Covered Home Buying Guide - Tips for Closing on a New Home

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Tips for Closing on a New Home

You’ve chosen your new home, you’ve made your offer, you’ve made it past the home inspection without any unacceptable surprises, and the seller has accepted, Congratulations! Now it’s time for the closing, and this is where it can get a little nerve-wracking — but if you know what to expect, your closing can go smoothly, and you’ll be in your new home before you know it.

Ask your lender or closing agent for a meeting or phone review

It can seem like closing on a home requires about a million documents, with nearly every one of those coming from a different source or requiring some attention. Meeting with or speaking with your lender or closing agent a few days before your closing can help ensure that all your documents are in order and that nothing was missed. Asking to discuss the closing details a little bit early gives you extra time if you need to chase down a document or provide missing details.

Review loan documents in advance

In many cases, your lender or title company will make the HUD-1 statement available to you 24 to 48 hours before closing.

The HUD-1 itemizes all the financial details of your home purchase, including settlement charges, agency commissions, items payable in connection with the loan, title charges, and of course the amount due, among other important details.

Mistakes can happen, and these can delay your closing. Reviewing your HUD-1 early also gives you a chance to understand the sometimes confusing language before your closing.

Bring a check (certified funds)

You’ll be required to make a payment at your closing, but your closing agent won’t accept a personal check. The best solution is a cashier’s check or a bank certified check. In some cases, a wire transfer may be acceptable. However, a delay in the funds transfer for whatever reason will also delay your closing. It’s safer to have a check in hand for the correct amount in certified funds.

Give yourself the day off – You’ll need it!

A closing can go quickly and smoothly, or it could take several hours. If there’s even one piece of paperwork missing, often the closing can’t be completed. In the best-case, your closing will take a little longer than expected but still happen the same day. Many times, your closing agent will move on to other items if they’re waiting for information from a lender.

You don’t want to try and do a closing on your lunch hour because things can and often do go wrong, possibly creating delays and extra stress.

Donts before your closing

Once the loan has been approved and the closing is scheduled, some hopeful buyers move on to other financial matters. The best strategy here is not to make any changes. Any financial transactions that can affect your creditworthiness — even slightly — can delay your closing or even force the lender to deny the loan.

Here are the main things you’ll want to avoid:

  • Don’t close any accounts
  • Don’t start a new credit or take on any new bills
  • Don’t buy a car
  • Don’t pay any bills late
  • Don’t change jobs

Lenders can do a last minute credit report just before closing. Anything new that shows up in that report can affect your eligibility for the loan, so don’t risk it!

Homebuyers closing checklist

Closing day for your new home isn’t just about paperwork. There are several other considerations you’ll want to get handled before you go to your closing.

  • Confirm Movers: Confirm dates times and details with your moving company. A misunderstanding or scheduling snafu can leave your belongings in limbo, rather than in your new home
  • Locksmith & security system: You might not want the sellers to have a key to your home after closing. Even if the sellers seem like nice people, you don’t know who else might have a key. Contact a locksmith and look into security systems — if desired — before your closing.
  • Utilities: With all the things going on before closing, it’s common for at least one detail to be missed. If this detail happens to be calling a utility company, you might be sitting in the dark in your new home. Gas and electric, water, cable, and any other applicable utilities should be contacted beforehand. Be aware that some utility providers may require a deposit to start service.
  • Schedule contractors: If your new home will require some repairs or remodeling to bring it up to snuff, you might want to schedule the contractors beforehand. However, this is sometimes easier to handle after you have the keys.
  • Transfer home services: Home maintenance services, such as landscapers, sprinkler companies, pest control, and HVAC maintenance companies can be contacted beforehand. After closing, rearranging furniture, and unpacking boxes, the last thing you’ll want to do is mow the lawn — assuming you can find the lawn mower.
  • Hire a babysitter or pet sitter: Closings can go smoothly, or they can take hours, sometimes becoming an all-day affair. Make sure the little ones who are dependent upon you are taken care of by arranging for a babysitter or daycare or a pet sitter if you have pets.
  • Get Home Insurance with Covered! While many of the items on your before closing to-do list or optional, home insurance is almost always required, and even when not required is a wise choice to protect your new home. We can provide quotes from top providers, help you to understand important coverage options, and even bind your coverage so you’ll be ready for closing day. Sooner is better than later to avoid delays in closing and extra stress — so once you have your house picked out, it’s time to get a quote on home insurance. We would love to help get you Covered!