Closing Checklist: 5 Things You HAVE To Do Before Moving In

Getting your purchase offer approved by a seller is an important step toward purchasing a home. However, there are still many tasks that must be accomplished before the transaction officially closes. If any of these tasks aren't completed promptly, it could extend the closing timeline or result in the deal falling through.

Obtain a Mortgage

Even if you have enough money to buy a home with cash, it is generally in your best interest to obtain a mortgage. Doing so allows you to keep more money in the bank where it can be used to pay maintenance costs or other monthly expenses. Typically, you'll obtain the loan after your purchase offer has been accepted, and it can take up to 45 days to receive clearance to close.

Inspect the Home

You are entitled to perform an inspection up to 24 hours before the home closes. Ideally, the home will be inspected immediately after the seller accepts your offer and again 24 hours before taking possession of the property. This helps to ensure that the property is in adequate condition throughout the transaction period.

Perform a Title Search

A title search will let you know if any issues might prevent you from taking legal ownership of a home. For instance, a search may reveal the presence of tax, mechanic, or another type of lien against the property. Furthermore, it might reveal that the existing title is a forgery or is signed by someone who doesn't have a legitimate claim to the house.

Review Your Loan Documents Again

It's a good idea to review your home loan documents carefully to better understand your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. You should receive a HUD-1 statement that lists the penalties that might apply in the event of a late or missed payment. That statement should also list the amount of each payment, the interest rate, and how many payments will be made over the course of the loan. Your lender should be able to answer any questions that you have about your mortgage or about the HUD-1 document itself.

Have the Home Professionally Cleaned

The current owner of the house is generally not required to scrub the carpets, refinish the floors or remove items from the home. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to have the home professionally cleaned to ensure that it's in adequate living condition from the day that you move in.

Generally speaking, you are responsible for any problems with a property after legally taking possession of it. Furthermore, you are liable for complying with the terms of your mortgage after signing loan documents. Therefore, you must take time to ensure that any problems with the property or mortgage are taken care of before the sale is finalized.

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