Welcome to the third post in my "What to Expect in Working With a Loan Officer" series, and today we will cover the final stages of the process. If you missed it, the first post covers the initial stages and the second post covers the middle ground between pre-approval and closing.
Buying a home can be a daunting yet exciting experience, an event that happens only a few times in a person's life. Sometimes it can be smooth-sailing, but other times you have to walk away from your dream home due to unforeseen issues. No matter what the journey looks like for you, the final stretch signals that you're close to walking into your new home. Here are three parts to the final stage I'll review today:
- Moving Preparation: In my experience, this can be one of the most overlooked pieces of closing on your new home. Many people (including myself) have forgotten key pieces of moving preparation, only to scramble at the last minute. Switching over the utilities, arranging for a moving company, checking storage locations (attics, garages, etc.), finding the garage door opener, and numerous other piece are easily overlooked. This handy article has detailed checklists for each step of the way. Your real estate agent should help with reminders as well, but I always recommend to have an early start with the moving preparation. It will probably take twice as long as you're estimating to move your life's possessions and clean your home - at least it did for me.
- Closing Disclosure: After the financial crisis of 2008, mandatory disclosures were updated for borrowers to understand the terms of their loan. One of these forms is called the Closing Disclosure, which has all of the terms of the loan you selected (but does not apply to reverse mortgages). This disclosure is a critical tool for you to fully review your loan program in detail, ensuring you understand how each part works. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released this article explaining what a Closing Disclosure is in greater review. Review this document carefully and ask your Loan Officer any questions you may have.
- Closing Table: At long last, you've made it to the infamous closing table. Nearly everyone who has been directly involved in the transaction will likely be at the closing: your agent, the seller(s) and their agent, your Loan Officer, a title company, etc. It can make for a crowded room, but it's also a unique opportunity to directly meet the seller if you have not done so already. During the closing process, a title attorney will review all documents in depth to ensure accuracy, such as home sale price, mortgage amount, legal names, etc. This article from Dave Ramsey has a very detailed review of what to expect at the closing table.
The final part I would add here is that you have bought a new home! Savor the early moments of moving in and making the space your own. These are moments that have always been treasured by my family, and I hope they are treasured by yours. Enjoy!