As you’re nearing the end of your home-buying journey, you’ll want to avoid any hiccups. Here’s a checklist of tasks that buyers must complete before they move into their new home. The list covers five things that need to be squared away during the few days leading up to settlement.
1. Get final mortgage approval
Your home loan must go through the underwriting process before you get to the closing table. The underwriter—employed by your mortgage lender—will check your credit score, review your home appraisal and ensure your financial portfolio has stayed the same since you were pre-approved for the loan. Underwriting usually happens shortly before closing time; so don’t do anything while you’re in the contract that will affect your credit score. That includes financing a car, boat or any other large purchase.
2. Review your closing disclosure
If you’re obtaining a loan, one of the best ways to prepare is to thoroughly review your closing disclosure. This official document outlines your exact mortgage payments, the loan’s terms (interest rate and duration) and additional closing cost fees you’ll pay. Be sure to compare your closing disclosure with the loan estimate your PERL lending officer gave you at the outset, and if you spot any discrepancies, ask your personal PERL professional to explain them.
3. Do a final walk-through
Most sales contracts allow buyers to complete a walk-through of the home within 24 hours before closing. During this stage, make sure the previous owner has vacated (unless you’ve allowed a rent-back arrangement, which allows them to stay for a certain amount of time before moving). Also, double-check that the home is in the condition agreed upon in the contract. If your home inspection revealed problems that the sellers agreed to fix, make sure those repairs were made.
4. Bring the necessary documentation to closing
Make sure you have these items at the closing table:
- • Proof of homeowner’s insurance;
- • Copy of your contract with the seller;
- • Your home inspection reports;
- • Any paperwork required to approve your loan; and
- • A government-issued photo ID.
5. Prepare your money for closing
- • Talk with your Perl Loan Officer, attorney or title company representative as to how much money you will need for closing.
- • If you will need less than $50K at closing, you can typically get a cashiers check from your bank.
- • If you will need more than $50K at closing, you will need to wire funds into the title company from your bank. Wire fraud is on the rise, you will want to double and triple check wiring instructions with the Title Company and/or your attorney.
- • Cash and personal checks (under most circumstances) are not allowed at closing.
- • The money you bring to closing must come from a bank account that was verified as part of your mortgage approval with Perl.
And as always, don’t hesitate to call your PERL loan officer if you have any questions at all!