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Questions to Ask Before Closing on a House


Acquiring a new home is something many people desire at some point in their lives. It is sometimes a long road to get to that point. You will often first go through phases such as acquiring a bank loan or mortgage, saving your deposit, looking finding a house that meets your specifications and budget and then finally, closing on the deal. Before finalizing your house, it is important that you ask important questions. This is to prevent unexpected costs as well as other issues in the long-run. On these premises, there are a series of questions that you should endeavor to ask before signing along the dotted lines and closing on a deal for a new house. Some of these questions will be mentioned in the following article.

How Much Will You be Paying Every Month?

One of the most important questions to ask before closing on a house is what your expected payments will be on a monthly basis. There are several costs associated with buying a house that you should be on top of to avoid late payments. Not calculating these expenses properly could result in you falling behind on other bills which could create a great deal of anxiety and stress.  Aside from your mortgage repayments which are typically determined by the lender, some other bills you should consider that are associated with owning a house include insurance, property taxes, and refurbishments. In regard to property taxes, you should be aware that they often go up on a yearly basis, so you should inquire about what they will be and divide that expense by twelve to know how much it will be monthly. It may therefore be a good idea to include that in your budget before closing on the house or at least have half stashed away. Refurbishments are also a cost that could catch you unaware, so it’s important that you properly assess the house beforehand and make note of what needs fixing and could cause serious issues later such as a leaking roof. Find out which faults the seller is willing to rectify to see if you can cut some of your expenses. It’s also important to ensure these changes are made before closing.

What do You Need to Bring With You?

Before closing on a deal, knowing what documentation you need may go a long way. In order to be aware of what to bring with you beforehand, ask the estate agent or seller what is required. Usually, you would need some form of ID which may include a passport or drivers license. Remember that the ID you bring should be government issued and a form of photo ID. Other forms of ID to consider include a certified cashiers check for any closing costs that you may owe to the title or closing company, as well as outstanding documents or paperwork that you haven’t provided like originals of official documentation. Getting it all prepared beforehand will save you time and a lot of running around.

When Should You Schedule Pre-Closing Inspection?

It is important that before closing on a house, you carry out an inspection and ensure that you’re happy with everything. To avoid regret and stress later, make sure that everything is intact. Some things that you should consider looking out for include alarms and security systems, the operation of lighting fixtures, smoke detectors, the roof, windows, locks, and gutters. If you see anything that you aren’t satisfied with, ensure you speak up as soon as possible as doing so later may be problematic. Even if you signed the contract months ago, still endeavor to carry out a pre-closing inspection at least 24 to 48 hours before closing to ensure things haven’t been changed around since the last time you checked.

Have You Sorted Out Your Escrow?

When you’re getting ready to buy a home, you may hear the word escrow flying around often. If you’re unsure of what it is, an escrow basically means that you’re using a third party aside from the buyer or seller to hold something of value in order to help make the transaction safer. The third party usually happens to be neutral in order to avoid a favorable outcome on either side. Overall, the Escrow’s job is to ensure everyone does what they said they would do to ensure both parties are happy at the end of the day. Before closing on a house, you should, therefore, ensure you have enough set aside for the escrow.

What Items Will You Need After Closing

There are certain items you’ll need once you’ve finalized the closing. These could include mailbox keys, garage door openers, pool keys and anything else that you can think of that may be necessary. Check with the seller to know the items you’ll need beforehand to save yourself the hassle of needing to get these things later on.

What is the Appraised Value of the home

Knowing the value of your home before closing is extremely important. If you want to sell or remortgage, you want to be sure you’re actually going to get a return on investment. It is ideal to hire a good real estate agent or company such as David Ellis Real Estate Group who will give you extensive information regarding the property you’re about to close on, appraisal information included. Some indications you can use to determine it on your own, however, include checking the value of homes within your vicinity, typically a mile or two to be exact. The value is also usually determined by factors such as the comparable sales of houses that are similar to yours in age, design, style, size and also condition. Your real estate agent can also give you a comparable market analysis as they have access to sales data that is useful in charting home values in your area.

Owning a home should be a joyful experience, but it can quickly turn sour if the wrong steps are taken. This is why it’s important to do your homework and ask questions before proceeding to the final step which is closing. By doing so, you can ensure that you can celebrate achieving a milestone in peace.