Buying a home is a huge purchase for you. Here are some “smart” tips:
1. Offer to purchase: although it is not usually explained to the buyer, this “folder” can have full legal force and force him to sign a deal. Make sure your attorney reviews it and that it contains the words “memorandum of understanding only: the purchase and sale must be signed by all parties within seven days, otherwise the offer to purchase will be void and without effect”. Make sure you give yourself contingencies for all inspections, obtaining a firm mortgage commitment, Title V (septic) compliance, and the sale of your existing home, etc.
2. Buy and Sell: Although it says standard, it is not. It contains legal terms and clauses that attorneys routinely modify and negotiate with riders and attachments. Don’t put your broker in a position where you’re essentially asking him to act as your attorney. This is not the place to save money.
3. Inspections and preliminary title: this part of the process allows your inspections. You have the right to withdraw from the deal or renegotiate based on the information obtained through these inspections. Try to review any easement, conservation, and survey issues along with Title V (septic) reports and zoning issues before your contingency period ends. Better to see what boundaries exist on the property now than just before closing.
4. Problems with Lenders: Work with an experienced and reputable mortgage broker or lender. There are many things involved in qualifying someone for a loan these days. Be honest with your broker. Run a credit report on yourself before shopping for a mortgage. There may be errors or items that need to be resolved before submitting the loan application.
5. Remember: Although the lender’s attorney may have some obligations to you as a consumer, they are not representing you. When offered, buy the owner’s share of the title insurance to transfer your risk of most title problems that are not necessarily a concern at this closing, but may arise when you resell or refinance. The one-time fee is worth covering. Plus, get the right homeowners insurance. The lender’s minimum may not be sufficient for your needs. If your property is in a flood zone, buy flood insurance without hesitation.
6. Closing: Try to review at least the settlement statement before closing. Traditionally, these are not available until very close to closing due to late information. Since you are not familiar with the form and some of the costs, you should ask someone to review it for you. At closing, review the plot plan to see if it fits your understanding of the location, size and shape of the lot. Consider filing a family property declaration at closing. The lender’s attorney will usually prepare one for you for a small fee.
Post Lock – It’s a good idea to change the locks and confirm that utilities have been transferred to you. You must request a package of the signed documents. Many closing attorneys can now scan and email them.
ENJOY your new home!