Buying a new house is an exciting venture, but the closing process can be a bit nerve wracking! Once you have found your dream home, had the offer accepted, gone through the home inspection process and resolved any issues found by the inspector, you are ready to close on the mortgage loan and will soon go through what is called the “closing”.
This will be an exhilarating yet hectic time but it will end fairly quickly. You can eliminate a lot of the stress by knowing exactly what you will need at closing so the process closes seamlessly and with as little emotional pain as possible.
Closing day will include signing a lot of papers, paying your closing costs, lending fees and any taxes that are due. With all this on the horizon, it is normal to be nervous and anxious. Just remember to breathe as you get everything ready to go! It will be ok.
To help you prepare for the big day, we have compiled a quick checklist of what you should bring with you to closing day.
Closing Items for All Purchases
The very first thing you will want to do, after your home loan has been approved, is check in with your loan officer for a specific list of documents you will need to gather. Your loan officer will probably provide you with a checklist, but just to make sure you have everything you need, check in with any questions you might have to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Most documents will be provided by the lawyer and real estate agent present, and many closing costs will come directly out of your escrow account. Be sure to ask your loan officer, just so you are clear about which fees you may be responsible for outside of what is covered by your escrow funds.
At a minimum, or depending on your circumstances, you will probably need to bring the following:
- Photo ID
The title company running your mortgage loan closing will verify your identity. They will make copies of a photo ID that you bring to closing day. You can use a signed U.S. driver’s license, U.S. ID card or your passport to serve as your photo ID.
Make sure that everyone named on the mortgage loan – including your spouse or partner – also provides an approved signed photo ID. The title company is required to verify the identity of every person listed on the mortgage. Your signature will need to be notarized on various title and loan documents, so you will have to prove your identity.
- Cashier’s Check (or Wire Transfer)
A cashier’s check is the next most important thing you need to bring with you for the deal to move forward. Your attorney or the escrow company will calculate the amount of money you need to bring to the closing. You will have to pay for closing costs, your home’s down payment, prepaid interest, property taxes and insurance during your closing. This is known as your cash to close, the total amount of money you will need to bring to close your mortgage loan. However, most buyers these days pay by wire transfer. Most often, writing a check is not an option.
You can get a cashier’s check from your bank. The main difference between a cashier’s check and a personal check is that the bank is certifying that you have the funds available to pay the amount written on the check. Cashier’s checks also contain security features such as watermarks to make them more difficult to counterfeit.
- The Closing Disclosure
The Closing Disclosure is a key form when taking out a loan. It lists the final terms and costs of your mortgage loan. Your lender is required to provide it to you at least 3 business days before your loan closing.
This form lists your loan’s amount, interest rate and monthly payment, including a breakdown of how much of your payment is made up of principal, interest, private mortgage insurance, property taxes and homeowners insurance.
Having this document with you on closing day is important. If you are signing your mortgage papers and any costs are different from what is listed on your Closing Disclosure, make sure to question your lender and title company. Never sign any document if you are uncomfortable with the fees or closing costs listed on it.
- Copy of the Purchase Agreement
Bring a copy of the purchase agreement with you so that you can make sure the final documents align with what was outlined in the agreement. It is better to be overly cautious and protect yourself than to risk signing documents that may not match what you previously agreed upon.
- Proof of Insurance
Before your lender approves you for a mortgage loan, they will require that you take out a homeowner’s insurance policy to protect you in case your home is damaged or destroyed. Your insurance company will provide you with a payout to help cover the damages or rebuild.
You can use your policy’s declarations page as proof of your insurance. You will need to bring proof that you have homeowners insurance as well as a receipt showing that you have paid the premium through the first year.
It is important to have an advocate who understands the intricacies of the home-buying process. This is especially critical for first-time homebuyers. It will ease your mind to have someone with you who knows what is happening and has your specific interests in mind at all times.
What Happens at Citrus Heritage Escrow?
Your escrow officer follows instructions on your contract, coordinates deadlines, and gathers all necessary paperwork. For example, written requests for payoff information (called “demands”) are sent to the Seller’s mortgage company and any other lien holders.
During the escrow period, the title company coordinates with Citrus Heritage Escrow and begins researching and examining all historical records pertaining to the subject property. Barring any unusual circumstances, a commitment for title insurance is issued, indicating a clear title or listing any items which must be cleared prior to closing. The commitment is sent to you for review.
When choosing an escrow company there can be many important factors to evaluate. Fees, location, staff and even recommendations from friends and colleagues are all things to consider. With Citrus Heritage Escrow by your side, you can rest assured that when you receive your settlement check, you’ve gained the maximum benefit from your home sale or purchase.
Call us today with any questions or concerns. Our professional Escrow Agents will help you through this exciting yet confusing process. (951) 335-7200