October 14, 2009
Sorry for the delay but here are some improtant things to make sure to look for in your closing papers when buying a home:
300 pages. A pen. A table. And you. Thus starts the surreal experience of signing your closing papers to get the keys, possession and mortgage payments that go with your new home. Most homebuyers know they should read these papers, but have no clue what to look for and wonder if they should be perusing the pages there and then, in front of the notary, Realtors and maybe even sellers and attorneys (on the clock, of course). Let the high drama begin.
Fortunately, out of the 6-inch stack of title and loan docs, there are a select few documents and items that are truly critical:
Essential Details. Peruse the entire package to ensure that your name (and your co-buyer's name(s)) and the property's address are accurate and appear the way you would like them to show on the County records. Typos are not infrequent, but they are super easy to have corrected.
The Note. This is your promise to repay the loan. Look for the loan amount, the term of the loan, interest rate, monthly payment, due dates, late fees and other critical terms like whether there is a balloon payment or prepayment penalty. Make sure these details jive with the good faith estimate you were given early on in your transaction.
The Mortgage or Deed of Trust. This paper secures your IOU (the note) with the property, allowing the lender to take your home back if you fail to pay. It should list any "riders" -- additional documents that add terms to the note, like an adjustable rate rider or prepayment penalty rider. Check to be sure that any riders listed on the mortgage or deed of trust are included in the document package.
Estimated HUD-1/Settlement Statement. Review this standardized list of closing costs, debits and credits to your escrow to ensure that it accurately reflects seller credits agreed on in the contract, deposits you've made, and inspection or appraisal fees that you have had billed to escrow.
Strange as it may seem, the closing table is not the place to read your closing documents. Smart homebuyers ask their Realtor, mortgage professional or escrow holder to provide them with a copy of their closing documents as far in advance as possible, ideally at least 72 hours before the signing appointment. This gives you time to review the documents, discuss them with the appropriate pros and initiate revisions, if necessary.
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Currently Ryan has about 30+ listings in inventory, and has sold 25 homes in 2009. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions about Chico area real estate.
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