My last column got you started on your purchase by determining how much you could afford, getting loan pre-approval, and finding the right agent to tour suitable homes. Now what?
Get your agent to share their knowledge of the market with you. When you find a home you are interested in, review the residential property disclosure. The seller must complete this form and advise potential buyers about what they know about their home. Review the covenants if the property is in a subdivision. Some covenants restrict you from having a shed or above ground pool.
Now you’re armed to make your offer, which should include contingencies regarding financing and inspections, and also a closing date and earnest money deposit. There may be some negotiation, but once both parties have agreed on the terms, you’ll both have signed the purchase agreement, inspection addendum, agency forms, residential property disclosure and lead-based paint disclosure.
You’ll now formally apply for your financing and order your inspections. Your lender will order the appraisal and title search. You’ll need to pay for your first year’s homeowners insurance policy prior to closing. You’ll need to bring a certified check to closing for your down payment and closing costs. If the amount is $10,000 or over, the funds will need to be wired the day before closing.
Usually your agent will review the settlement statement in advance of the closing date if the title company has it ready. You are now ready to go to the closing with your agent and your certified check or wired funds. Remember to bring your drivers license to prove your identity. Once you sign all the closing documents, you now will be a “homeowner!”