First Time Homebuyers
Purchasing your first home can be daunting. It shouldn’t be!
We suggest the following:
- Familiarize yourself with the various steps that lead you to a completed sale. Learn the “lingo.”
- Pick good realtors and lenders up front to assist you. Look for patience and a track record of success. Don’t be afraid to ask for and check references.
- Remember that the reason we — realtors, lenders and lawyers — have jobs is because you need a home! Set your expectations of our performance. Don’t be afraid to say “Hey, y’all, I’m a first time homebuyer and I need you to hold my hand.”
- Ask questions about everything! Check with your team and let them know you are interested in the progress. Be proactive.
Important Terms to Learn
Driver’s License or Passport – buyers, sellers, borrowers refinancing the property — all must establish proof of their identity. This is a safeguard against fraud and is a requirement of the law firm and the title insurance companies insuring the transactions.
FUNDS IN PROPER FORMAT
Georgia law (O.C.G.A Section 44-14-13, the “Good Funds” law) requires all funds to be received by the closing attorney in excess of $5,000.00 be in the form of a wire. For amounts in between $1,000.00 and $5,000.00, a certified check issued by a local bank will be accepted. If you have any questions regarding these requirements, please contact our closing department to avoid any delay in the disbursement of your closing. Personal checks will be accepted for less than $1,000.00, at the discretion of the closing attorney. Since the vast majority of our closings require a wire transfer, the office handling your closing will send that office’s wiring instructions well in advance. If you are the buyer and arranging funds in advance of our preparation of your closing disclosures, we recommend discussing the estimated amount due at closing with your lender, then wiring that amount to us. Certified checks, if applicable, should be payable either to “Title Search U.S.A., INC”, or in your own name and then endorsed to us at closing.
HAZARD INSURANCE (PROPERTY INSURANCE)
Buyers or persons refinancing their homes: Your lender will contact your insurance company in advance of closing and request evidence of insurance with instructions for payment of the premium by fax. If you receive these originals, please bring them to closing.
A SENSE OF HUMOR
The process of buying, selling or refinancing can be stressful and the closing is often the culmination of several last minute processes. This is normal and to be expected. A good sense of humor will go a long way towards making closing process feel less stressful.
Typical Closing Documents Include:
ALTA SETTLEMENT STATEMENT
The settlement statement outlines the monetary aspects of the transaction.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) requires lenders to provide a Buyer’s Closing Disclosure to the borrower at least three business days in advance of closing. There is alsoa separate Seller’s Closing Disclosure, which is prepared and delivered by our law firm.
PROMISSORY NOTE AND SECURITY DEED
The Note is the lender’s agreement regarding interest rate, term, late charges, pre-payment options.
TRUTH IN LENDING DISCLOSURE
An expression of the interest rate “revised” (the APR) to reflect loan costs such as lender fees and private mortgage insurance. This form states the “APR” or the “Annual Percentage Rate” as calculated by the lender.
IRS FORMS W-9, 4506, 8801
Lenders use these forms to collect information about social security number and to authorize them to access actual filed tax returns from the IRS under certain circumstances.
TAX AND INSURANCE ESCROW
Loans often require monthly deposits to a tax and insurance escrow account. This document details the initial deposit and an estimation of the balance in the account the first year.
MISCELLANEOUS LENDER DOCUMENTS
Each loan will have a host of lender forms relating to the specific loan product such as disclosures. There will be many general explanatory forms as well. Each lender and loan product has a slightly different set of forms.
BORROWER AND SELLER AFFIDAVITS
Both buyer/borrower and seller will swear that there are no impending matters that could affect the title to the property.
Surveys, termite letters, well and septic inspections are all discussed in hold harmless documents.
The warranty deed will transfer title from the seller to the buyer.
Experience the difference.
Our real estate law firm, headquartered in Andover, gives you unrivaled experience and knowledge.