RE/MAX Executive Realty



Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 2/21/2021

Photo by Rafa Bordes via Pixabay
 

Real estate closings could be quite simple at one end of the spectrum or very difficult at the other end. In most cases, you will need to understand the legal ramifications of signing several documents, including the note, mortgage, transfer of title, mineral rights, title insurance and tax documents. If your closing is complicated, you should always have an attorney present.

Simple Closings

It is very rare to have a simple closing, but it could happen. If you are buying raw land for cash, the closing is usually quite simple for the buyer and seller. You don’t need a mortgage, but you will need title insurance for yourself. You’ll also need a deed. The seller will need to sign the requisite tax documents.

Another simple closing is when you purchase a manufactured or modular home and put it on land that you already own. The closing, even with a mortgage, is easy and between the buyer and home manufacturer. However, if you need a construction loan while the home is being built and/or set up, the closing becomes more complicated since you must close twice. The first closing is the construction loan on the money you borrow for the home. The second loan is the loan that covers the finished product. Closing with a builder of a home that is built on-site is more complicated than closing on a manufactured or modular home.

Closings Gone Wrong

While no one wants to have a closing go wrong, it does happen. Your lawyer might find mistakes in documents, including the loan estimate. You might find that the seller did not disclose pertinent information about the home – information that would have prevented you from making an offer on a home and could be cause to break the contract without prejudice. It is always better to have a real estate lawyer review the documents prior to closing and at the closing to ensure that your best interests are met.

List of Closing Documents

At the closing, you will have to review and sign most of these documents:

  • Closing disclosure that dictates the terms of your loan and the closing costs you will pay.

  • Your loan application. You must sign a new copy of the application you submitted to the mortgage company, so be sure to review it and make sure everything is correct.

  • The mortgage note that binds you to repay the loan should have the amount you borrowed, the interest rate, payment date, the amount you will pay over the life of the loan, the length of the loan and other information.

  • The mortgage or deed of trust is what provides security for the loan. When you sign this document, you are putting your house up as collateral. If you bought land separately, the lender might also use the land as collateral.

  • The title and/or deed to your home. The deed is proof of ownership.

  • Affidavits, depending on your situation.

  • Escrow disclosure that tells you how much of your payment goes to escrow and what the escrow is used for. It is usually for county taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

  • Property transfer tax documents.

When scheduling your closing, even if your real estate agent is using a closing agent, consider having your own attorney present. It could save you a lot of headaches and heartache if the lawyer catches something amiss with the closing. 




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Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 9/22/2019

Do you ever wish that they taught a class in high school called, “Things You’ll Actually Need to Know In Life?” You’d learn how to prepare your taxes, what investing is, and how to buy a home.

Unfortunately, all of these important life lessons tend to be self-taught; you pick them up along the way and learn from your mistakes.

However, it needn’t be that way. Our goal today is to give you an accurate idea of what to expect when you’re buying your first home. We’ll go over a typically home buying timeline and discuss how long each step can take. This will give you a better idea of how long it will take to close on your first home.

Step 1: Build credit and save for a down payment

Estimated time: 2+ years

The first step of buying a home is to make sure you’re financially secure enough to do so. While there are ways to purchase a home with low or no down payments (See FHA, USDA, and VA loans), generally it’s wiser to wait until you have a sizable down payment saved. This will save you money in interest and mortgage insurance in the long run.

Next, you’ll need to start working on your credit. If your credit score took some hits due to late payments when you were younger, now is the time to start fixing those mistakes by making on-time payments and paying off outstanding balances.

Step 2: Have a plan for the next phase of your life

Estimated time 6+ months

One of the most important, and least talked about, parts of buying a home is understanding what it means to own a home. If you have a spouse, partner, or family, you’ll need to be in agreement that you’re prepared to stay in one place for the next 5 or more years.

Buying a home is expensive and you won’t want to go through the process of closing on a home if you aren’t sure you’ll stay. This means making sure your career won’t bring you elsewhere in the near future.

Step 3: Get prequalified and preapproved

Estimated time 1-3 days (depending on how much initiative you take)

Getting prequalified for a mortgage takes minutes. You simply fill out an online form and the lender will give you an idea of the type and size loan you could qualify for. Be forewarned: they’ll also use this information to call and bother you about getting a mortgage from them.

Once you’re prequalified, it’s just a matter of working with the lender to provide the correct documentation for pre-approval.

Getting preapproved takes a bit longer (1-3 days), since it requires a credit check and some work on your part--namely, gathering and sending income verification.

Once you’re preapproved, you can safely start shopping for homes without worrying that you’re wasting time looking at homes that are overbudget.

