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What's Involved in a Closing

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

Some people may associate closing with sitting in an office and signing reams of paper, but in actuality, closing is all of the steps that finalize a home purchase. It begins with the offer to purchase.

Offer to purchase:

When you find a dream home that fits your budget, make your offer. Depending on the market trend, you may be able to offer as much as 10 percent under the sellers’ price.

Deposit or earnest money:

This amount is typically 1 percent of the purchase price and is part of the offer to purchase. The real estate agent or a seller representative keeps the 1 percent in a trust until the purchase is final, and the money is applied to the down payment. If you rescind your offer, it is possible that you lose your deposit and that the sellers sue you for damages. If sellers reject the purchase offer, you get the money back.

Contingencies:

Buyers generally must get financing and a home inspection within certain time frames; for example, they usually have 10 to 14 days for the inspection after the contract is accepted.

Home inspection:

An inspector examines the home for potential or existing structural and mechanical issues.

Contract:

The contract is signed after the seller accepts the buyer’s purchase offer, and it includes the contingencies. It also includes a property description, the price of the deal, closing and possession dates.

Settlement sheet:

The Department of Housing and Urban Development mandates this document. It includes all of the monetary facets that go into selling and purchasing a home. It details the funds paid at closing and includes information on the agents’ commissions and the escrow amounts. According to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, both the buyer and seller must get a copy of the settlement sheet at least one day before settlement.

Closing paperwork:

This aspect includes a title search to ensure there are no liens or holds on the property, obtaining title insurance and getting homeowners insurance.
 

Costs:

Final closing costs usually include the mortgage loan origination fee, appraisal costs, credit report costs, inspection fee, mortgage broker costs, tax payments and document preparation costs.

Practical matters:

Homeowners set up utility services and arrangements for their initial mortgage payment.

Settlement:

Buyers pay the down payment, which is the rest of what they owe, and on the date of possession, the title is transferred.

Home Defense: Preparing for Floods

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

Everyone knows what a flood is, but many people view it happening as too unlikely to make proper preparations for it.

Whether just a few feet of water or enough to submerge your neighborhood, all floods can, to an extent, be prepared for. If you want to find out how, keep reading.

Safety Preparation

The first step, as always is to be prepared for whatever happens. Regardless of whether or not you live in an area prone to floods and other natural disasters, you need to be prepared for them.

Make a safety kit with food, water, money, important documents, cell phones and other important supplies for floods and all other disasters. In addition, speak to your family about plans during different emergencies, and make sure everyone knows what to do and where to go in the case of an emergency.

Protecting the Home

You'll want to immediately make sure that all electronics in your house are unplugged and your power systems are all switched off.

If you have enough time to prepare further, consider moving electronic items upstairs or into an attic to save them from damage and them being potential hazards in the house.

After that, there's not much else you can do. If you're flooded in, try to get out and to the roof or reside on higher floors. Make sure to pack a phone or radio in your safety kit so that you have a way to call for help.

Flood Insurance

Turns out, most homeowner and renter agreements do not cover flooding at all.

To check if your area is at risk of flooding, consult a flood map to see whether or not investing in flood insurance is worth the money. If you're in an area at risk, you'll definitely want to look into flood insurance.

To learn more about flood insurance, speak to your insurance provider about your pre-existing insurance policies. They'll let you know if you need any further coverage.

If you do need further coverage, contact the NFIP - the NFIP (or National Flood Insurance Program) will give you a way to get insured. They provide services to homeowners, renters and even businesses owners in some areas.

Once you've prepared your family, gathered a kit and insure yourself (if necessary), you should be fine in the event of a flood. Nobody wants it to happen, but everyone should be prepared for it.

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Contact Information

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Tami Rapaport
Tami Rapaport
130 Dean Drive
Tenafly NJ 07670
201-227-2045