Monday, November 13, 2006

Closing: Day Before

Knocking on wood here!

This morning, my lawyer sent the final numbers through. It's complicated, as a lot is being deducted from the proceeds of the mortgage. Then various taxes and title search/insurance charges are lumped together to be paid to the title company, also out of the proceeds of the mortage. I had to do a lot of addition and subtraction to be sure everything matched up to what I thought it should be, but in the end, I'm left having to get one certified check for almost $50,000 as soon as the bank opens tomorrow. Yowza. Au revoir, cash!
This is all more or less what I was expecting. The numbers don't totally match my original Good Faith Estimate but the total is in line, and in fact I thought it was actually much better... but then realized (oops) that was because of the credit I'm getting for the floor. But after adjusting for that I realized things were a little higher but still fairly close to what I'd bargained for, so no more cash panic.
I added and re-added things several times to make sure there were no errors. I noticed the property tax escrow seemed high-- I thought it was supposed to be for 4 months, but it seemed like the amount would be for a much longer time period that that. So did they get the taxes wrong? I was always nervous about a clause in the contract that basically lets the seller off the hook, saying they make no representation as to the taxes, and also that the broker can pretty much tell you all manner of lies and that they are not responsible.
I called my lawyer again... turns out the taxes were indeed wrong, and are more than I was told. They are still not too bad though-- of course it is a bit of a blow, especially since my mortgage rate is higher than I originally thought I'd get when I first found this place a year ago, but I got a decent raise this year so it's something I can absorb. Not happily, though. I would like to know how I could have checked that myself beforehand, but it's difficult with new construction-- Property Shark shows estimated taxes, but Property Shark doesn't even know my condo exists yet, so that is no help at all.

I just finished what I think will really be the final walkthrough. It was ok-- still a few things left undone, but nothing too major. A few are things I could handle myself, but I don't want to and don't think I should have to, but the developer has already agreed to do them, and my lawyer is going to push to keep money in escrow to make sure. But the neat thing about having all these walkthroughs is that every time I'm there it feels more and more like MY HOME. And if all goes well tomorrow, it really will be. Well, mine and CitiBank's, but close enough.


Tiredbuthappy said...

Yay! Didn't you say your last home was jointly owned with your then-sweetie? This one will be all yours. Does it feel different?

Be sure to post as soon as you can when you have the keys in your hand. We're all excited for you.

Well, maybe I should speak for myself. I'm excited for you!

mapgirl said...

I'm excited for you too!

As far as the escrow being too high, well, it depends. My tax rate keeps going up so my payment has changed twice. The last time, I paid in some extra money to escrow so the payment wouldn't change. That's because there is an annual assessment in VA on all property. Check that in your jurisdiction. If it does, just keep in mind you'll have to cough that up later on. (Meanwhile putting the extra in an interest bearing account, which I am sure a savvy woman like you already does.)

Single Ma said...

Has the day FINALLY come? For real? *dreamy eyes* I'm so happy for you!

Can't wait to see pictures.

Anonymous said...

Hey, congratulations! Give yourself a hand for such careful planning. You deserve it!

Planning alone must have added up to a lot of hours and plenty of work. To say nothing of the emotions... thanks for sharing the process... great to know it can be done even in NYC!

Kevin said...

Congratulations and Good Luck!

Your escrow has probably been affected by the delay in your closing date. Your lender is going to collect from you at the time of closing the escrow payments for the months that they did not receive from you from the tax due dates until your first mortgage payment. They may even collect a 1 or 2 month cushion, depending on their practices. So each month that your closing is delayed, the escrow amount will increase by another month, unless the tax due date is within 60 days then that amount will need to be paid in full at closing.

At the time of closing you should receive an Initial Escrow Disclosure. This will list out what your lender is collecting from you at the time of closing as well as how much will be collected from you each month for the next year. It will show what your balance will be after each month as money comes in and goes out month by month as you pay your escrow and taxes come due. But since you are buying new construction it is difficult to nail down the exact tax amount as the building/unit may be taxed on the unimproved value or the improved value, depending on when the tax assessor has last assessed the property. Your attorney should be able to tell you what exactly the tax amount is as they, or another attorney, will need to do a tax search prior to the loan closing.