What to Expect When You’re Expecting – to Close

One of the most famous books around, with over 18 million copies in print, and that holds the title as the longest running “New York Times” bestseller ever, is What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Now in its fifth edition, this pregnancy bible walks parents through what to expect during the nine months leading up to and including delivery.

Buying a home is nearly as momentous as having a baby, and yet, most potential buyers don’t really know what to expect when closing on their home purchase. In fact, knowing what to expect is even more urgent because closing happens in a much shorter time-frame, in as little as 12 days in some cases.

So, what should you expect?

The one part those home-buying reality shows leave out is the closing. So, to many buyers, it remains a mystery until they’re in the middle of it. Even real estate professionals get nervous about closing. It’s the moment where anything can go wrong, and everything can go right! It begins with mountains of papers to sign and ends with a handful of keys in exchange for a lot of money. So just what is closing and what should you expect?

“Closing” is short for closing the deal or completing the transaction. During closing several significant things happen: Title of your home transfers from the seller to the buyer; the proceeds of the sale (everything remaining after any seller’s fees are paid) distribute to the seller; and if financing the home, the buyer signs the mortgage note, pays fees, insurances, taxes, and real estate commissions. A lot of things happen at closing, so give yourself plenty of time to understand each aspect of the process if it’s your first time around.

At the time of closing, your agent and your loan officer will inform you about what you need to bring to the meeting. Bring identification, so have your driver’s license or passport on hand. You’ll need a cashier’s check for your down payment and the closing costs that appear on your HUD-1 Settlement Statement. This three-page document outlines exactly what your obligations are at closing and in the future. In addition, small items crop up at closing that might need additional funds (furniture you requested the seller leave behind, extra propane or heating oil you’re buying directly from the seller) and last-minute requests. 

You’ll be signing lots of papers. These legal documents obligate you for many years to come, so make sure you understand them. Also, make certain your name is spelled correctly on every page and every addendum. If you’re purchasing with a partner or spouse, make sure the legal designation is as you want it. Changing it later may be difficult.

Recognize that while you may have a close estimate of closing costs, you will not know the exact amount until the day of closing, so round up a bit and have extra funds on hand. Sometimes you can swing a deal for the seller to pay all closing costs, but you’ll still be liable for pro-rated taxes, association dues, insurance, and other buyer obligations.

Don’t be surprised by fees. Ask your agent to go over all the charges with you so that you know which ones you pay for and which ones the seller pays for.

3 Homebuying Costs You Need to Know About

If you plan to purchase a house in the foreseeable future, it generally is a good idea to plan ahead for all of your potential homebuying costs. That way, you can secure the funds you need to purchase your dream house.

Now, let’s take a look at three costs that every homebuyer needs to consider during the property buying journey.

1. Credit Report

A lender likely will request a verified credit report before it provides you with a mortgage. The fee for a credit report usually is minimal, but it is important to note that this fee adds to the overall cost of purchasing a house.

Oftentimes, a homebuyer can get pre-approved for a mortgage and pay a credit report fee prior to conducting a house search. On the other hand, if a buyer wants to secure financing from a lender after he or she discovers the perfect house, the cost of a credit report may be incorporated into this individual’s home closing costs.

2. Home Inspection

A property inspection is crucial, as it ensures a property expert can analyze a house and identify any underlying problems with it before a buyer finalizes his or her home purchase. As such, it is paramount to account for home inspection fees to ensure you have the funds available to hire an inspector who can perform an in-depth evaluation of a house.

The cost of a home inspection varies based on the size of a residence. Meanwhile, there is no need to forgo this evaluation. Because if you ignore a home inspection, you risk encountering costly, time-intensive problems after you buy a residence.

3. Pest or Mold Inspection

A pest or mold inspection is not a requirement if you purchase a new house. Conversely, if you purchase an older residence, it typically is beneficial to inspect it for pests and mold prior to finalizing your house purchase.

Pest or mold inspection costs vary based on a home’s size and location. And if you feel a home may be susceptible to pests or mold, you should pay the necessary fees to conduct a pest or mold inspection. Otherwise, you could encounter home pests or mold that may cause major problems down the line.

As you prepare to pursue your dream residence, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive guidance as you navigate the homebuying journey.

