Closing On Your Home

Settlement (or closing) is the process that passes ownership of a property from seller to purchaser. Going to settlement on a new home can be bewildering. Home buyers are usually required to sign a seemingly endless pile of documents, most of which are written in terminology not used outside of the housing industry and that can be complicated to understand.

Be an informed home buyer during every step of the settlement process:


Before You Go to Settlement

Before closing day, there are certain important items you should know about so that you can achieve the best possible terms for yourself in the transaction.

  • Ask a lender for a copy of the HUD pamphlet: “Buying Your Home: Settlement Costs and Helpful Information.” Most lenders are required to provide their loan applicants with a copy of this document under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), but you will be able to shop more wisely for settlement services if you have read the pamphlet before you apply. It provides a good description of the settlement process and explains most of the expenses you will encounter.
  • When you apply for a loan, the lender is required by law to provide you with a good faith estimate of settlement costs. Shortly before settlement, you will be told exactly how much you owe so that you can get a bank check. A personal check is generally not acceptable. In some instances, you may have money returned to you instead of having to pay.
  • Before you go to settlement, familiarize yourself with important settlement terms.


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