How Much Does It Cost to Buy a House in Iowa?

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By Jon Stubbs Updated May 17, 2024

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The average home buyer in Iowa spends between $18,382 and $64,537 when purchasing a $223,490 home — the state median value.

Keep in mind, this is just the cost of buying a home. After you close, you'll still need to budget for all the ongoing costs of homeownership.

If you're looking for ways to cut down on the costs of buying a home, Clever Real Estate can help. We're an agent-matching service that can help you compare real estate agents in your local area. All of our agents offer local expertise to keep more money in your pocket.

Clever will connect you with a top local agent and send you a check after closing. Contact Clever for full-service realtor recommendations.

Average closing costs in Iowa

Expense Amount
Earnest money deposit (1-3%) $2,235 to $6,705
Down payment (3.5-20%) $7,822 to $44,698
Cash reserves $2,338 to $3,507
Closing costs (1.93%) $4,308
Inspection $214
Appraisal $214
Moving $1,250 to $4,890
Total $18,382 to $64,537
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Buyer closing costs in Iowa

While the other costs to buy a house in Iowa are pretty transparent, Iowa closing costs are a bit more nuanced. They're actually a series of smaller costs lumped together into one total. Here's a breakdown of all of the Iowa closing costs you'll likely pay when buying a home.

Closing cost Amount
Closing fee $223
Recording fee $82
Title service fees $0
Origination fee $1,117
Underwriting fee $600
Discount points $1,788 per point
Lender's title insurance $140
Owner's title insurance Typically paid by seller
Prorated property tax Varies
Transfer tax 0.16%
Total $4,308
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Does the buyer or seller pay closing costs in Iowa?

The seller typically pays the bulk of the closing costs in Iowa. The seller is responsible for costs like title insurance, real estate transfer tax, and recording fees. The seller also pays their listing agent.

Traditionally, the seller has covered the buyer's agent fees as well. However, a November 2023 lawsuit decision against the National Association of Realtors makes it likely that buyers will be responsible for their own agent's fees going forward.

Will the NAR lawsuit change how real estate commission works?

On March 15, 2024, the National Association of Realtors agreed to pay $418 million in damages to settle a real estate commission lawsuit the industry group lost in November 2023. 

While the full impact of the settlement is yet to be determined, experts believe that the change will eventually lead to lower buyer's agent commissions and give buyers the ability to negotiate those commissions based on the services they need. 

The terms of the settlement are scheduled to take effect in mid-July 2024. But, the settlement hasn't been officially approved yet, and it could be delayed or changed by objections. We'll continue to monitor the status of the settlement and the effects it has on the real estate industry.

» READ MORE:

Keep in mind, closing costs are often negotiable. Motivated sellers will sometimes agree to pay for some of the buyer's closing costs. However, to win the negotiation battle, you'll need a great agent who can work out a deal with the seller. Clever can match you with a top agent in your area that can get the seller to shoulder more of the above costs.

Contact us at Clever for top agent recommendations.

Cost to buy a house in Iowa calculator

Ongoing costs of homeownership in Iowa

Unfortunately, the cost to buy a house is just the beginning. After closing, you'll officially own the home and begin paying for the ongoing costs of homeownership.

Besides the expenses outlined above, you'll also want to consider private mortgage insurance (PMI) and homeowner's association (HOA) fees.

  • If you pay less than 20% as a down payment on your house, you'll probably have to pay PMI monthly until you get to 20% equity. For the average Iowa homeowner, this is between $97 to $329 a month.
  • Some neighborhoods have HOA fees for the care and maintenance of common areas. The national average is around $250 per month.

» MORE: The true cost of homeownership

Top ways to save money when buying a house in Iowa

1. Look into better financing options

Paying off debts and getting your credit in the best shape possible before applying for a loan will help you get a better interest rate, which will lower your monthly payments for the life of the loan.

You can also shop around to compare lenders so you get the lowest fees and interest rates available. It may be a good idea to enlist the help of a mortgage broker if you're not sure how to go about vetting lenders.

2. Participate in home buyer programs in Iowa

Iowa has a few statewide and regional programs that make home buying more affordable. For instance, the Iowa Finance Authority offers favorable lending options and down payment assistance to eligible buyers throughout the state.

There are also federal programs to choose from, like the USDA Rural Development program, which provides low-income Iowans the opportunity to buy or rent affordable housing in select rural areas. There are also a lot of local programs depending on where you’re buying — HUD has a comprehensive list on their website.

» MORE: First-time home buyer programs everyone should know about

3. Partner with an expert agent

Having an expert agent on your side can ensure you win the negotiating battle with the seller.

Clever can help match you with a knowledgeable, hyper-local agent that knows the ins and outs of how to save you money on your local fees. And best of all, our service is totally free!

👋 Find your perfect agent now!

Finding a great local realtor is the first step in making your home buying dreams a reality. Our free service matches you with top agents from trusted brands like Keller Williams and RE/MAX.

Enter your zip code to request hand-picked agent matches in minutes. Compare your options until you find the perfect fit, or walk away with no obligation. Try Clever's free service today!

Methodology

The Clever team of researchers gathered data for property taxes, transfer taxes, and recording fees using publicly available information. We found average costs for attorney fees, title insurance, and other services by requesting quotes from local providers. 

Home values are based on Zillow data as of May 2024.

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Authors & Editorial History

Our experts continually research, evaluate, and monitor real estate companies and industry trends. We update our articles when new information becomes available.

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