This is the last part of what’s turned out to be a 7 part series. I didn’t set out to write 7, neither did I expect the posts to be so long. It’s easy to underestimate just how much preparation and work is involved in Buying a home in Iowa City. Even though I’ve covered a lot of ground with this series about the home buying process, I haven’t covered every nuance or every scenario that you may run into when you buy a home in Iowa City. The goal has been to cover aspects that are the same in every transaction and today I’m looking at the last 48 hours before closing.
A real estate transaction can be chopped up into segments and as real estate agents we wear many hats. For buyers it can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster with some pretty intense periods in there. This is especially true for buyers relocating to Iowa City who have a lot more than just the ins and outs of a real estate transaction to deal with. Fortunately, by the time you get to this point in the transaction and you’re Sale Pending, things are a lot quieter and a lot less intense.
Reviewing the HUD-1 Settlement Statement Prior to Closing
Typically, 48 hours before you close you will get a HUD-1 Settlement Statement from your lender showing exactly how the proceeds of the sale will be distributed. It will show the closing costs and they should be pretty much in line with the costs shown on the GFE, (Good Faith Estimate), you received when you first spoke to the lender. It will also show how much the check needs to be for that you bring to closing. (It may need to be in the form of a Cashier’s Check, the lender will let you know if that’s the case).
The Final Walk Through
The very last thing you do before closing is the final walk through of the home. Sometimes this happens directly before closing. More often, (at least with me), it happens the day before. That way if anything does come up the seller still has time to do something about it before closing the next day. The alternative scenario of addressing problems that come up on the day of closing is way more stressful for all parties and I really like to avoid that if possible. (Not that we’re expecting anything to come up, I was just a good Girl Guide and I like to be prepared!)
What Happens on the Day of Closing
The day of closing is huge for you as a buyer since it’s the day all the documents are signed and you get the keys to your new home. It’s a surprisingly simple occasion considering how big a deal it is. All you need to do is show up at the closing location, which may be the Attorney’s office or the Lenders office with check in hand. This is when you get to sign the HUD Statement, the Home Loan Documents and the Mortgage Agreement. Not to mention an array of disclosure statements and other papers required by the lender. You will need to limber up your writing hand that day as there are a lot of documents to sign!
That’s it. Once you’re done signing documents the seller will sign the warranty deed to transfer the property along with a few other documents. In a transient town like Iowa City it’s not unusual for sellers not to be at closing at all. Sometimes the listing agent will have those documents signed prior to closing and bring them to give to the lender at closing. (Remember, the deal is that you give the seller x amount for the home and they give you clean title in the form of a warranty deed. And all of this happens at closing).
The entire process takes about 45 minutes and when you’re done you get the keys and the garage door opener and you’re on your way!
7 posts later you can see that there’s a lot more to buying a home in Iowa City than picking out a house and writing an offer on it. I’m hoping the one big take away for you as a buyer from this series is to recognize the benefits of personal representation when you buy a home in Iowa City. This is true if you already live in Iowa City and know the area. It’s especially true if you’re relocating to Iowa City when a (good) buyer’s agent will be of enormous benefit to you as your “eyes on the ground.”
Questions? I have answers! Whether you’re relocating to Iowa City or you already live here and are thinking about buying a home in Iowa City, I’m all about sharing information and would love to hear from you. You can call me anytime at 319-400-0268 or of course email works too.
Buying a Home in Iowa City: Step by Step Guide to the Home Buying Process