When you close on a home, you’re sealing the deal with all of the agreements that you have made with the seller and your lender over the course of the home buying process. Since most people don’t pay cash for a home, your loan will also close at the same time as the ownership changes. If you are paying cash, the process may be slightly different. Closings can also be called “settlements” since everything is being signed and sealed at this time, essentially, “settling” the deal.
Have Your Checkbook Ready
The closing is where documents are exchanged, the keys are passed on, and all of the funds required to complete the transaction are paid. Closing costs include the down payment that you’re putting on the home, lawyer’s fees, taxes, commissions, assessments, and more. The seller may be writing a check too, paying off the old loan to their former home. You’ll need to verify the amount that needs to be paid at closing clearly before you reach the closing table. The money must be presented at the time of closing in order for the deed to be handed over.
Get A File Folder And Stretch Your Writing Hand
The settlement on a home requires quite a bit of paperwork. You’ll be handed a stack of papers to sign. Take the time to listen to your lawyer or realtor to understand exactly what you’re signing. There’s more papers to sign than you really can imagine! Finally, you’ll be handed copies of all the papers that you put your signature on. It’s important to keep everything for your records. These documents will include everything from proof of insurance to the deed on the property to your loan terms and documentation.
Where Will The Closing Be?
Depending on where you live, your closing will take place in either the lender’s office or the office of a lawyer who is representing the closing. Typically, it will be the loan company’s attorney who holds the event in this case. In some cases, closings can be what is known as “witness only.” This means that a notary or attorney will be present at the chosen closing location to provide documents. The drawback to this type of transaction is that nothing that you’re signing will be explained to you.
What Happens Following Closing?
When all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed, congratulations! You’re the proud owner of a new property. Unless there has been a prior agreement made with the seller, you’ll be able to take possession of the property right away. Occasionally, there will be some post-closing agreements that involve transactions due to a repair that couldn’t be made or reimbursements for real estate property taxes that were paid on the part of the seller. Ideally, this will all be taken care of at the closing table, but at times other arrangements must be made.
If you want to purchase a home, it pays to establish a homebuying budget. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and narrow your search for your dream house.
Now, let's take a look at three best practices to help you create a homebuying budget.
1. Look at Your Finances
Your finances will play a major role in your ability to purchase a home. Thus, you should evaluate your current financial situation closely so you can map out an effective homebuying journey.
Request a copy of your credit report – you'll be glad you did. You are eligible for a free copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) annually. Take advantage of this complimentary perk, and you can gain deep insights into your outstanding debt.
If you have outstanding debt, try to pay this down as much as possible. That way, you can boost your credit score, which ultimately will help you improve your chances to acquire your ideal residence.
2. Meet with Banks and Credit Unions
When it comes to buying a home, meeting with banks and credit unions usually is a great idea. That way, you can learn about your home loan options and get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Apply for a mortgage from several banks and credit unions. Then, you can receive various mortgage quotes and select one that suits you perfectly.
Also, don't hesitate to ask plenty of questions during a lender consultation. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage professionals – all of whom are happy to help you make an informed mortgage decision. Therefore, if you're unsure about whether to proceed with a 15- or 30-year mortgage or can't decide between an adjustable- or fixed-rate mortgage, you can ask these mortgage professionals for expert advice.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A homebuying budget is tricky to establish on your own, especially if you are entering the real estate market for the first time. Fortunately, a real estate agent can help you plan ahead for all stages of the homebuying cycle.
During a real estate agent consultation, a housing market professional will learn about your homebuying goals. Next, this professional will help you establish realistic homebuying expectations and ensure you can discover a great house at a budget-friendly price.
Of course, let's not forget about the world-class support that a real estate agent provides after you kick off a home search, either.
A real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about open houses and offer homebuying recommendations and suggestions. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to help you get the best price on a house.
Ready to begin your search for your dream home? Use the aforementioned best practices, and you can craft a homebuying budget and start your homebuying journey.
The thought of trying to declutter your home could stress you out. If you put off the act of organizing, however, you could end up even more stressed out. Clutter in the home is proven to be a cause of stress. Not being able to find what you need can cause you to feel that you’re living in chaos. There’s a few tips that you can take into consideration to help you declutter, destress, and get organized for good!
When Planning Storage Solutions, Measure First
If you shop for containers and other storage organization tools first, you’ll never know what will fit properly. Taking the time to measure things out and get the right size containers can help you to avoid creating more clutter for yourself. Measuring spaces helps you to come up with a plan for what your vision is for that space.
Declutter For Less
You don’t need to go into a huge debt to declutter your home. You can shop at the local dollar store to find containers, hooks, and bins to help you stay organized. Organization doesn’t need a lot of fancy tools.
For Kids, More Is Better
When it comes to finding containers and bins for a child’s room, more is definitely better. Having many separate compartments really helps the kids to stay organized and find what they’re looking for when they want it.
A Junk Drawer Is Actually A Good Thing
You can actually keep that junk drawer or bin that you have in the house. A junk drawer is a great place for collecting items. Just learn to keep it organized. If you have a bin, make sure that you clean it out from time to time so that tons of things don’t end up building up there in a pile. If you have a junk drawer, try to compartmentalize it with categories and separators for a “lost and found” or “things that need to be put away.”
