Buyer’s choice: $201k or $195k: Which is better?

Here is the situation. You have found a house that you love. It is priced at $195,000, and your mortgage lender tells you that you will need $6,000 in closing costs that you do not have. What do you do?

As a buyer, you can offer $6,000 more than the list price and ask the seller to pay your closing costs. It does not change the seller’s position, and it allows you to buy a home without paying $6,000 cash out of pocket.

The additional $6,000 will only increase your monthly payment by $30.40 (according to That is a small price to pay to have the home of your dreams.

The offer price of $201,000 is more likely to get accepted, because some sellers only see the offer price and don’t consider the long term effects.

You run the risk of failing the appraisal. The bank will only lend on an offer of $201,000 if the house appraises for $201,000 or more. If you push your luck too far, the appraiser will kill your dreams by setting the house value below this amount. Don’t worry though, because you can use this as a negotiating point when and if it happens.

The lesson here is: You should consider offering above list and having the seller pay your closing costs, because it doesn’t cost much and it makes buying a house much easier in the long run.