In addition to teaching you about homebuying costs, a real estate agent is happy to educate you about all aspects of the housing market. Plus, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying queries and help you make informed decisions as you search for your ideal residence.

When it comes to purchasing a house, it helps to budget accordingly. If you consider the aforementioned homebuying costs, you can craft a homebuying budget and speed up your quest to discover your dream house.

How To Subtly Test Out A Home

When you’re shopping for a home, one of the most important things is that you feel comfortable in the home. Sure, you can look at the listing and visit the property, but you’ll never know what it’s like to sleep in a home until you move in. While there aren’t many homeowners that offer overnights in order for you to feel out their property listing, there are ways that you can test a home out subtly.

Check Out The Neighborhood

You can learn a lot about a neighborhood just by observing the area. See how many people are out walking around. What is the age group of the people you see? This can give you a great idea of the neighborhood that your potential home is in. You could do this investigating several times at different hours of the day to get a full picture of the area.

Getting out and taking a stroll around the neighborhood is also a great idea to see what potentially living in your new home will be like. Check out public transportation options and local establishments like restaurants and coffee shops. Another great place to check out is local parks and recreation centers. This will allow you to see both the quality and the quantity of the options available to you. 

Test The Plumbing

If you have a chance as you’re walking through a home, touring it, be sure to check out the plumbing. Turn on the faucets. See how the water pressure from the shower is. It seems like kind of a strange thing to think of testing, but it’s important. You don’t want to move into a house only to find out the water pressure is unlivable and the hot water isn’t so hot! 

Check Out How The Windows Work

A home with a breeze is always nice. See if any windows get stuck or are leaking out cold air when shut. This is a subtle way to do your own home inspection of an important aspect of your potential future home. Paying attention to the windows can also help you to hear the noise factor that you might face in the home. Can you hear a lot of traffic? Is the neighborhood quiet? Discovering these things will be very important in your decision to purchase a home.   

How Is The Storage Space?

Look around the homes that you’re considering and see how much storage space you’ll have. Is there a basement or an attic or both? How easy are these spaces to access? If a home lacks adequate closet space for storing things like towels, cleaners, clothing, etc, you may find yourself scrambling for ways to keep all of your things in the home once you move in. Make sure the storage space you see is enough for you and your family’s lifestyle.    

 

Are You an Ambitious Property Buyer?

An ambitious homebuyer goes above and beyond the call of duty to find a great residence at an affordable price. As such, this individual is better equipped than others to streamline the homebuying journey.

Anyone can become an ambitious homebuyer. Now, let’s take a look at three tips to help you seamlessly discover your dream residence.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

Buying a home can be simple, particularly for those who establish property buying criteria. If you enter the real estate market with homebuying criteria in hand, you can hone your search to residences that match your expectations. Then, if you find a house you want to buy, you can move quickly to acquire this residence.

As you craft homebuying criteria, it often helps to evaluate your short- and long-term aspirations. For example, if you strive to live close to the beach, you may want to pursue residences near top beaches in various cities and towns. On the other hand, if you require a house that includes a central air conditioning system, you can search for residences that boast this feature.

2. Develop a Budget

A homebuying budget is essential, as it will help you search for houses that fall within your price range. Perhaps most important, a budget limits the risk that you will be tempted to spend beyond your means to purchase your ideal house.

Generally, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search. These financial institutions can teach you about a variety of mortgage options and help you make an informed mortgage selection. Best of all, banks and credit unions can respond to any of your mortgage concerns or questions, at any time.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you want to speed up your home search, you may want to hire a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to discover a terrific home that can serve you well for years to come.

A real estate agent understands the importance of conducting a comprehensive home search. Thus, he or she will do whatever it takes to help you find a home that suits you perfectly. From setting up home showings to helping you craft a competitive offer to purchase, a real estate agent is prepared to assist you in any way possible.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will offer plenty of guidance as you get ready to close on a home. The weeks and days leading up to a home closing can be worrisome, but a real estate agent will provide tips to alleviate stress. As a result, a real estate agent will help you enjoy a stress-free homebuying experience.

Want to navigate the homebuying journey like an expert? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can become an ambitious homebuyer and find and purchase your dream house in no time at all.