Every Door Is An Opportunity
In your home, think of each and every door, cabinet door, or closet door as an opportunity to create more storage. You can hang things on the backs of these doors including spice racks, shoe racks, hooks for coats, and so much more. Don’t miss out on a simple yet very effective space saver.
In each room, there’s places where the same activity is done over and over again. Creating zones helps to reduce clutter and increase organization. In the kitchen, for example, you probably have a dedicated prep space along with a clean up station. In bedrooms, there’s a place where you get dressed, throw your dirty clothes, and get ready for the day. Have everything that you’ll need in each “station” or “zone” so that you can stay on top of being tidy.
After you accept an offer on your house, what happens next? Ultimately, there are several steps that will need to be completed to finalize a home sale, including:
1. Completing a Home Inspection
A home inspection may be completed only a few days after you accept a homebuyer's offer. This evaluation enables a homebuyer to conduct a thorough examination of all aspects of your home, and if necessary, rescind or renegotiate a proposal.
For home sellers, it is paramount to maintain a direct, upfront approach with homebuyers. If you are honest with homebuyers from the get-go, you may be able to avoid problems when it comes time to complete a home inspection.
With an experienced real estate agent at your disposal, you should have no trouble establishing realistic expectations for your home. Plus, your real estate agent will offer recommendations for home repairs and upgrades, ensuring that you can complete the necessary home improvement tasks before you add your residence to the real estate market.
2. Performing Home Repairs and Upgrades
If a homebuyer discovers major problems with your house during a home inspection, he or she may request home repairs or upgrades. In this scenario, you may be required to perform various home improvement tasks to finalize an agreement.
Home improvement tasks can be expensive and time-consuming, but they sometimes are necessary to ensure that you can reach the finish line of the home selling process. If you ever have concerns or questions about home repairs and upgrades, your real estate agent should be able to respond to your queries at any time.
Furthermore, if you feel like a homebuyer's home repair and upgrade requests are unwarranted, you can always decline these requests. If you choose this option, however, the homebuyer could rescind his or her offer on your home, and you may need to restart the home selling process from stage one.
On the other hand, you can always try to negotiate with a homebuyer. For example, if you offer to lower the price of your house after an inspection, you may be able to speed up the home selling cycle and avoid making a significant time investment to perform property repairs and upgrades.
3. Packing Up Your Belongings
After a homebuyer finishes an inspection and agrees to purchase your home in its current condition, you'll be able to set up a closing date. You'll also need to consider where you'll go next and plan accordingly.
Packing up your belongings is essential, and you may want to put various items in storage if you plan to live in temporary housing in the foreseeable future. In addition, you'll want to set up plans to get all of your belongings out of your residence before the closing date to ensure that the homebuyer can move into the house on schedule.
Selling a home may seem tricky, especially for those who are uncertain about how to navigate the home selling process. Luckily, your real estate agent is happy to support you in any way possible. As a result, you can work with your real estate agent and guarantee that the home selling process is completed quickly and effortlessly.
Although preparing your house for a real estate showing can be hectic, there are ways to make it easier and less stressful. One source of stress for many people is that nagging feeling that they're forgetting to do something important.
Admittedly, overlooking some things could result in lost sales or even lost valuables, but a little advance planning and organization can help prevent those problems from happening.
The solution is to create a checklist of important reminders and tasks you have to complete before leaving the house. Your real estate agent will provide helpful guidance and tips on effectively preparing your house for showings.
Putting Your Best Foot Forward
When your house is up for sale and it's being actively marketed, appointments with prospective buyers are sometimes made on the spur of the moment. While real estate agents will be scheduling the appointments and conducting the tours, it's up to you to ensure that your home is always in tip-top condition. Hopefully, you'll be able to enlist your family's help in picking up clothes, putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and cleaning up after themselves. If you have small children, they will undoubtedly need assistance in putting away their toys and making their bedrooms look civilized! Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when getting ready for house showings:
- Cleanliness (or a lack thereof) will be one of the many things that house hunters notice. While your house may meet their requirements for number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and overall layout, they could quickly lose interest if your floors, countertops, and sinks are visibly dirty.
- Pets can be a potential issue if your home is scheduled for a showing. Not only can dogs be a distraction if they bark a lot or have other undesirable behaviors, but some people are allergic to dogs and cats. The ideal solution is for a friend, family member, or neighbor to take care of your dog while the house is being shown. Unfortunately that's not always possible. Sometimes confining your dog to a fenced-in back yard (briefly) or a comfortable crate that they're accustomed to may be a viable, short-term solution. Several factors would come into play, including the weather, the temperament of your dog, and whether it's going to bother the neighbors by being outside.
- Doing your best to eliminate clutter throughout the house is another strategy for making the best possible impression on potential buyers.
Protecting Your Valuables and Privacy
Another priority that some homeowners forget is to hide valuables, such as jewelry, mobile devices, checkbooks, and cash. It's also a good idea to make sure your computers are password-protected, and that you turn them off before leaving the house. If you have any concerns about security during home showings, you might want to hide computers, personal items, and yesterday's mail in a secure place. Although most people touring your house will only be interested in its features, décor, and condition, it's always good to exercise a little caution when opening your house up to the public.