What is a HUD Home?
A HUD home is a 1 to 4 unit residential property acquired by HUD as a result of a foreclosure action on an FHA-insured mortgage. HUD becomes the property owner and offers it for sale to recover the loss on the foreclosure claim.
What is a closing and what do I need to bring?
Closing is when you sign all the documents related to the transaction. There can be as many as 10 or 12 people in attendance, including the closing agent, listing real estate agent, selling real estate agent, their respective brokers, buyer’s attorney, and loan officer.
You can expect to sign between 10 and 75 documents, depending on your lender and the complexity of the transaction. Though you have always been taught to read everything you sign–which is still excellent advice–to read this much material, absorb it, and understand it while there are as many as 10 other people in the room would be difficult at best. An experienced real estate attorney has read, absorbed, and understands all of these documents, and can explain them to you in clear and concise language. Many of these documents have a significant legal impact on you, and you deserve to know what you are signing. Without the experience of a real estate attorney, most buyers hardly know where to start. Only your real estate attorney is ethically bound to have an undivided loyalty to you. He will not gloss over important details like prepayment penalties or restrictions on selling the property in the interest of “getting it closed.” The same cannot be said for closing agents, title company representatives, or employees of the lender.
As far as what to bring, check with your loan officer to be sure. Common items required for purchasers include an insurance binder and paid receipt for your property insurance, current paystubs, original inspections, including a wood destroying insect (termite) inspection, and government issued photographic identification, such as a driver’s license. It is common for closing agents to require certified funds from the purchasers to close. You should also make appropriate arrangements with utility companies, though this generally will not affect the closing. In some counties, you should go to the county assessor’s office after closing to sign up for owner-occupied or homestead exemptions for your real estate taxes. This will generally save you up to several hundred dollars per year. Ask your attorney for specific information for your county.
Why do I need an attorney? Doesn’t my lender provide one?
The short answer is no. The lender is only concerned that there are no liens against the property which may have priority over the lender’s mortgage. Issues such as possession, easements and restrictions which may affect your use of the property, and defective mechanicals are not a concern of your lender. Additionally, many lenders use title companies rather than attorneys to close their loans. Only attorneys may dispense legal advice and representation.
Should I get a home inspection?
HUD does not warrant the condition of its properties and will not pay for the correction of defects or repairs. Since the new owner will be responsible for making needed repairs, HUD strongly urges every potential homebuyer to get a professional inspection prior to submitting an offer to purchase.
What is an Owner’s Policy?
A lender’s title insurance policy does not protect you. Similarly, the prior owner’s policy does not protect you. If you want to protect yourself from claims by others against your new home, you will need an owner’s policy. When a claim does occur, it can be financially devastating to an owner who is uninsured. If you buy an owner’s policy, it is usually much less expensive if you buy it at the same time and with the same insurer as the lender’s policy.
What can I do to expedite the closing?
In the Chicago area and the Collar Counties many municipalities have requirements that are the buyer’s responsibility such as an inspection or transfer stamp. Make sure your real estate broker is familiar with the requirements. As the buyer, it is your responsibility to ensure that your lender is ready to close. While you have been pre-approved for a loan, this does not mean your lender is ready to fund the transaction. You should contact your lender as soon as you have a signed sales contract to see what else they need from you to be ready to close. Many closings have to be rescheduled because the lender was not ready.
When do I schedule the closing?
As soon as you learn that your lender is ready to close and you have met all the local municipal requirements that are the responsibility of the buyer contact Gardi & Haught, Ltd. to schedule the closing. Make sure you contact Gardi & Haught, Ltd.before the 45 day period expires. If you do not, you will have to file an extension form for a 15 day extension and pay a fee. If you do not file an extension request your sales contract will be cancelled.
What can I expect to happen on closing day?
You’ll present your paid homeowner’s insurance policy or a binder and receipt showing that the premium has been paid. Gardi & Haught, Ltd. will then list the money you owe the seller (remainder of down payment, prepaid taxes, etc.) and then the money the seller owes you (unpaid taxes and prepaid rent, if applicable).
Once you’re sure you understand all the documentation, you’ll sign the mortgage, agreeing that if you don’t make payments the lender is entitled to sell your property and apply the sale price against the amount you owe plus expenses. You’ll also sign a mortgage note, promising to repay the loan. Gardi & Haught, Ltd. will give you the title to the house in the form of a signed deed. The deed and mortgage will then be recorded by Gardi & Haught, Ltd. in the appropriate County, and you will be a homeowner.
Where does the closing take place?
For your convenience, Gardi & Haught, Ltd. has offices in Schaumburg and other convenient locations.