Step 4: House Hunting

Estimated time: 30+ days

It’s a seller’s market. So, if you’re buying a home right now there is competition out there. You’ll need to dedicate a substantial amount of time to researching homes online, contacting sellers’ agents, and following up on calls. Like before, the amount of effort you put into this process determines how quickly and smoothly you’ll get through it.

Step 5: Making an offer and closing

Estimated time: ~50 days

Average closing times for buying a home has grown to 50 days according to a recent study. However, by securing financing ahead of time and acting quickly, you can drastically cut down the time of these process to as little as two weeks.




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Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 6/11/2017

If you’re buying a home, most likely, you’ll want to have a real estate attorney. The attorney will serve a couple of different purposes, namely, to protect you in the purchase of a home.


Real estate attorneys provide legal advice related to the purchase of a home. An attorney’s duties include:


  • Reviewing and revising the purchase and sale agreement (referred to as the P&S)
  • Negotiating the P&S with the seller’s attorney
  • Adding riders to protect your interests
  • Ensuring you meet contingency dates
  • Helping the buyer to understand zoning laws
  • Helping the buyer to understand ownership interests


If there’s a dispute during the sales process, you’ll be quite happy to have an attorney on your side. The attorney can provide advice based on your legal rights and legal obligations under any contracts that you have signed. 


The bottom line is that your attorney will have your best interests in mind. In everything from ownership issues to disputes and how they will impact your ownership in the property, your attorney will be there to give you the most pertinent advice. There are numerous situations that can come up when it comes to buying a home. It’s impossible to anticipate them all. You don’t want to end up owning problems that you didn’t create, or were unaware of.

Coordinating With Other Attorneys


As a buyer, your attorney will coordinate with other attorneys involved in the sales process. This includes the seller’s attorney and the attorney that will be responsible for the closing on the sale of the home. Your attorney will make sure that all other parties have followed through to resolve any issues that may arise in a timely manner. Your attorney can actually become the closing attorney under certain circumstances, but they will at least be present at the closing.  


The Closing Attorney


The closing attorney is the one who is responsible for many different tasks before and during the closing on the sale of the home. These tasks include:

  • Searching the title
  • Resolving title issues
  • Issuing the title insurance
  • Obtaining the payoff amounts for any outstanding mortgages or leins
  • Ensuring taxes and any other city or town related bills have been paid
  • Preparing closing fees on the settlement statement
  • Explaining documents that will be signed at closing by both the buyer and the seller

Buyers in different states have different rights as to who they can choose as their closing attorney. In a technical sense, the closing attorney represents the lender. It’s a good idea to have your own buyer’s representation at closing. 

Attorneys have a duty to keep their clients‘ information confidential and also to keep their best interests in mind. If an attorney is representing both the buyer and the lender, you will most likely receive a form of written consent, notifying you of this matter.

There’s a lot going on legally during the purchases of a home, so be sure you get recommendations and find the right attorney who will represent you as a buyer.




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Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 2/12/2017

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you’ve probably heard a lot about closing costs. Closing costs can come at a hefty price- up to 5% of your home’s purchase price. When that amount must be paid up front, you need to make sure you have a sizable amount of cash on hand.  


There’s many different kinds of fees included in the closing costs. Your lender will give you an estimate of what your closing costs will be, but you may not know what any of the terms that are included actually mean.  


The Loan Origination Fee


This is the fee charged by your lender that covers the administrative costs that are associated with creating and processing a mortgage. This could also be called an underwriting fee.   


Title Search Fee


This is how much the title insurance company charges to perform research on the title of the home. In some cases, the title may have some issues associated with it, so this research is to protect you. There’s also title fees known as lender’s title insurance and owner’s title insurance. You need to have lender’s title insurance, but owner’s title insurance is completely optional.


Credit Report Fee


This covers the obtaining and review of your credit report. 


Application Fee


There’s also a fee when it comes to reviewing your mortgage loan application. 


Home Appraisal


This fee covers the appraiser who is chosen by your mortgage company in order to assess an accurate value of the home.  


Tax Monitoring Fee


This fee supports tax research on the home to determine if property taxes have been paid. 


Survey


The property survey covers all aspects of the property bounds including gas lines, roads, walls, easements, property improvements, and encroachments. 


Attorney Fees


The attorney fees will cover all of the document reviews, the agreements, and the escrow fees.


Insurance Payments


When you close on a home, your entire first year of home insurance payments must be made at the time of closing. If you have bought your home with an FHA loan, you’ll need to pay mortgage insurance premiums at closing as well. You’ll also need mortgage insurance payments if you put less than a 20% down payment on the home.  


Escrow Property Taxes


The lender requires that you pay your property taxes up front. This money will be held in escrow and the taxes paid from there.  


As you can see, there’s a lot that goes on during the closing of a home. Make sure you have some water handy, it’s going to be a long process! Understanding what will happen at closing when you buy a home can help you to avoid any surprise fees or financial burdens.







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