Buying a home is a big step and will likely be your most significant investment. As such, it’s important to know what to do before you close on the new place. You want to go into it with your eyes wide open and on the same page as your realtor. Here are seven things you ought to do before you close the deal on your new house.
1. Apply for A Loan
At the very least, you want to get pre-approved for a loan. This is a formality, but it will help set your ducks in a row and ensure that you don’t have to worry about getting approved when that all-important offer is made. A pre-approval letter is a certification that the bank or other lender deems you can afford the mortgage payments and will work with you to secure financing in case your offer is accepted. Applying for a mortgage loan doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get your dream home, but it does mean that you are confident that the lender will give you the loan.
2. Get Your Home Appraisal
You might not do it until you’re already in the closing process, but it’s a good idea to get your home appraised. The appraisal will determine the value of your home, and as such, it will also help determine your monthly mortgage payment. When you apply for financing, a lender will use the appraised value to make an offer.
3. Schedule an Inspection
An inspection is a walk-through of the house you’re about to buy. It will allow you to see as much of the place as possible and check for any problems affecting your ability to obtain financing. If you have any major issues to discuss with your agent, having this well documented in your home inspection report before you close can save a lot of time later.
Professional home inspectors in Fresno can help identify some of the most common problems. They can save you from surprises after moving into your new house. They list anything considered hazardous to the health and safety of occupants and will tell you if the home has been flooded or is prone to mold.
4. Get Your Home Insurance
While an insurance policy will not affect your ability to get a loan, it is a good idea to secure home insurance before you close the deal. It will give you peace of mind and ensure your move is as trouble-free as possible. Furthermore, it will ensure that you aren’t liable for damage to the home or its contents.
While you can shop around to find the best price for your insurance, it’s best to get a quote from a local agent rather than online. This way, you can ask for discounts and get valuable information about policies specific to your area. After securing your insurance policy, you’re all set to close on the home you’ve just bought.
5. Get All of Your Paperwork in Order
One of the most important things you can do before making an offer is to ensure that all your paperwork is ready for closing. A well-prepared homeowner might spend a few hours at their local post office sorting through the boxes of paperwork or mailing labels that have been piling up for weeks. This is an important step for anyone planning on buying a new home.
While you will want to fix any issues upfront and ensure that all caveats are addressed, making the process clean is important. This will allow the closing to go smoothly once it’s time to sign the final documents.
6. Review the Title Deed or Contract
If you haven’t already received the title deed or contract to the property and it’s time to finalize your offer, take time to review them. You might have been living in this house for a while, but you can still make improvements that will improve its value. The advantage of looking at these documents right before closing is that you can provide a more accurate description of the home in your offer package.
7. Transfer Utilities Into Your Name
If you’re almost closing on the home, you ought to ensure that your utilities are in your name. That way, you can simply turn them on as soon as you are ready. Some essential utilities include gas, water, and electricity.
While it might seem like a lot of work, these seven things can save you huge time and effort when it comes time to close on your new home. Doing them ahead of time will help the process go quickly, and you can move into the house you have worked so hard to buy with a smile.