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Real Estate and mortgages

What to look for when closing on your first mortgage

Buying a home tends to be a challenge, especially for a first-timer. A real estate deal is generally a stressful and prolonged exercise. It involves many steps and procedurals formalities that one has to be careful about to ensure that they dot make an expensive mistake. Closing occurs at the end of the deal when the papers are being signed in order to transfer the ownership of the house. The closing process takes a while anywhere from a week up to 60 days, depending on the property type and whether one is paying cash or financing with a mortgage. However, at the end of everything, the end result of homeownership is well worth the effort.

Closing a mortgage marks the beginning of a new lifestyle for the homeowners since the ownership has officially been transferred to them. During this process, the property title is passed to the buyer while an attorney from the mortgage company oversees the process.  Although the process varies depending on the state, the buyer should look for the following before the deal’s actual closing.

  • The buyer should confirm the date and the time of settlement immediately after they receive the loan approval. Confirmation of the date gives the buyer accurate dates on when they are supposed to make the settlement, thus avoiding any confusion or delays.
  • Another important thing during this process is to ensure that all the documents are assembled together. These are all documents that one will need during the closing, and one should ensure that they have all and bring them to the closing table. This provides explicit details on the financial situation and ensures that everyone is on the same page. Some of these documents are contracts that include flood certification, inspection reports, proof of title search and insurance, proof of homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance, home appraisal, etc.
  • Most sales contracts allow buyers to do a walk-through of the home within 24 hours before closing.  In the walk-through, one makes sure that the previous owner has vacated the premises. Additionally, one has also to confirm if the house is in good condition. Therefore, if there was any repair or improvement that has been mention at the contract has been done before the closing. In some cases, some houses may require repair or improvement of something, e.g., the house maybe required the repainting, repair of the sinks, replacement of the bathtubs etc. Therefore before closing, one should look out on such requirements.
  • The buyer should also conform to the recipients of closing costs and request a certified cashier from the bank before making the settlements. It is important to note that in such cases, personal checks are not frequently accepted at closing, especially when a large amount of cash involved.
  • When one has to pay any closing costs at the settlement or any down payment, it is important for one to make sure that they have a check or other acceptable form of payment ready and with them. It is very important that one check with their settlement agent to verify what types of payment. In this case, one needs to check the type of payments that are acceptable.
  • One should also ensure that they undertake a title search and tittles insurance. The search and insurance give one the peace of mind and the legal safeguard that no one else will claim it thereafter when one purchases a property. In some cases, the tax-collecting agency hasn’t been paid their dues, or relatives that were left out, etc. Therefore the search is the examination of the public records in order to determine the property’s legal ownership. It also helps one to confirm if there are any claims. If there are any claims, the issue is then solved before the closing date.

During the closing, it is also important for the buyer to have with them a valid identification card. Although people tend to think that this is not important since they are so far into the process, it is best that one has it along with the valid passport or the driving license. It is at this time that the buyer receives the keys for the house or sometime shortly after.


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Dr. Paul Etienne is a financial and business consultant in Orlando, FL. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science degree, an MBA and a Doctorate in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. He has worked for large, well-known financial firms throughout his career. Paul and his wife Vanessa share their home inCentral Florida with one extraordinary daughter named Delaney and a wonderful son named Vansley. Paul brings his longstanding experience and vast knowledge of the financial sector to his audience through his book, podcast, training courses and blogs, in which he aims to help as many people as possible with a wide variety of financial advice. He also blogs regularly on www.madbu.comon subjects ranging from personal finance, debt, budgeting, real estate investing, mortgages and retirement and more. In his free time, Paul likes to play the guitar and code, investing in real estate and helping others to become more aware of their finances. He is a lifelong student of all things and is always learning about new ideas.The future, as far as Dr. Paul is concerned, will see him helping more and more people to learn about managing their personal finance and assets, so that they can remain financially secure with the help oh his book and his budgeting app MadbuMax.