When you’re preparing to close on a new home, it can be exciting to look forward to settling into space. Although you may be close to finalizing the transaction, there are a few important things to keep in mind before you closed and move into the home.
1. Settle the Contingencies
It’s common to have a few contingencies in place with the seller, which may include repairing missing shingles on the roof or fixing a leaky faucet. You may also have a home inspection contingency to ensure you can have the home professionally inspected. You may have an appraisal contingency to determine the fair market value of the home, which allows you to get out of the transaction if the value is less than what you’re purchasing the home for as a buyer.
2. Clear Your Title
Expect your lender to request a title search when closing on a home, which is a requirement to finish the deal. It’s also necessary to obtain title insurance for protection from legal claims on the home. The insurance can avoid any issues if someone related to the seller claims they own the property. You can have the freedom to select which title company you want to use. Consider getting a referral from your real estate agent to ensure you can find a reputable company. Look into the reputation and license of the company in advance to ensure they’re reputable.
3. Get the Mortgage Approved
The home loan you obtain must undergo the underwriting process after you submit your down payment and before you close. Expect the underwriter to act as a detective and thoroughly look into your financial information to verify you’re qualified to repay the loan. They’ll look into your credit report, verify your home appraisal, and look for any changes on your portfolio since you first applied for the loan.
Avoid acquiring any new debt or putting large purchases on your credit card, which can affect your debt-to-income ratio. You also want to avoid switching jobs or becoming self-employed during this time, which can cause you to get turned down for the loan.
4. Schedule Your Final Walk-through
You’ll get the chance to complete your final walk-through 24 hours before you close on your new home to ensure everything is in good condition and as you expect. The walk-through will allow you to confirm that the previous owner is no longer living on the property and that all of their belongings have been removed. If the home inspection uncovered issues, the seller may have agreed to fix the problems before the closing date. The walk-through will allow you to make sure they performed the repairs before you move into the building.
5. Prepare Your Documents
Preparing all your documents is necessary to ensure you have what you need when you attend the closing meeting. You’ll need to bring proof of homeowners insurance, the home inspection reports, your government-issued ID, the bank paperwork you obtained to get approved for the home loan, and your copy of the contract you have with the seller of the home.
You’ll also need to review your closing disclosure to review how much you’ll need to pay on your mortgage each month. It’s also important to look at the closing costs and any additional fees you may need to pay. Expect to pay an average of two to seven percent of the closing costs and have a cashier’s check with you when you show up for the meeting.
Give yourself plenty of time to spend at the meeting and expect it to take at least an hour. You’ll sign a lot of documents, and your real estate agent or attorney can help explain any fine print that you may not understand. Once the process is complete and everything is finalized, you’ll obtain the keys to your new home and can get ready to officially move into your new property.
Knowing a few important facts to remember and steps to take when moving and closing on your home to make it a smooth and successful process. Preparing for closing can allow you to avoid mistakes and ensure there are no issues that occur.