Purchasing a home can be a thrilling experience, as it marks a significant milestone in one’s life. However, the process can also be overwhelming, as it involves a significant financial investment and a host of legal obligations that must be fulfilled to ensure a smooth and successful purchase.
Here’s a short checklist of things you may not consider when you’re going out househunting but will want to firmly have in place when it comes time to close on your new home.
1 – Working with a reputable mortgage loan officer
When you’re preparing to buy a home, you’re going to need a home loan (unless you’re flush with cash), and that’s where a loan officer comes in.
Working with a loan officer to get pre-approved for a mortgage is key. It involves providing the loan officer with financial documents — such as tax returns, bank statements, and pay stubs — so your lender can evaluate your financial situation and determine how much you can afford to borrow.
With pre-approval in hand, you can save time and avoid disappointment by focusing your home search only on properties that fit your budget. Plus, pre-approval can give you an edge in a competitive housing market by demonstrating that you’re financially qualified and ready to make an offer.
2 – Relying on a great real estate lawyer
You’ll also need a lawyer on your team who specializes in the legalities of buying property. They’ll help you understand your rights and obligations and make sure all the required documents are in order, including the purchase agreement — which outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, the purchase price, contingencies, and the closing date. Your real estate lawyer will ensure the agreement complies with relevant laws and regulations and that it protects your interests.
The lawyer also makes sure all necessary permits and inspections are obtained, reviews the title to the property, and examines public records to confirm that the seller is the legal owner and there are no liens on the home that could affect your ownership.
3 – Lining up the appropriate homeowner’s insurance
What about insuring your new home from the unexpected — like theft, fires, or natural disasters? It can be confusing to figure out what kind of insurance you need, but it’s important to review the policies available and make sure you have coverage that suits your home and area.
For example, standard homeowner’s insurance typically covers damages from things like fires, lightning, windstorms, and theft. But depending on where you live, you may also want to consider additional coverage for things like floods, hurricanes, or earthquakes.
If you’re getting a mortgage, the lender will likely require you to have insurance. This is because it helps protect their investment too! So make sure you talk to your insurance provider to find the right coverage for your home and budget.
Helping You Pick The Right Insurance Is Our Jam
We’re experts in insurance and can help you make the right choices. The Guided Solutions approach to home insurance shopping is hassle-free — we take care of it for you! In just a matter of minutes, we’ll scour the market and find the most suitable coverage at the most competitive rate. And the best part? You won’t be charged any fees, and there’s no pressure to commit.
Here’s how we can help you:
- Making sure you have the right protection in place
Homeowners insurance is made to cover your property and personal belongings in case of damage or loss in the event of a theft, fire, or certain natural disaster, but each situation is different and policies have varying coverage limits and exclusions. We’ll guide you with those decisions.
In addition to protecting property and belongings, homeowners insurance offers liability coverage, meaning that if someone is injured on your property, your policy can help cover their medical bills and other damages, regardless of whether you’re liable for their injuries. It can also cover legal fees if you are sued over an incident that occurs on your property and can help pay for court costs if you are found responsible for causing bodily injury or property damage to someone else.
Finally, homeowners insurance may provide coverage for additional living expenses — hotel bills and food — if your home is damaged or destroyed and can’t be lived in.
- Making sure you choose the right form of insurance payout
When buying homeowners insurance, you’ll need to choose the right reimbursement option for covered losses. However, the more comprehensive the coverage, the higher the premium you’ll pay. So, it’s important to carefully weigh your coverage options and costs to ensure adequate protection for your needs and budget.
- Actual cash value coverage reimburses you for the item’s cost at the time of loss, minus depreciation and your deductible. This means you may not get enough money to replace the item with a new one.
- Replacement cost value coverage pays for the full cost of buying a new item, regardless of its depreciation value. This guarantees the lost or damaged item can be replaced with a brand-new one.
- Extended replacement cost/value coverage pays for the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home, even if it exceeds your policy limit. This provides an extra layer of protection, especially for unexpected disasters that cause extensive damage to your home.
- Making sure you understand when new insurance goes into effect
Did you know that your previous homeowner’s insurance policy does not automatically transfer to your new property? You’ll need to purchase a brand new policy specifically for your new home.
However, if you moved into a new home but haven’t sold your previous home yet, you should keep your old policy current to ensure that the property and its contents are adequately insured until the new owners take possession.
Some policies terminate upon signing the closing papers, leaving homeowners vulnerable to potential loss or damage during the move to a new home. Therefore, it’s crucial to speak with your insurance provider to make sure your possessions are protected during this transitionary time.
- Making sure you understand insurance regulations if you’re relocating
If you’re moving out of state, your new insurance policy must comply with all applicable local laws and regulations. Make sure you do your homework and purchase the right policy for your new state of residence. Failure to have proper insurance coverage could leave you vulnerable to significant financial loss in the event of damage or destruction to your home or property. That’s why it’s important to look up what you need to have for homeowner’s insurance in your new state before you buy anything.
Did you check all the boxes?
Whether you’re just starting to look for a home or already speaking with a mortgage lender to get pre-approved, let’s start talking about your homeowner’s insurance needs.
A member of the Guided Solutions team is ready to help you with a solution that can fit your needs. Request your free quotes today!