The home search is over! You have finally found the perfect home in the ideal location, negotiated the price, had your offer accepted, and are ready to make the big move. After the walk-through, appraisal, and some constructive “back-and-forth” with the agents, family members, and friends, the next step is finally here: it’s closing time! The closing is an exciting milestone in the overall home purchasing process and it’s the final piece of the puzzle when buying and financing a home.
Taken directly from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website, the closing, or sometimes referred to as a “settlement”, is when “you and the other parties in a mortgage loan transaction sign the necessary documents” so that the new, beloved home is finally your own! The closing documents make you responsible for the mortgage loan, so it’s important that you know what you are signing during the closing process.
One particular document, the closing disclosure, is a form that includes all final terms of the loan, closing costs, details of who pays and who receives any of the payments in the transaction. This document is a form that has replaced the previous HUD document (Department of Housing and Urban Development). Another document, the initial escrow statement (also called the initial escrow disclosure), lists what is going in the escrow account each month so taxes and insurance is paid on the homebuyer’s behalf. This document also shows the estimated balance in the escrow monthly as payments are made and how their account adjusts.
Contractual documents include the promissory note, which outlines clearly what you are agreeing to. It will include what you owe, interest rate of the mortgage loan, the dates when payments are to be made, total amount, length of time to repay, and more. Another form, a mortgage or security instrument, explains responsibilities as well as rights as a borrower. There are additional state and local government documents that are typically used to collect information about you, the new homeowner. Lender documents will also need to be signed at this time, too. When you receive the closing disclosure, you can ask your lender to provide a full set of all the documents listed here. This way, you can review them in advance and before the closing.
The closing process usually includes your real estate agent or Realtor®, the title company representative, also known as the closer, and potentially the lender. Your lender may or may not attend the closing. State regulations are different, so the closing meeting may include everyone at the conference room table while signatures are happening or it could take several days if signatures are being compiled separately. In some cases, a closing may even be via the internet or mail.
Regardless how the actual closing process happens, it’s important to understand that the paperwork has lasting financial implications. Before signing, make sure the documents have been reviewed and are understood. Don’t sign the documents if you’re unsure of making the payments or if there are errors. Ask questions if you don’t understand something involving the terms of the loan. Also keep in mind that over time, your payments may change. With an adjustable-rate mortgage, payments may increase over time so make sure you know when it will change and by how much. Even fixed-rate mortgages may change because of variations to taxes or insurance.
Being prepared at closing will help alleviate any stress and let you focus instead on this momentous event. Being a new homeowner is definitely a reason to celebrate! If you’re interested in a new home or want to learn more about selling your existing home, I’d love to help. I’ve assisted many families and individuals in the Metro-east area and beyond find their dream home. Contact me for all of your real estate needs at (618) 978-2384 or email me at Sandie@SandieLaMantia.com.
Most of us at some point in our lives have relocated. Whether it was moving to a new house with our family as a child or packing up and heading across state for college, we all can appreciate how much effort goes into the prepping, planning and packing. Wonderful, new beginnings await us when we move! Here are some handy tips to relieve some of the stress of moving, helping you enjoy the process (and this exciting time) instead.
Know you’re moving? Organize all of the paperwork. It’s important to keep all paperwork in the same spot so you don’t spend time looking for it when a question about the move surfaces. Did you hire movers? Have their information on hand. Is your new house a rental? Make sure you have contact information in case something goes awry upon arrival and you can’t access your new apartment or home. By keeping all moving documents in one spot, you’ll not only avoid the stress of not being able to find something in a jiffy but also enjoy a more efficient move from start to finish.
To Do Lists are Key! As with any big event, keeping a list of “to-do’s” is crucial. You wouldn’t plan your daughter’s engagement party with no planning, invitees, or reservations, would you? With a move, it’s also important to keep track of the steps involved throughout the process. In many cases, it’s simply a good idea to keep a running list of things you may need to remember at a later time. This list can hold important numbers, due dates and more. It’s just one more way to stay organized during a very busy – but exciting – time.
