For decades, Florida has served as a top retirement destination. However, the state's interminably rising population represents more than just seniors looking for a sunny place to enjoy their post-working years. New residents across all age brackets are streaming into Florida, attracted by beaches, warm winters and the lack of a state income tax.

A housing bubble in Florida during the late 1990s and early 2000s inflated prices at a breakneck pace, which gave rise to a flurry of speculative building. When the market tanked in 2008, new houses and condos sat empty all over the state, with the excess supply sending prices tumbling. Since 2011, Florida real estate prices have stabilized and begun to rise again, as demand to live in the state has not abated.

Although housing is getting expensive in certain areas of the state in 2016, plenty of Florida homes are still available at prices that are reasonable for a middle-class family. Moreover, closing costs in Florida rank on the low end of the average range nationally.

Average Closing Costs in Florida

The average closing costs for a $200,000 home purchase in Florida are $1,800. This is the bottom end of the average range nationally, which runs from $1,800 to $2,000 for a purchase at the same price.

In addition, Florida offers some of the lowest closing costs regionally. The two states that border it, Georgia and Alabama, both feature higher average closing costs. Residents of the nearby states of South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana also pay more on average than Floridians.

What Goes Into Closing Costs

Closing costs in Florida come from two main sources: the bank or mortgage lender providing the funds to close and the host of additional third-party entities involved in the transaction.

Lenders charge a fee for their time and expertise, and some have additional charges for specific paperwork. Non-lender charges come from home appraisers, closing attorneys, title insurance companies, property surveyors and other such professionals whose services are often required in a real estate transaction.

In Florida, the majority of closing costs are paid to the lender. For a $200,000 home purchase with $1,800 in closing costs, more than $1,000 of the closing costs on average accrue to the lender. This is a boon to cash buyers. Since they have no need to involve a bank or lender, they often receive more than a 50% discount on closing costs in Florida.

Lender Closing Costs

The lender's origination fee represents its largest average closing cost in Florida. This is the fee that the lender charges for its services. Origination fees have come down substantially since the Wild West mortgage days of the 2000s. In Florida, these fees average under 1% of the loan amount.

Additional lender fees in Florida may include a document preparation fee and a tax services fee, neither of which should amount to more than $100.

Non-lender Closing Costs

Since the unique terms and conditions of a real estate transaction dictate the specific services required, non-lender closing costs in Florida vary more than lender closing costs. The following non-lender costs represent the most common ones, but not all of them apply to every real estate transaction in the state.

The appraisal fee tends to be the most expensive non-lender closing cost in Florida. Most lenders require a home appraisal to ensure that they are not lending more money on a property than it is actually worth. Cash buyers can avoid this charge, though many choose to have an appraisal anyway for their own protection. Home appraisal costs in Florida usually range from $300 to $500.

Many lenders also require a property survey to verify the exact boundaries of the property lines. The charge for this service usually runs from $350 to $400. The real estate attorney or title company representative who executes the transaction and transfers the title from the seller to the buyer receives a settlement fee, which also averages from $350 to $400 in Florida.

The cost for a home inspection in Florida is $100 to $150. Whether the lender requires it or not, a home inspection is worth the small cost. The inspector checks for structural integrity and the presence of termites and other pests.

Additional small non-lender closing costs may apply, including a courier fee, a credit report fee and a flood certification fee. These fees should be under $100 each.

Georgia (GA): Average Closing Costs

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