So I am super excited this is the final part to my Lessons Learn in Home Buying. Its been super fun to write and I hope informative. But I digress…
I know for most people, the details are the hard parts of the fun stuff…like home buying. But the details are where questions and clarity live. If you are not careful, you could miss something that might cause heart ache or worse a whole lot of wallet ache.
1. Read EVERYTHING – There is so much paperwork but is important to understand what exactly YOU are signing, and therefore, what YOU are liable for/agreeing to. In the end, its you on the hook. I know that the stack of mortgage and purchase paperwork can be hefty (and if you have an HOA, that manual can add another inch or two to your reading). As I mentioned in another post, our home buying venture left me with a file three inches thick. And before you ask, yes I read it all or so I thought. I’ll get back to that in a minute. The good news is that it does not all come in at one time. You will get a packet here and another at later time. If you take the time to read it when you get it, it is not as overwhelming. If have heard of people getting stuck with mortgages that can’t be refinanced and others who signed off on having no inspection (A MAJOR MUST FOR HOME BUYING…always have an inspection).
In my husband and my case, our not reading something could have cause us to have a fine, yes fine, of up to $20,000. During the course of our purchase we were asked to fill out a preliminary change of ownership transcript, which we did. We were also informed that our escrow company would be sending it to the assessor’s office for filing as a part of escrow. As we were reviewing our escrow paperwork, I saw the form and the front seemed to be filled in and I moved on to the next piece of paper. So I assumed (you know what they say about assuming) that it was complete and being sent in by our escrow. Fast forward four months to when a nice blue notice comes in from the assessor’s office stating that if we did not send in our transfer of ownership paperwork by August 18, that we would be fined 10% of the value of our home not to exceed $20,000. Needless to say I was shocked. I called the assessor’s office only to find nothing had been submitted. When I reviewed our packet from escrow and looked closer at the sheet supposedly filled out and submitted, it was not the filled in form my husband and I completed but worse, wasn’t filled in other than the upper demographic portion! Our not reviewing everything could have cost us BIG! Not the home buying expense I want.
2. Don’t Just Trust – You would be surprised how my reviewing things caught stuff and knowing dates and deadlines helped. We should trust who we work with, that’s an absolutely essential thing in home buying. But we are all still human and just like I missed the paperwork that could have cost us an extra $20,000 in our home buying, all human’s miss things. It doesn’t hurt to be another set of eye, review things as they come in and if it doesn’t look right, question it politely. If not, just like with our escrow dropped the ball (though I genuinely feel it was unintentional), it could end up costing you big…including losing the house of your dreams.
3. BREATHE!!! – Most important one. In the end, once its all done and over, the house will be yours. It would really suck if you didn’t make it there because you forgot to breathe. This may seem like a no brainer but I can tell you from the multiple of times I wanted to scream in frustration and what seemed like a hopeless situation of finding a home that both of us would love, it can sometimes be extremely difficult to remember…think I true a few shades of blue once when I forgot or maybe that was red when I couldn’t quite take it one day. All kidding aside, in the end, you will have a home and the weeks, months, many months or more of looking will all be worth it. The old saying is “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and its all small stuff” truly applies here. Most of the time you won’t remember the details of this house or that in the end. If you keep up on the details during the process, especially with some of the tips from the series, as long as your remember to breathe, your home buying experience can be smooth.
Good luck and I hope you enjoyed the post.