Take photos. You may be feeling sentimental as the move approaches, but this tip has a different motive in mind. Photos come in handy for many reasons. By taking pictures of your knick- knacks before and during the move, your life will be easier once you make it to the new place and you’re trying to unpack and decorate. Know what else? Taking photos of electronic wires and connectors will help you when you’re trying to hook up the TV at the new home just in time to watch the big game! Also, if items get damaged in the move, you’ll be able to let the movers know their condition prior to the move…with the proof of a photo.
Don’t pack items you won’t be needing anymore. I’ve written about decluttering when trying to sell your home, but it’s important to also not spend the time and the effort to pack items you won’t be using in your new home. Moving is the perfect time to declutter! If you are no longer using that cabinet and it’s been in your basement’s storage room, try to donate or sell it. You can also ask yourself, “where will I need this item in the new place”? If you don’t have an answer to that question, it’s likely time to part ways with it.
The internet is filled with practical (and sometimes off-the-wall!) packing tips to prepare you for your next big move. A little preparation and forethought will go a long way, starting off life’s next phase in the right way. Are you interested in that new home or wanting to learn more about selling your existing home? I’d love to help! I’ve assisted many families and individuals in the Metro-east area and beyond find their dream home. Contact me for all of your real estate needs at (618) 978-2384 or email me at Sandie@SandieLaMantia.com.
For those of us that live and work in Edwardsville and Glen Carbon, we know how important community spirit can be when cultivating a hometown. Winston Churchill once said “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” The Edwardsville/Glen Carbon community is proud of it’s altruistic attitude, knowing that working to improve the lives of others, also improves the quality of one’s own life. Great schools, a top-ranking university, affordable cost of living, and a thriving restaurant and shopping scene make the Glen-Ed area a great place to be. Once you visit Edwardsville and Glen Carbon, meet the people that live here, it’s easy to see why so many of us work hard to keep the community’s vision alive.
Why living here goes above and beyond “average”
When looking to buy a house, it’s easy to see why so many families choose this side of the river when working in downtown St. Louis. On the average, it only takes a mere 20 minutes to get to that downtown office space! Cost of living is less than the National Average, and you can get more home for your money. Many of my clients want more green space too, and both Edwardsville and Glen Carbon boast wonderful parks, miles of scenic bike trails, and bigger home lots. Looking to build? There’s still acreage and new construction opportunities available. It’s hard to find outdoor living space in Missouri without a bigger price tag!
District #7 is also one of Illinois’ best school districts, so when raising a family, you know that your child(ren) will be receiving a wonderful education. Are you are interested in one of the many private schools or public schools? Edwardsville can’t be beat! The District’s Sports Programs are fantastic, making sure that your child’s body stays just as active as their brain! The local YMCA also offers a plethora of affordable programs for kids of all ages to stay healthy, get creative, and meet new people.
The Edwardsville and Glen Carbon community is a wonderful place to raise a family and many families that move to the area when their kids are young decide that there’s no place they would rather be once their kids have grown. Affordable housing and maintenance-free living options are also available to “empty-nesters” when wanting to downsize, still offering the great community spirit, friendships and local conveniences that come with living in Edwardsville or Glen Carbon.
When driving through Edwardsville or Glen Carbon, it’s difficult to miss the growth of new business! Whether it’s a new restaurant on Main Street or an antique shop off of 159, places to eat and shop are abundant. Chains as well as independent, local shop owners flock to the area because they know that people living in Edwardsville love it, wanting to give back to the local community instead of driving to a nearby town to spend their money. It’s just another reason Edwardsville and Glen Carbon is one of the best places to call “home”.
There are so many reasons buying a home in the Edwardsville area makes great sense. You can also visit my website for helpful links about the area. Please contact me if you have specific questions about why living in Edwardsville is a preferred residential haven for so many, offering historical homes on quiet streets as well as new subdivisions to enjoy. If you are planning on buying a new home, or selling your existing home, or even are in need of expanding or building, I have the experience and knowledge that will help make the process easy.