Ken Hunter (Better Homes and Garden Real Estate-Gary Greene) Real Estate Agent



Ken Hunter
location_on Spring, TX — Better Homes and Garden Real Estate-Gary Greene
Get to Know Ken Hunter

By Ken Hunter, REALTOR®

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Gary Greene


The last step in the home buying process is what real estate professionals commonly refer to as "the closing." The closing, or settlement or close of escrow, is when all the progressive steps in buying a home from the acceptance of the offer, title search, home inspection, mortgage approval, and so on, come together in a final transaction. The documents are ready to sign, the buyer is ready to hand over the purchase price and the seller is ready to transfer title-and most importantly the keys!


Usually held in an office setting, most require about an hour and may be attended by some or all of the various parties in the process: the buyer, seller, real estate sales professionals or attorney, and title-company representative.


What goes on during the closing? The buyer reviews and signs loan and real estate documents, as well as pays for the property, closing and other costs. One such loan document is the federal Truth-in-Lending disclosure form which describes the annual rate of financing (APR), finance charges, amount financed, total of payments and the payment schedule. There will also be a form itemizing what your monthly payment consists of including the principal, interest, taxes, insurance and other monthly charges. If everything is in order, the buyer signs the loan papers.


Real estate documents are just as important. There's the HUD-1 form, which you have the right to inspect at least one day before the closing. This statement itemizes services provided and the fees charged for the entire real estate transactions. There will be a breakdown of the seller's and buyer's (borrower) financial obligations. Some of the charges include appraisal fee, credit report fee, loan origination fee, loan discount (points), title insurance fee, government recording fees, PMI Premium, inspections and attorney fee.


Other real estate documents that may be reviewed and/or signed include title documents, warranty deed (which transfers the title of the property) and other acknowledgment of reports.


Assuming that the funds are in order, the deed is correct and the title is clear, the final step is the disbursement of funds to the seller for the purchase price of the home. The title company should already have the loan funds in its possession, but the buyer will need to bring a cashier's or certified check for the down payment and the closing costs if it was not included in the mortgage loan. If the buyer's annual real estate taxes and homeowner's insurance will be paid through the lender, an escrow account will also be established.


Once all the papers are signed and funds are disbursed, the buyer will receive the keys and is now a homeowner.


By Ken Hunter, REALTOR®

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Gary Greene


The key to an easy move is careful planning. There are many action items that need to be taken prior to the move all the way up to the actual day the first box is loaded on the moving truck. Take time to write down and organize the decisions and activities that will need to be accomplished prior to the move such as securing a mover and changing your address. Ideally, you should try to break up the tasks over a two-month period. By doing so, you won't overload your schedule, plus it can save you time and money.  To get you started, consider using the checklist below as a guide.


Four to Eight Weeks Prior

•ü  Get estimates from at least three professional movers. If you are going to do it yourself, get estimates on rental trucks.

•ü  Decide which furniture and household goods you'll be taking, which needs to be disposed and which needs to be replaced.

•ü  If you will be moving to a new city, contact the Chamber of Commerce of that town for a new residence packet. Your sales professional may also have information.

•ü  Inventory your possessions besides furniture - kitchenware, decorative items, electronics, apparel and so on.

•ü  Complete a change of address form with the post office. This can be easily done online at for a minimal cost of $1. Make sure you notify organizations, credit cards companies, and publications to which you subscribe of your new address, too.

•ü  Obtain copies of all medical, dental, legal, accounting and veterinarian records.

•ü  If children are changing schools, arrange for transfer of educational records.

•ü  Itemize moving-related costs with the mover including packing, loading, special charges and insurance.

•ü  Make arrangements for packing your belongings. If you will be using professionals, schedule with the company for packing to take place a day or two before the move. If you will handle packing on your own, purchase adequate boxes, packing materials and tape.

•ü  Arrange for short-term or long-term storage if needed.

•ü  Make travel arrangements for pets including necessary medical records, immunizations, medication and so on.

Three Weeks Prior

•ü  Begin packing items you won't need immediately or that will go into storage.

•ü  Contact utilities on both ends of the move to order termination or turn-on for occupancy date.

•ü  Confirm travel arrangements for family and pets.

Two Weeks Prior

•ü  Terminate newspaper and other delivery services.

•ü  If necessary, arrange and confirm new bank accounts and local services in your new neighborhood.

One Week Prior

•ü  Gather important papers, records, and valuables for protected shipment to new home or safe deposit box.

•ü  Obtain any prescription medications needed for the next few weeks.

Day Before or Actual Moving Day

•ü  Defrost refrigerator/freezer and give away all perishable food.

•ü  Keep a box marked "Last Box Packed/First Box Unpacked" for tools, flashlights, first aid kit and so on. On moving day, this should be the last box placed on the truck.

•ü  Pack items to carry with you such as valuables, financial records, personal papers and so on.

•ü  Give the movers a telephone number and address to reach you.


To be sure, a detailed action plan can get your move well down the road before you ever depart to your new destination.