Closing is an annoying process, but at least it's the end. Sitting in a conference room with sandwiches, chips and a bowl full of Halloween candy wasn't exactly how I pictured the final moments of my quest for home ownership -- second time around for me, first for my fiancée, Cathy -- but the entire process of buying a home is stressful, confusing and frustrating, so snacking on a Reese's while signing document after document seemed like a miracle.
|Photo by Sarah de la Rosa|
By the time Cathy was done signing -- her credit score superior to mine, she took on the bulk of the purchase responsibility -- it had been an hour of sitting at that conference table in the offices of a title company we'll likely never visit again with an mortgage broker who will likewise become a stranger and a real estate agent that won't only because he's been my friend for many years. Surreal, yes, but all part of buying a home.
As if the whole buying a home thing wasn't difficult enough, add to it the furious real estate market in Houston and new regulations designed to protect us -- and lenders -- from ourselves and you have, well, a mess.
Our story had a happy ending. We got the house we wanted for less than we expected to pay and there were only minimal complications. But, as any realtor will tell you, transactions of this magnitude can be overwhelming. There are certainly a million good tips for home buying, but here are a few that I found served me and others I know particularly well (or didn't if they were ignored).More »