8 Things to do Before Closing on a House

We are just about to close on our new house and we've come across many things that should be completed before closing.

Here are 8 things to do before closing on a house: 

  1. Get your New Mortgage Ready.  After you've shopped around for the best rate, meet with your mortgage rep to sign off on the papers and to determine your payment details. 
  2. Prepare for the Lawyer.  Call your lawyer to make an appointment for closing day.  Get the lawyer to run through the numbers with you again so that you know exactly how much you should bring for your down payment/lawyers/closing fees.
  3. Prepare your Down Payment Funds. If you have your down payment funds in a high interest savings account, make sure that it's accessible for a bank draft to be submitted to the lawyer.  Since I use PC Financial, I have to wait 1 day for my funds to be transferred over.  If your savings account has this type of transfer delay, make sure you account for this.
  4. Get the Utilities Ready.  Call the Cable/Telephone/Security company a week before closing to setup TV/Internet/Phone/Alarm.  Sometimes the cable company will have to run new wires into your house which can be delayed if the installers are busy.  If you call them early, they can hopefully show up and do the install near closing.
  5. Get your New Furniture/Appliances ready.  If you purchased new appliances/furniture arrange for the store to deliver the packages on (or just after) closing day.
  6. Get Home Insurance.  Some mortgages (if not all) require that you have home insurance.  Call around a few weeks before closing to see who has the best rates and coverage.  If you are a professional, no one can beat Meloche Monnex (that I've found).
  7. Get Life Insurance.  With my first house, I simply signed on with the mortgage life insurance because it was cheap and required no qualification.  However, if I did more research, I should have realized that the benefits decrease while the premiums/payments remain the same.  Do yourself a favour and get term life insurance instead.
  8. Prepare for the Move.  If you are hiring movers, call them a couple weeks in advance to book your time.  If you are moving yourself, call the truck rental place (and your strong buddies) at least a week in advance.

There you have it.  A list that I will be using for my closing that is coming up soon.   Am I forgetting anything?

Photo credit: Rberteig 

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FT

FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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Jess
10 years ago

#9: BREATHE. Once you’ve secured financing and done all of the above things, take a deep breath and revel in the excitement of owning a new home!

MeName
10 years ago

Never pay to Canada Post for forwarding of your mail. $100+ dollars and they still won’t forward a s***t. Disgrace! Your best bet is to get in touch with new owners for your old place and make an verbal agreement with them. Most people will let you know when your mail arrives first couple of months. After that everyone should already be notified of your address change by then, so you should be OK.

Xeno
11 years ago

I truly think some things should be looked at always…

in my exp was that the realtor’s on both occasions walked away from the deal as soon as the offer was accepted which is pretty upsetting as it clearly showed most realtors are trying to make their money and get out as quickly as possible.

– Always find your own home inspector as there is a MAJOR conflict of interest using the person your realtor is recommending.

– Always call the utilities company to verify if the work has been completed no matter if your lawyer is doing it or not. This assures that all the meters are read on the day of closing.

– Check with your lawyer on the key transfer on how will they be occuring as some realtors will allow you to use a lockbox and some will tell you that it is not possible which is a total lie.

– Have an inspection a day or two before closing to inspect everything in the house and have a conversation with the previous owners on arrangement of mail, inside keys, and contact information just in case you need it.

– Rent a truck from a good place like national cause if you do the math overall you save money cause they give you like 100km per day where as in the 20$ uhaul rentals charge you like .49 cents/KM which is ridiculous amount.

NinTo
11 years ago

we have found our first home, made an offer, got it inspected, laid down some conditions which the seller has agreed to do etc.. closing is a month away and we are to visit the property a week or two before closing.

What if we find upon that visit that since signing the offer they have not kept the place well – ie stained carpet, marks on wall etc (which did not exist when we first saw the house and agreed to purchase)? what’s our recourse before closing? can we walk away if we wanted to?

Toronto realtor
12 years ago

Very useful points. There are planty of manuals and tips what should be done before you buy a house and that is good because it is nothing better than negotiation with well-informed customer. Nowadays it is much more easier to get all important information especially thanks to the many blogs where people are sharing their own experiences.Working as a Toronto realtors I have also prepared some guides and I hope that they are helpful at least in a same way like your points.

Investing & Passive Income
13 years ago

1. conduct the final walk-thru/inspection

always assume your escrow will close 2-3 days late. I’ve never had an escrow close on time (and I’ve bought over a dozen homes).

Weekend Reading - March 7, 2008 | Million Dollar Journey
13 years ago

[…] This weeks Carnival of Personal Finance – The Homeless Edition was hosted by The BagLady.  MDJ submitted the article "8 Things to do Before Closing on a Home." […]

Carnival of Personal Finance #142 - The Homeless Edition — The Baglady
13 years ago

[…] FrugalTrader from Million Dollar Journey has some good tips for home buyers in this post: 8 Things to do Before Closing on a House […]