I read Wayne Johnson's blog yesterday, and this list of things that buyers should do before or right after closing was truly a great list. I am sure there could have been more tips for the buyers, but Wayne kept it at only Ten.
I am disabling the comments, but do stop by and visit Wayne, and share your comments with him. I know he would appreciate your input, and be glad to hear from other AR members.
Things Home Buyers Should Do Before or Right After Closing (My Top Ten)
Home buyers have lots of things to consider as they take the journey into home ownership. Here are ten things I believe Buyers should do before or soon after Closing:
- Home Warranty coverage from a reputable provider. Compare coverages and check their customer satisfaction ratings as best you can. I know some companies have poor reputations in this area, but a good policy with reputable business people is worth its weight in gold. I just had a visit with a client who closed last October. He mentioned the great service he got from American Homeshield. (Disclosure-Coldwell Banker and American Homeshield have a Home Warranty Product. My clients like it. If it blew or sucked I would not promote it.)
- Insurance-If you are not paying cash for your home, your lender will require you to have coverage on the house. Talk to your agent about getting coverage for your home's contents. Your personal items are usually not covered by the basic policy. If you have high value electronics, like flat screen TVs, computer equipment, jewelry, and even clothes, you may want coverage. Losses due to fire, or theft could be devastating.
- Insurance-First time home buyers should also be aware that your home is an asset, but, it can also be a liability. Someone injured at your home may try to recover damages for the injury. The injury does not have to be caused by you, but if the incident occurs on your premises, you may be the target, so get protection. Speak to a professional insurance agent to investigate what is the correct coverage for your situation.
- File the necessary paper work for Texas Homestead Exemption if the house is your primary residence. There are certain tas advantages and legal protections afforded you if the property is your homestead. Discuss this with your attorney, tax, or financial advisor. You must be living in the house on January 1 of the year you file for the Homestead Exemption. So if you close after January 1, you file the following year.
- Set up a repair fund- Things in houses break and wear out. Add to the fund every month, then when things break, you can use the fund to help pay for repairs.
- As a first time home buyer, this may be your first experience with taking care of a lawn. If you decide to do this work yourself, you may need a lawnmower, and some simple gardent tools to begin. Nothing fancy but a rake, saw, shovel, and hand shears will work for most typical lawn situations.
- In addition to your outside tools, some basic tools for inside will be useful too. Things like a hammer, a set of screwdrivers, pliers, vise grip tool, adjustable wrench, electrical tape, duct tape, and a can of WD-40.
- Develop a list of websites under "Favorites" on your computer for some "How To" sites if you do not have much experience with household repairs.
- Before you move in you will have some time to do some scouting to learn who is available to help make your life easier. Maybe you can figure out who you will use as your dry cleaner and laundry, which bank and ATM network works best for you, grocery store, auto repair, dentist, physcian, etc. The more of this you can figure out before you move in, the smoother the transition.
- Get some legal advice regarding your house to see what is the best way to protect your survivors should something happen to you. A properly drawn Will or some other legal instrument is appropriate. Believe me, you may not like what the State of Texas decides to do with your home if you fail to leave properly drawn specifications or instructions.
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Texas Law requires all real estate licensees to give the following information about brokerage services: http://www.trec.state.tx.us/pdf/contracts/OP-K.pdf©All rights reserved, June 2011, Things Home Buyers Should Do Before or Right After Closing (My Top Ten)