This series grew from a post on our blog titled "First Time Home Buyer Guide: Steps to Buying a House."
The appraisal is a requirement. Your appraisal costs about $800, and in Alaska this is typically paid for by the seller. The appraiser looks at market comparisons and other data, as well as the structure itself, to determine what a likely selling price could be based on the market, the home’s size, and its amenities.
What if the house appraisal comes in at a different level than the offer? In this case, things might need to be renegotiated. Usually by this phase the transaction has come along far enough that you will be happy if the appraisal is not too much higher or lower than your offer. This will help you stay on schedule to get the keys to your home!
We will let you know when the appraisal is scheduled and get in touch again just as soon as we receive a report back from the appraiser.
Hurry Up and Wait
During this period, your lender is tracking the progress of the transaction to make sure your financial snapshot stays consistent and that the property itself doesn’t have red flags such as liens, etc. Revisit our post about staying approved for a refresher about how to keep your finances consistent so that there aren’t any funding delays.
The key things to remember at this stage are: keep paying your bills on time, don’t make any big purchases, and definitely don’t change jobs.
Once your loan has been approved by final underwriting, it is time to complete the final walk through. The walk through usually takes place the day before signing. This is an opportunity to confirm the property has been left in the same condition in which you last saw it.
Even after the inspection, things can go wrong. That final walkthrough is an opportunity you don’t want to forgo. Be sure to:
Turn on and off anything that uses electricity.
Turn on and off anything that uses water.
Turn on and off anything that blows air through it.
Flush anything that flushes.
Afterward, check all the house’s surfaces for moving damage and for water, and check the yard for evidence of leaks.
Getting Your Keys
We refer to the day you sign documents at the title company as “closing.” You will need to bring a cashier’s check for whatever parts of the closing costs you’re responsible for that aren’t being covered by your earnest money or rolled into your loan. Your lender will provide you with a total which will include your down payment (0-20% of the purchase price) as well as closing costs (1.5-2% of purchase price, depending on your loan program.) You’ll also need a photo ID. Closing usually takes about an hour depending on the amount of lender documents and number of parties signing.
The following day, the documents are recorded at the recorder's office, you receive keys to the property, and it’s officially yours! Set up utilities in your name effective the day of recording.
Ready for find your dream home? Call us at (907) 242-9282 to get started! We also have this great app which allows you to search and view available homes in your area. Download our app to search and view available homes in your area!