Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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A Pre-Closing Checklist for the Buyer

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Closing on a home can be hectic. Make it easier by having a checklist. Read on, to find a pre-closing checklist for buying your home to make that process go smoothly.

Each closing can be different, due to the people involved. Your best guide through this process is your realtor. So many things are happening, and this can be a confusing time, so you should rely on your realtor to guide you through it. Ask the realtor questions if you are feeling lost. The following list is a general guide to the events or items leading up to closing.

1) Homeowner’s Insurance– required by your lender to ensure that the home will be repaired in the event of damage.

2)You will need to know your mortgage closing costs, which you will obtain from your lender. Take the time to understand your loan and the associated costs.

3) Other closing costs, which the realtor or title company will be giving you an estimate of.

4) Cashier checks for items 2 and 3 above. Find out from the title company and mortgage company how you need to pay. Most often, a cashier’s check is needed for large dollar amounts and personal checks for smaller amounts. Paying by credit card never really happens.

5) Home inspection. you can find lenders who are starting to require this. It is the best way to determine if repairs need to be made, which your realtor will use for negotiations with the seller. Be sure to check into if a service of value.

6) Termite Report, which is called a WDI report (wood destroying insects). Like a home inspection, it is not required, but it is useful. If you are worried about termites, then you should have this inspection done.

7)A survey- required by the lender and/or the title company. If the seller had a survey done in the past few years, you might not have to pay for one yourself.

8) Home Warranty. This is an insurance which covers the equipment (appliances, HVAC) in the house. Sometimes the seller will pay the first year. If you are concerned about the equipment breaking down on you, this insurance can be a great way to reduce the cost of repairs.

9) Driver’s License (or an ID card)- for the closing at the title company.

10) During closing, make sure you receive any keys, garage door operator controls, and security and/or access cards or information.

11) Homeowner’s Association documents- good to have beforehand, since there might be some costs connected with this (like a yearly fee). The other concern is that the HOA could have restrictions on what you do with your home.

12) Ask about any bills concerning the house which might be due. You
never know what can come up here, if at all. But if the homeowner lives in the house after closing for whatever reason, state clearly who should be responsible for the utilities. Another bill could be the property taxes. Your realtor should have this resolved, but you should be aware of how these charges are being handled.

13)Title Insurance– this is an insurance which protects you from any problems which might arise due to a dispute over the title to the land and house. The title company does a title search, but if a claimant comes forward after they have done their search, it might mean a problem for you. Title insurance protects you from claims dealing with ownership before your purchase.

If you have dealt with all of the above items, you should avoid delays in your closing. You do not want to be discussing terms of the sale on the closing date. You can also request to review your loan and title commitment documents before closing. This is usually provided to you, but you might want to make sure that you have them before closing. If you cannot be present at your closing, you will need a Power of Attorney. Check with the title company to see if they are all right with this, and if they have any requirements regarding a Power of Attorney. Check with your lender before closing about their requirements for a Power of Attorney. Some requirements will be that an original Power of Attorney must be delivered to the title company, for recording with the County Clerk’s office. The title company will need to contact you via the telephone on the day of closing to see if you are alive, and if you have not revoked the power of attorney.

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© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States
713.781.6090

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