1. How much money must I bring to settlement?
In most cases, you can call Lawyers Advantage 24 to 48 hours before your settlement is scheduled to learn how much money you must bring to your closing. As soon as figures are available from your lender, we prepare the settlement sheet and we can give you that figure. Further, funds must be in the form of a bank check and can be made out to Lawyers Advantage or to yourself.
2. What is a HUD-1?
A HUD-1 is the settlement sheet showing all the costs associated with your settlement, as well as how those costs are divided between the buyer and the seller.
3. Why do I need to get title insurance?
Lenders require that you buy insurance to protect their interest in the event that there is some question about the actual ownership of the property. Likewise, purchasers protect their investment in the property by buying title insurance to protect their interest. Although a title search is done of all public records, sometimes there are unforeseen problems, such as a forged signature, that might become a cloud on the title. In that instance, the title insurance company pays for the attorneys to represent your interest in the proceedings. Title insurance protects your interest in the property like homeowners insurance protects the property from fire or other casualties.
4. When do I pay my property taxes?
Most jurisdictions have a tax year from July 1 to June 30 and some allow you to pay your taxes semi-annually for a small additional fee. If your mortgage payment includes an amount which is escrowed for property taxes, your lender will pay your property tax bill. If you receive the bill, you need to forward it to your lender. If your mortgage payment does not include an amount for property taxes, you need to pay the property tax bill.
5. When do I get my deed?
Deeds are recorded in the counties and returned to Lawyers Advantage any time from six weeks to six months after settlement. The original deed and title insurance policy (if you purchased one) are mailed to you.
6. Is my homeowner association fee included in my mortgage?
No. You are responsible for paying your homeowner or condominium association fee in addition to your mortgage. Your association will bill you directly for this fee.
7. Do I need to pay the water bill for time I did not own the property?
Yes. If the actual bill is available, that bill will be paid at settlement. Many times, however, the water amount has to be prorated from the amount on the previous bill and the seller has paid his portion at settlement. In that case, the buyer is responsible for paying the entire bill.