Almost There … Pre-Closing Details for Buyers
This is the eleventh article in our series called Buying a Home 101: Everything You Didn’t Know You Needed to Know Before You Buy Your First Home. This step-by-step series will take you through the entire home-buying process — from finding a buyer’s agent to settlement day, and even to maintaining your home after you’re all moved in. Make sure to tune in every week!
You don’t want any surprises on closing day. So here’s our handy breakdown with what you need to do to prepare for the big day. You want to ensure a smooth transition to becoming the owner of this home, right?!
This is basically your final to-do list where you want everything taken care of in time:
- Connect your utilities— You don’t want to move in without any power turned on! Get in touch with the electric company (such as Pepco or Dominion) to set up your new electric account. You can sometimes arrange a transfer prior to the sellers closing their account, and you will avoid a re-connect fee.Depending on whether you have gas or if water is included in your condo fees, you may need to contact those services too.Set up all of your accounts to start on the day of your settlement.You can get cable and internet service at a later date (if you can survive for a bit!). However, you can schedule your appointments now for a convenient date.
- Contact your insurance company—Make sure you have your homeowners/hazard insurance starting on the date of settlement as well. Also be sure to send a copy of the policy to your lender. You pay for the first full year at settlement, so no need to pay anything prior.
- What to bring to settlement— Bring your driver’s license and a certified check made out to the title company for the rest of your funds that you still owe. If your check isn’t enough, you can bring a personal check and write it up to $1,000. It’s always good to bring a personal checkbook for any last minute items.If you are moving funds around, please be aware that banks typically put at least a 3 day hold on large transfers. If you’d prefer to wire your funds directly to the title company instead of bringing a certified check, get the instructions from your agent.Obtain a copy of the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, usually available 24 to 48 hours prior to closing. This document will contain all of the financial information for the transaction.
- Home Warranty—If you want to protect yourself in case anything goes wrong with your condo unit, you do have the option of buying a home warranty. The idea is that if something breaks, you would call the home warranty company to repair or replace it.
- Final walk-through— Mark your calendar for the time to meet at your new home for the walk-through. This is usually scheduled just prior to the actual closing. This is your opportunity to inspect the home and its condition. It also enables you to confirm that any items that you and the seller have agreed to remain or convey are there.
This is an exciting time since you’re almost in your new home! You don’t want anything to be delayed or forgotten right now so double check that all tasks have been completed. Put a big red check mark next to each item when done!
Guess what? Our final article in the Buying a Home 101 series is next week. (You’ll also get a bonus one on maintaining your home for week 13.) We hope you’ve learned a lot from this series and that you have the confidence and information to buy a home now! So stay tuned for next week’s article — How to Make Your Settlement Successful. It will help you prepare for this special day where you’ll walk away with the keys for your new home.