more than $1,000.



Real estate taxes


Most likely, the largest determinant in your closing costs are the property taxes in the county/town where you bought your new house. Usually, before the house is officially yours, you'll need to prepay multiple months of taxes in order to establish your escrow account. More on this a little later.



Property taxes in Utah


Like most other states nationwide, real estate taxes vary greatly across different communities in Utah. As a state, Utah has the 11th lowest property taxes in the entire country.


Let's consider the five Utahan counties with the highest average effective tax rates versus those five counties with the lowest tax rates.


The five highest property taxed counties, according to SmartAsset, are:


  1. San Juan - 1.00%

  2. Weber - 0.75%

  3. Duchesne - 0.68%

  4. Salt Lake - 0.68%

  5. Carbon - 0.67%

  6. Sanpete -0.67%

  7. Tooele - 0.67%


Contrast this with the five cheapest counties by real estate tax, which are:


  1. Summit - 0.41%

  2. Rich - 0.42%

  3. Garfield - 0.45%

  4. Wayne - 0.45%

  5. Beaver - 0.46%


Purchasing a $500,000 home in San Juan County will leave you with an estimated annual tax obligation of $5,000, while a similar priced home in Summit County will cost you an estimated $2.050 per year. Given that you oftentimes need to pay multiple months of property tax at closing, this too can save you around $1,000, depending on where you buy.



Common closing cost expenses


Below is a list of the most common closing costs (and their associated costs) that you're likely to pay when you become a homeowner.



1. Loan origination fees


Unfortunately, your lender is likely to assess you a loan origination fee that will cost between 0.5% and 1% of your loan amount. So, if you finance $400,000 in your new mortgage, you'll want to prepare for this cost to run somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000.



2. Mortgage application and underwriting


And your lender isn't done charging you for getting your mortgage all squared away. You'll likely also be charged a few hundred dollars for reviewing your loan application, sending it to underwriting, and preparing your loan to close.


Some lenders will bundle these fees together. In May 2022, my wife and I paid about $500 for these services.



3. Title search


Your new home will need to have what is known as a title search performed on it. When property changes hand, title companies or real estate attorneys complete these searches to assure:


  1. That there were no other rightful owners to the property

  2. That the house is not currently involved in a legal dispute

  3. That the home can have its ownership transferred to you


Your search will likely cost you a couple hundred dollars.



4. Title insurance


Back to another lender based fee. The bank that you borrow from will mandate that you purchase title insurance, which protects you (and them) financially in the event that your attorney or title company missed something when completing a title search.


Title insurance is structured as a one-time purchase, with no ongoing monthly or annual premiums. You can expect to pay $200-$1,000, depending on your home.



5. Homeowner's insurance and property taxes


You'll also need to insure your property from natural disaster, accidents, and other risks. Typically, you'll need to prepay a year's worth of insurance to get started. Premiums aren't too bad, but do fluctuate depending on whether your home has any risk factors (pools, diving boards, trampolines, etc.).


Typically, your first year's paid receipt will begin to fund an escrow account with your mortgage company.


The other funding component of your escrow account is your property tax payment that you'll make at closing.



6. Home appraisal


Your bank will likely mandate a home appraisal be completed. This appraisal, while largely a procedural move, will make sure that the assessed value of your new home is greater than the amount you are financing for the home.


This helps protect the bank's interests, as they don't want to pay more for the house than what it is worth. Most appraisals cost between $250-$500.


Here is what home appraisers will look for in your new home.



7. Other various fees


It is impossible to name every expense you may face along the way. Things like credit reporting, courier fees, and incidentals are all expenses that are either lender or title company specific.


Closing cost assistance in Utah


Organizations across the state offer closing cost assistance to qualifying buyers across the state. The Utah Housing Corporation (UHC) offers three unique programs to home buyers taking out their primary mortgage with UHC. These programs are:


  • FirstHome Loan - Qualifying borrowers may receive a grant of 6% of the loan amount towards your home costs.

  • HomeAgain Loan - You may receive up to 6% of your loan amount via a grant.

  • Score Loan - The Score Loan program offers a grant up to 4% to those that qualify.


There are other non-UHC programs, as well. Many communities also have their own assistance programs. Across the Beehive State, some of these communities include:



And there are plenty more too!



Mortgage lenders and title companies in Utah


If you're looking to save some money on your Utah closing, you'll want to make sure that you pick a mortgage lender and title company that carry among the lowest fees. In Utah, we recommend the following lenders in part due to their low loan origination fees:


  • Better.com

  • Rocket Mortgage

  • PenFed Credit Union


When shopping real estate attorneys or title companies, you'll also want to shop prices. And while you don't necessarily want to just pick the most affordable options, you definitely can find the same quality of services for less than you may pay certain title companies.



Schedule a home buyer 101 session


We've heard from our readers, and we're proud to announce that we are now offering home buyer 101 sessions with our founder Nate. These sessions will answer all of your closing cost and home buying questions, including:


  1. How much home should you budget to buy

  2. How to budget to buy a home

  3. How soon you may be able to afford a home

  4. Preparing for your closing costs

  5. Your mortgage loan options




Summary


Utah is routinely one of the highest ranked states in America to live in. And though this lifestyle comes at a premium, you'll be all right as long as you remember to save and estimate aggressively for your closing costs.



Affiliate marketing disclosure


studentdebtdestroyer.com is a student loan research and education website provided by Grow Your Green LLC.


studentdebtdestroyer.com is not a student loan lender.


We're passionate about teaching and guiding people to a better personal finance situation. To do this, we create an enormous amount of content, which takes time, resources, and money.


In order to write about and offer these products and services for you, we utilize affiliate marketing and link to certain products and services. If you click on, subscribe, to purchase on these links then we may be paid a small commission. These are at no cost to you, but by earning small commissions, are able to help us keep our website active.


We manually review all products and services that we think are of high quality and value to you.

About Nathan Zarcaro

Nathan Zarcaro is the founder of The Student Debt Destroyer and is passionate about personal finance related causes.  A 2018 graduate of Providence College's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Nathan studied Finance, and has worked for industry leaders in both finance and healthcare.  In his free time, Nathan enjoys playing golf and traveling with his wife Brigid.

Student loans are hard

My friends over at Student Loan Planner have consulted with over 13,000 clients, saving them over $783 million off their student loan repayments.

Check out our recent posts

bottom of page