Things to know when closing on your first home

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You’re settling down and starting a family, so you’ve been looking for a new home. After months of searching, you found a home you love at a price you can afford. It is close to a good school, for when your child gets older and even has a third bedroom, should you decide to have a second child later. As first time home buyers, there is just one hurdle left to cross: You need to close on the property.

Knowing how the process should work is vital to avoid unexpected hitches and avoid falling into costly traps. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Does it have a clean title? If you part with money, then find out the person selling it does not have full ownership rights, you may face a long legal battle to recover your funds.
  • Do you have your finances in place? Unless you are paying in cash, you will need a mortgage. Ensure you gave accurate information when getting your pre-agreement, and check there has not been an unexpected increase in the lending rate.
  • Is everything about the property as you expected? Homeowners have been known to strip out kitchens and other fittings. Organize a final walkthrough to ensure you get what you are expecting. Have experts undertake surveys to ensure there are no structural issues or issues with the land the house stands on.

Before signing your contract, ensure it contains contingencies that allow you to back out of the contract if problems develop. Have your real estate attorney read through any agreement before you sign it. Errors in closing on a home could prove costly and bring your run of good fortune to an end.


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