Buy a Home (Part 2)
In case you missed it, read part 1 here.
Get a Home Inspection
To get a home inspection you’ll need to contact a home inspector. There are different groups to which home inspectors belong, such as the Georgia Association of Home Inspectors or the Nation Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Some inspectors are licensed and some are not, it is likely that there are things they won’t check for regardless, like Asbestos or Lead. But here is a solid checklist of things every inspector should check for:
- Structural Elements: Walls, ceilings, roof, floor and foundations.
- Exteriors: Wall covering, landscaping, grading, elevation, drainage, driveways, fences, sidewalks, fascia, trim, doors, windows, lights and exterior
- Roof and Attic
- Systems and Components: Water heaters, furnaces, air conditioning, duct work, chimney, fireplace and sprinklers.
- Electrical: Main panel, circuit breakers, types of wiring, grounding, exhaust fans, receptacles, ceiling fans and light fixtures.
Have The Home Appraised
Your mortgage lender is going to want to know if the house is worth the money you are planning on spending. Can you blame them? The lender generally hires a contract to do the appraisal, but more often than not, you as the buyer are responsible for the payment. An appraisal usually costs a few hundred dollars and takes a couple hours.
Close The Sale
The process of closing is more complicated than just agreeing to buy the house. It takes, on average, a month to a month-and-a-half to close the sale. As a buyer you’ll need proof of homeowner’s insurance, all the documents the lender needs with your loan application, title insurance, and closing cost funds. Closing cost funds will be estimated by your lender in a good faith estimate. Also an escrow account will be created as an assurance to the lender that all everything- the taxes, insurance, mortgage- will be paid.
You did it! You found a home, negotiated like a seasoned veteran, and made it through all the hurdles of closing. Now it’s time to live in your new home! It is usually (and hopefully) an unspoken agreement that the seller will leave the home “broom clean” for the buyer. This doesn’t mean vacuumed and without a few spots missed, but generally clean enough for first glance. Once you’ve moved your belongings in, we advise that you take some combination of photos and videos documenting the condition of the house and your belongings for insurance purposes. Keep these records somewhere safe and not in your new home, like a safe deposit box. Speaking of safe and insurance, be sure to get fire, theft and liability insurance. You can never be too careful.