Ruth Mills Team
San Diego Realtor
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More Frequently Asked Questions
Real Estate 101
Understanding the Home Buying Process
Congratulations you have an accepted offer, now what? Below is a general guide to how the home buying process goes. (Timelines are based on the usual 17 day inspection/loan time period)
First week: The loan, disclosures and the inspection If you have not decided on a lender, this is the time to do it. The loan contingency needs to be removed in 17 days so it is very important to start the loan process immediately.
We highly advise an inspection of the house by a certified home inspector. The price will vary from approximately $180 - $500 depending on the size and if the home is detached or attached. The most important time to be at the inspection is toward the end when the inspector goes through the report and answers any questions.
In the meantime your lender will arrange for an appraisal of the property (they will choose from a list of their approved appraisers). It will cost approximately $300-$400 (more if a large house). Usually the loan contingency is removed within 17 days from acceptance (unless a different date specified in contract) so it is critical to provide the lender with necessary documents in a timely manner.
Second week: Review inspection reports and decide on Repair Request. You will need to complete all inspections within 17 days of acceptance unless a different date is specified in the contract. It is usually best to have the inspection and the "Request for Repairs" completed by day 14 to allow time to resolve any repair issues.
Third week: Contingency Removal
During the first several weeks you will be receiving escrow papers, disclosures, termite report, miscellaneous paperwork and the repair response from the seller. We are available to assist with any paperwork in person or phone when convenient for you. The next step is to remove the loan and inspection contingency on or before the contract deadline (usually 17 days from the acceptance date).
Third week: Don't buy with partners, unless you have to. If you have to have partners, make sure they have the same goals and values, are of similar age, and have a job, geographic, and marriage stability. Believe in the long run. Real estate markets are cyclical but the long term trend has been up. Hang in there for the long run. The great investor's lament is "I should never have sold that property." The other investor's lament is, "I could have bought that property for ____________!"
Week of the Closing Date: There are three things that will need to be completed during the last week of escrow:
Loan docs signed: The lender will send the docs to escrow, where they will be prepared for your signature. If you are unable to go to escrow then they will arrange for a Notary to bring the papers to you.
Send down payment to escrow: Escrow will request your down payment and closing costs to be delivered or wired to escrow (wire money from your bank or use a local cashier's check).
The walk-through: Verification of property condition and confirmation of repairs.
Closing Date: The loan will fund once escrow and the lender are satisfied that everything has been completed. The money will either fund the day before the closing date and record early the next morning or fund on the day of closing and record late in the afternoon. When the title company receives the funds they will send a representative down to the County Recorder's office to record your title. They will call us with confirmation of the recording. Once the title is recorded it is officially your home. The seller usually has until 5:00PM to be out of the house unless stated differently in the contract. If the house is vacant you can move in immediately.
Congratulations!! When can you meet us at your new home so we can give you the keys?
This information is provided as a service. As every situation varies, it is strongly advised to seek counsel from independent tax advisors, tax attorneys, and/or CPAs.