Adventures of a First Time Home Buyer! Part 8 - ARE WE THERE YET?

  Welcome to 
The Adventures of a First Time Home Buyer


Remember...back in the day...when you were a kid and your family took a road trip...a road trip which felt unbearably long?!?  Seeming to take FOREVER?!?

Well, that is exactly how the final days leading to closing will feel!
I'd say 'Be Patient!' but it's a difficult thing to do.

Once your loan documents arrive at the escrow company, it’s just a matter of the Escrow Officer ensuring that all necessary documentation is prepared and ready for signing. Based on their input, they will draft a HUD-1 Statement. This is a projected detailed estimate of both parties (Buyers and Sellers) closing costs. You will receive a copy of this estimate prior to signing, and so will your Agent. Now is the time to review these numbers carefully, with both your Agent and your Loan Officer, to verify that all the numbers are correct and correspond to what you had anticipated.

The Escrow Officer will contact you, or in our case, our Agent, to schedule a time for you to come into their office to sign the closing documents. For standard residential transactions, you can plan on the signing to take at least an hour.  Everyone made jokes and cracks about this being the moment we would sign our life away and that our wrists would surely be sore at the end...but in all honesty, it wasn't that bad.  There were a lot of documents but our Escrow Officer, our Loan Officer, and our Agent were all there and made it a very simple, easy to understand process.

The Escrow Officer will tell you what you will need to bring to the signing; typically your Driver’s License and any funds necessary to close the transaction...don't forget any of the stuff he/she asks for!

In some instances, you may have negotiated with the Sellers for them to contribute to your closing costs {which we did}. In addition, any Earnest Money that you deposited into escrow when you first went under contract will either be applied to your closing costs, or credited back to you at closing. Reviewing your HUD-1 statement will help you to aniticpate whether or not you will need to bring money to your signing.  Your Loan Officer and/or Agent should also tell you exactly what you'll need money wise.  The escrow company required that we bring the funds in the form of a certified cashier’s check.

Once you have signed all your documents, they are sent to the Lender for final review. In most instances, the following day your loan is funded. Later that same day, the escrow company sends documents by courier to the County courthouse where the new deed is legally recorded. The recording numbers are furnished to the escrow company, and the transaction is officially closed, and the house is YOURS!

Your Real Estate Agent will have made arrangements with the Seller’s Agent to obtain the keys, garage door openers and garage code {if there is one}. Once escrow has informed them that your loan has been funded and they have recording numbers, the transaction has closed and you can take possession. Note - our Agent walked us through the home right after signing/closing to ensure that everything is as specified per contract.

Before you begin moving take time to tour the entire home and premises:
  • Verify that you have adequate power, water, and gas servicing the property.
One thing many people forget in the final stage of the home buying process is to contact all of the local utility companies and have them switch the billing over to your name. Your agent will most likely provide you with a list of utility companies that serve the property, along with their contact numbers.
  • Are there instruction manuals for all the appliances and primary systems (furnace, water heater)?
  • Does your neighborhood have locked mailboxes, and did the Sellers provide you a key?
  • Is there a trash can, or will you need to purchase one? Check with your Disposal company to determine acceptable containers.
  • As a safety precaution, have all the locks changed as soon as possible.
A good Real Estate Agent never disappears after you’ve closed. There is always something that inevitably comes up after the fact. So don’t hesitate to contact your agent if there are any issues or concerns. Your complete satisfaction and future referral/recommendations are very important!

Enjoy this day! You’ve now joined the ranks of being a 'Homeowner!' 

When we got the keys to this bad boy...

I literally walked in and laid on the living room floor!  
Just laid there!